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I read the Bible in a year for the first time in 2010. I was a sophomore in college, a Biblical Studies major, and was pretty sure I had never read some parts of the Bible in my entire life. I figured it was a good time to try reading through the Bible in a year for the first time. So I did it. It was great, but it wasn’t easy.
After reading through the Bible in a year for the first time, I decided I would try to do it every other year (so every even year). When it comes to reading and studying the Bible, I prefer to read a small passage and dig deeply into it, so reading a bunch of text in one day is stretching for me.
I read through the Bible successfully in 2010, 2012, and 2014, but I failed in 2016. In the past, I have read the Bible in a year by reading it chronologically. This year, I am using this five-day plan, which offers some flexibility in case you miss a day during the week. I love that this plan gives some Old and New Testament each day, which should make it easier than the chronological plans which don’t give you any New Testament until late in the year.
So, if you’ve started a Bible reading plan for the year, you need to be ready for what happens when you fall so far behind on your reading plan, and you realize you aren’t going to read the Bible in a year.
What do we do when we fall so far behind on our Bible reading plan we “fail?”
You aren’t a terrible person if you fall three weeks behind on your Bible reading plan. Life happens, and sometimes we fail to make Bible reading a priority.
In the past, when I have failed at my Bible reading plan, I have become so discouraged that I stopped reading my Bible consistently for long periods of time.
I remember shortly after I failed my Bible reading plan in the spring of 2016, I would get so discouraged when I would sit down to read my Bible, I would just not read my Bible.
Don’t do that. Don’t be discouraged. It’s OK to fail your Bible reading plan.
God’s love for you is not determined by whether or not you read the Bible in a year like you planned.
But, when you fail your Bible reading plan, what should you read? If you don’t have any ideas, it’s pretty simple…
This is my plan for this year, if I happen to fall far behind in the plan. If, for some reason, I fall so far behind in the Bible reading plan that I come to terms with the reality that I won’t be finishing in the year, I am just going to keep using the plan as my Bible reading prompt until I’m done with it, even if it’s halfway into 2019.
I work with students, and a lot of them struggle reading their Bibles because they don’t know where to start. They sometimes have this idea that they just need to open their Bible to a random page and just start reading. I know the feeling.
If you fail your Bible reading plan, you may have this feeling, too. But you don’t have to have that feeling. If you fail your Bible reading plan, just continue using it as your guide whenever you are able to take time to read.
But, about time for a minute. I want to remind you of what I often remind myself: “I don’t have time to read my Bible,” is a poor excuse. We make time for what we want to do. “Not having time” to read our Bible is our own fault.
We are not a victim of not having enough time, our inability to prioritize Bible reading is our problem to solve.
If you are trying to read the Bible in a year like I am, I hope your first couple of weeks are going well. If you fall behind, don’t get discouraged, and just use your plan to guide you throughout the rest of the year without the urgency of finishing before 2019!