In Greg’s commentary on today’s podcast, he argued that every Christian should read through the Bible once a year. I absolutely agree with this. It was the best advice I ever got in grad school (see “You Want to Be a Good Apologist?”), and I often reflect on how different my life is because someone challenged me to do this.
Knowing God is a lifetime project, and we need to have a long-term view of the effort we put into it (see here for some ideas on how to go about this). Think of it as an investment. The best time to start investing is always now. Your deposits may seem small at first, but in ten years, you’ll be ten years farther along than you would have been had you waited to begin. Don’t waste that time! Think of all the fruit that will result from those ten years. And imagine looking ahead from there and realizing your knowledge, awe, and love of God are only going to get deeper.
The rewards are certainly worth the effort, but that doesn’t change the fact that we have to put in effort to see those rewards. If you’re anything like me (i.e., human), you won’t always feel like reading your Bible, but keep building on that foundation day after day after day. Don’t give up.
One tool that helps me read through the Bible is the Bible Box app. You can choose from a few basic plans (Old Testament, New Testament, chronological, whole Bible), and then set an end date for when you want to finish. The app then tells you what you need to read for the day in order to meet that goal, and you simply check off the chapters as you read them.
The nice thing about the app is that you don’t have to read the books in any particular order. If you have a different plan that you like, or you just like to skip around, you can check off the chapters you read in whatever order you want, and the app will keep track for you. You can even have more than one plan going at once. I switch back and forth each month between Old Testament and New Testament, so I always have a plan open for each.
You can also see a calendar showing which days you completed some reading and which you missed, and if you start to get too far behind (which would cause the amount of your daily reading to increase), you can adjust your end date at any time. To help you track your progress over time, the app keeps a list of all your 100% finished plans, showing the dates when you started and finished.
Some days, you’ll feel like you can’t wait to read your Bible; and some days, you won’t. Our desires can be fickle, so we can’t depend on them to drive us. The key to sustained Bible reading over time is having a goal, developing a habit, and being faithful day after day. This app can help.