Stop ‘Trying’ to Read the Bible
December 15, 2021
Imagine waking up and thinking, “I’d like to run a marathon today.” What’s going to happen if you go out and attempt it? You’re probably going to start running, then after about 20 minutes (maybe more, maybe less), hit a wall and call it quits. Why is that? It’s because, regardless of the potential you have, your potential is not achieved solely through trying. Instead of trying to run a marathon on day one, what you need to do is start training. Begin to regularly work on small, incremental goals, so that in the near future, you’re able to achieve your goal of running a marathon.
When it comes to reading the Bible, many well-meaning Christians start off each year with a lofty goal and a plan to try. Something like, “I’m going to read the whole Bible this year by reading every day for an hour.” Then what happens? Life moves on and that pace proves unsustainable. You miss a day, then another, then another. You find yourself behind in your plan which is discouraging. To make matters worse, you’re also confused by what you’re reading and think to yourself, “what’s the point in reading the Bible if I don’t understand it?” By the time February rolls around, you’ve quit, perhaps concluding, “Bible reading just isn’t for me.”
What would it look like for you if you stopped trying to read the Bible and started training to read the Bible? Would it keep you from burnout and quitting? Would it deepen your relationship with God? Would it impact those around you? You’ll never know unless you give it a try.
So here’s what we’re asking you to do: develop a training plan for reading the Bible and stick with it throughout the whole month of January. Below are three reading plans. One of them is probably a good starting place for you. But, there’s more to developing a training plan than just deciding what to read in Scripture. If you’re asking, “what else is there?”, join us on Wednesday, January 5th at 6:30 as we talk about the ins and outs of developing a training plan for reading the Bible. Then, keep joining us on Wednesday nights in January as we continue with the focus of equipping the church to better read the Bible. For more information on these classes, visit fbcelreno.com/readscripture22.
Until then, take a look at each of these reading plans. Sticking with the metaphor of running, each plan is compared to a distance.
|1) The Mile||The Essential 100 Plan will walk you through 100 essential Bible passages, 50 in the Old Testament and 50 in the New Testament.|
|2) The 5K||The New Testament Plan will walk you through the entire New Testament.|
|3) The Marathon||The Whole Bible Plan will walk you through the entire Bible, but it organizes the passages in chronological order to help you better understand the flow and development of the Bible’s story.|
Both the Essential 100 Plan (E100 on Youversion)and the New Testament Plan (NT on Youversion) have questions, videos, prayer prompts, etc. to help you grasp each day’s reading. These can be found in the Youversion App. For the Whole Bible Plan (WB on Youversion), there’s a book called the Reader’s Guide to the Bible by George Guthrie that parallels its readings. Each day it offers an overview of the reading, and each week, a list of questions to think about. Guthrie’s book can be purchased in the church office for $15.00.
Each of these plans is designed to be read in a year. If that works for you and you’re able to do that, great, but that’s not really the point. If a plan takes you three years to complete, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you get sidetracked while reading a particular chapter or book and want to camp out there for a while, do that. If you fall behind in your plan, for whatever reason, don’t let that stop you from jumping back in. The goal is not to finish a plan in a year, it’s to encounter God consistently through reading His word. Together, let’s pursue this goal by training (not just trying) to read the Bible in 2022.