Did you resolve to read more of the Bible this year? How is it going?
There are many different strategies and plans that will help you get more connected with Scripture over the course of 2024. Maybe you've started a daily reading plan that will take you through the whole Bible. Or, maybe you're focusing your time on one area like the New Testament or the Old Testament. Maybe you've got a whole different plan.
No matter the plan, it has to be acknowledged that there will most likely be times where it is difficult to follow through. Think of the millions of people who make annual new year's resolutions with great enthusiasm only to have them fall apart in a matter of days, weeks, or months for a myriad of reasons. Our resolve to read the Bible is subject to the same conditions and factors as these other resolutions. New habits are difficult to establish, and old habits are hard to break. So how do we push on, persevere and not give up when the going is hard?
Here's a few tips that might help:
1) Give yourself some grace: Missing a day or two out of a year-long plan isn't the end of the world. Christ has freed you from guilt and shame; don't put it on yourself! You can catch up the next day! It might take you take you a little longer to see your plan through to the end, but that's okay. It's better than giving up completely!
2) Follow a plan with friends. We are built for relationship with God and with each other. Finding another person or group to walk through a plan with you provides accountability and opens the option for discussion. Deepening your faith with friends, family, spouses etc. is also a great relationship strengthener!
3) Consider a different plan, format, or medium: Sometimes it can take a bit of searching to find a reading plan that works for you. For example, maybe you've learned that you aren't built to read for an hour a day like your current plan requires. In that case, maybe there's a shorter plan, or several plans, that you can stack upon each other over the course of the year.
If you're a more audio/visual learner, it's possible that a plan which includes video devotionals or spoken scripture will be more effective for you.
Perhaps a plan that alternates between scripture and intentional prayer would work.
When was the last time you read a physical book? There's a lot to be said about the benefit of reading scripture in a tactile way on paper rather than screen...
There are so many options out there! Don't give up! One caution though: Just make sure to give something a concerted try before moving on to another plan. It takes a bit to establish a rhythm. These rhythms won't establish if you're switching things up too often!
Whatever the case may be, the most important thing is to keep seeking a deeper and richer relationship and knowledge of God through your daily devotion and habits. There will be times when you fail. We all do. Christ, however, never fails. We want to encourage you to keep going! You've got this, and we're praying for you!
1) YouVersion Bible App - https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app/ - This is a great spot to find plans and connect with others. It's also compatible with all platforms!
2) The Revised Common Lectionary - https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/daily.php?year=B - This is a great way to walk through scripture daily. An OT passage, a Psalm, and a NT passage for every day of the year.
3) The Bible Project - https://bibleproject.com/ - The Bible Project is a great resource to find plans that use different mediums of communication such as video and audio.