This morning, September 29th at 7:23 am, I finished reading the bible for the very first time. Not going to lie, I am pretty proud, it feels like an incredible accomplishment and it has been an incredible journey, a journey that is only just beginning. It has been one of the best, and yet most difficult commitments. But what a humbling and satisfying one.
The Plan: Every Day in the Word
This plan was to be completed in a year. I had chosen this particular plan because the amount of daily reading was manageable and had me in the old testament, new testament Psalms and Proverbs everyday, and repeated the book of Psalms twice. Being in the old and new testament allowed me to see the characteristics of our never changing God and the extent of His grace simultaneously in the new and old testament. Other daily reading plans can be found here.
The time: November 18th 2014 – September 23rd 2016
It has taken me a little under two years to complete this reading. Looking back in my journals, I can see where I was really thirsting for the word of God – when some of my readings took up two pages in my journal, and other days when I could hardly fill a page,. There were days where I was desperately trying to find a verse that would speak to me that day. Other times there were dates where weeks had gone by without reading, and where reading was scarce, forced, and was done simply so I could colour in the box. Then there were the days where time ran out, and I had barely touched on the first passage for the day, completely indulging in the word of the Lord, mesmerized by every verse, word and captivated by the truth. I am incredibly thankful that the Holy Spirit has given me the need and the thirst that can only be filled by the word of God.
The routine: Or lack thereof. Some days, I woke early, at 5:30am or 6:00 and spent time reading the word, other days it was the last thing I did before I went to bed. There was a period of time where I spent my lunch and prep as a supply teacher reading in an empty staffroom. Routine was stable for a couple of weeks or months, but then would change as circumstances and life changed with it.
The tools: Bible (ESV STUDY), pens, notebook and plan.
I used both the ESV study bible, and the online version (both the same). The online version came free when I was given the ESV study bible almost 6 years ago now. But it helped when I was at school or not at home, to have a mobile version with me. I am also a stationary junkie, I joke (but not really) that when I die, all they are going to find are me and my journals with my pens (and now washi tape). I looked forward to filling in my journals, and using my stationary, it encouraged me to do my readings (at first) and then it was simply the Holy Spirit that gave me the craving for His word.
Tip: I am no expert – evidenced by the fact that it took me two years to finish a one year plan. Pick a plan and stick to it. Like many, Genesis is the most read book of the bible in my repertoire. Print out the plan and have a tangible copy that can be ticked or checked off when the daily reading is completed. Cause sometimes, the small things can make one feel quite accomplished.
Grace and Discipline: There were days where I was too gracious with myself, but then there were days where I just couldn’t and all I felt was guilt that I hadn’t yet spent time with the Lord. Be gracious enough so as to not be discouraged. It is okay to miss a day, it isn’t the end of the world, do not feel the necessity to catch up – stick with the plan, and open the bible tomorrow. But when there is time, and you do not feel like reading, do it anyway. There is power in the word of God, and never underestimate how the Holy Spirit can and will work even when you are not “feeling it”.
My mind is tinkering between two different things at this moment.
Harvest 20s&30s is about to start a month long journey into Philippians
Or a FREE study with Jen Wilkin in the book of Hebrews: free audio and workbook.
And they demolished the pillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it a LATRINE to this day. – 2 Kings 10:27. The bible is full of gems.