Last year, we read through (listened to) the New Testament in 40 Days as a church body — and it was great! This year, Pastor James issues a new challenge: let’s read through the entire Bible together, in a year, this year, 2016, chronologically.
Sound challenging? Well, it will take some intentional work and planning, but it’s not going to take more than 15 minutes a day to succeed. We can do this, right?
In fact, there are so many resources available to us these days! We have it easy. You can read or listen to any version you like. You can use an app on your phone, a website, a printed plan tucked in your Bible, or a special Bible designed for this purpose. Check it out:
Through The Bible In a Year, Chronologically
YouVersion has been around for many years. You can read online, or listen online, by going to the website and setting it up on your computer. Alternately, you can add the app to your smartphone–the app is simply called “Bible” and has an icon that looks like a brown square bible with the yellow words, “Holy Bible.”
To find the chronological plan, after setting up your account, browse the reading plans and search “chronological” and choose the one named just “Chronological.” This plan uses complete scripture passages and doesn’t summarize, condense, or combine anything, so similar passages are duplicated (ie, you read Matthew 1 and then you read Luke 2, and read about Christ’s birth.) The plan is “undated,” simply start today and complete 365 days from now. You can read ahead and catch up to today’s date and then “catch me up” and it will adjust the dates. When you login in and read through the app, YouVersion keeps track of what you have/haven’t read and keeps track of it for you.
There are multiple Chronological Bibles out there, but this one has one distinct advantage: this daily Bible combines like passages into one and gives scripture references to the side. You will read through one account of Jesus’ birth and find a list of all the scriptures referenced off to the side. This Bible is dated, January 1, January 2, etc., which makes it easy to find your place for the day, and, like a study Bible, includes some commentary at the beginning of the reading. It’s available in ebook, Hardback, and softcover ranging $10-20 at Christianbook.com.
The difference between reading online at ESV.org and at YouVersion.com is that this option is also dated, and when you go to the site it automatically takes you to the reading for today, though you can scroll back through to read previous days if you’ve missed one. It also includes an option to “listen” at the top of the page, and has the bonus of being our favorite Bible translation. This option doesn’t combine like passages into one either – again, you will read all of Matthew 1 and then all of Luke 2 to read about the birth of Christ.
Maybe you prefer to read out of your own Bible that you already have? That’s great! You can pick up a copy of the printed plan at the church, or you can download your own copy to keep in your Bible, and check it off as you go!
Let’s Do This Together
When we do this together, we will grow together!
1.) Choose your plan of attack – read online? Listen on your phone? Read it in your hands?
2.) Choose your time of attack – where can you carve out 15-20 minutes every day? First thing in the morning, lunch break, just before bed?
3.) Consider an accountability partner, someone you can message and who can message you, “have you done your reading today?”
4.) Talk about it together – we WILL plan some regular “Coffee Talks” to get together and talk about what we have been reading. There will also be opportunity for discussions on Sunday mornings before class begins, you can join in discussions on our Facebook page, and you can share things that God points out to you on our FB wall or in our Facebook groups. It’s important to not only read the Word, but study it, discuss it, and let God show you new things from it.
We are excited to see what 2016 will hold for us, and we don’t even know what God may do in our body over the next year. But we know that we will be blessed by the reading of His Word and that is really exciting! May God bless you abundantly in 2016, and through the reading of the Bible together.