Is reading your Bible on your “One day I will . . . ” list? Do you long to read your Bible every day or even a few times a week? I have found that creating a simple Bible reading plan was not as difficult as I thought it would be.
Reading my Bible regularly was on my “One day I will . . . ” list for a LONG time. It was actually on and off my list a few times as I had periods of my life where I would read it for a while and then stop. During this on/off time, I yearned to read my Bible more and have it be a regular part of my day. The missing key, I realized, was that I had to find what worked for me and our family routine in order to be successful. It took trial and error until I figured out what worked.
Maybe you in the same boat that I was. Following some simple steps can help you create and stick to a plan to read your Bible more.
Are you ready to dive in and create a simple Bible reading plan for yourself? I hope you said, “YES!”
Why am I reading?
First, decide why you want to read your Bible.
When we begin a new endeavor, it is good to know why we are doing it. Having concrete reasons is an important part of ensuring success. Ask yourself some questions to figure out your purpose and make your plan.
What is my motivation to do this? What do I want to gain from this experience?
I was at a point where I did not read my Bible every day, or even most days. I wanted to change that. I did not want to read my Bible for just a few weeks and then stop. I wanted my Bible reading to be a regular part of my life from here on. My motivation was that I wanted to read my Bible to learn and discover more about God–Who He is, what He teaches us, and understand how He wants for me to live my life in general as a Catholic and in particular as me, as the unique individual He created.
What do I want to gain? I wanted to discover and rediscover how amazing God is and how I can live my life faithful to His call to me as a follower of His, a person made in His image with a unique call and purpose.
Read for fifteen minutes each day.
Next, decide where and how will you will make time in your day to read your Bible. How will you set yourself up for success?
After trying to read my Bible at various times of the day, I found what worked for me: to read my Bible on Mondays through Fridays right after lunch. I get out my Bible, set my timer, and start reading.
My reading length is only fifteen minutes. Ten seemed too short to me and any time longer than fifteen minutes was challenging because our kids would get antsy. Fifteen minutes is a good length of time for me, too; I find that the time goes by quickly and I want to read even more.
Where do I start?
Over the years I had read many parts of the Bible. Now that I planned to read the Bible regularly, I wasn’t sure where I should start. Should I begin with Genesis and read through to Revelation? Should I begin with a book I have always been interested in reading, but have never read?
What should I do? It is up to you where you decide to begin. Pray for God’s guidance.
A few years ago I heard a catechist say that if you are just beginning a journey reading the Bible, start with the Gospels. The Gospels are the four books of the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that talk about Jesus’ life, death, Resurrection, and ministry on earth. That is a great place to start.
I have also heard the recommendation to begin by reading the Mass readings of the day. You can use the Laudate app or go to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website to read the daily Mass readings or sign up to have them e-mailed to you each day. Our parish bulletin lists the daily Mass readings. I looked them up in my Bible to read them. Doing so helped me learn more about my Bible and inspired me to read more than the particular passages chosen for Mass.
Do you have a Bible study book or program at home that you can utilize? That is another place you could start.
I decided to start with the Acts of the Apostles and then continued reading the New Testament. It was amazing to me to read about the early church, the challenges the early Church and Christian people faced, and the faith that they had to truly live Christian lives.
How do I start?
Each day before I start reading my Bible, I say a prayer. I ask God to enlighten me with His Word and open my heart to know and understand what He wants for me to know from the passage I will read. I also ask Him to help me to apply to my life what He will teach me in my reading for the day.
I pray each time before I read my Bible because I want for my reading to be fruitful. I don’t want to read the Bible like a novel; I want to study the Bible and understand what God wants for me to know and have the courage and faith to apply that to my life.
Know why you want to undertake reading the Bible regularly. Ask yourself some questions to identify your motivation and make a plan. What do I want to gain from this experience? Where and how will I make time in my day to do this?
Decide what time of day you will read your Bible. Is your best time of day to read the time before the kids get up in the morning or during their nap time? Or, would you prefer to read before going to sleep? Think creatively. After lunch, my kids and I have quiet prayer time together as part of our homeschool day. This is when I read my Bible.
Decide where in the Bible you will begin reading. Each day you read your Bible begin with a prayer. Then, begin reading!
Take the time to think about and answer these questions. Make Bible reading a regular, predictable part of your day by having a specific amount of time set aside to read. By doing these things, you will set yourself up for success.
Are you ready to dive in and create a simple Bible reading plan for yourself?