The Only Resolution That Really Matters

With a new year comes new plans and goals and all varieties of resolutions. While I’m not much of a resolution maker (though I do have a fun one up my sleeve I will be sharing soon!), one of the things that I have marked the new year with the past couple of years has been to use this fresh start to settle on a Bible reading plan that will guide me for the following months.

The past two years, I’ve used a chronological Bible-reading plan that takes you through the Bible more or less in the order that the events written about are thought to have taken place. (For more on this chronological Bible-reading plan and to download a copy, go here.)

The goal of this plan is to walk you through the Bible in a year, which makes it not for the faint hearted because it does require a considerable amount of dedication to sit down with your Bible for an hour or so a day. Because I work from home as a freelance writer (more on that transition here), I have the time to dedicate to that.

Even if you can’t commit to reading as much as they recommend every day, I think that this reading plan has been so valuable for me to gain a much more intimate understanding of the Biblical narrative and storyline. You can easily stretch it out to span more than a year and read each segment in chunks more accommodating to your schedule.

But by reading events that are grouped together—say the Old Testament prophecies along with the historical records in Kings and Chronicles that explain what was going on at that time—I’ve been able to really wrap my head around how all those stories and segments fit together and think that is by far the greatest strength in this reading plan.

To anyone who wants to better understand the Bible in context, I’d highly recommend this chronological reading plan and I wholly expect to read it again in the future!

For this next year, though, I think I am going to slow down and use the next few months to really dig into different Scriptures and to linger with them longer than I was able to when reading through them for this previous plan.

There are books—starting first with that of Hebrews—that I want to back up and chew on, slowly and intentionally. I have already checked some commentaries from the library and downloaded some online resources to get more perspectives on these writings. As I pour over them, I want to ponder them, explore their cross-references, really know them.

To really know them. That has been the desire of my heart for my Bible reading over the past couple of years that I have been attempting to cultivate. And I am loving the fruit that it is bearing.

So, as we inch into this new year, it seems as good a time as any to make an effort to explore this discipline of Bible reading.

Which is why over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing some more Bible-study thoughts and resources that will hopefully aid you as you take this year not only to make resolutions to lose weight or save more or spend time better but to remember that which is most important: to get to know God better by committing to reading more of His Word.

Are you starting a new Bible reading plan this year? What kind of approach do you use for reading the Scriptures? I'd love to hear more in the comments!

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Unexpected insights from a boring Old Testament list


  1. I love starting my morning in the Word, but sometimes it just doesnt happen until later. My church has an email program that anyone can sign up for if they want to get started on a morning reading program. Its what really got me started, so I thought I'd share! Just follow the link to sign up!

    Don't worry, if you sign up you wont receive anything else from the church... just your morning journey! Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  2. For 2012 I'm planning on getting into Bible prophecy a lot more. Growing up Baptist, much of the old testament was just sort of skimmed over, but never really studied.

    I've been hearing a lot about prophecy in church lately and I am so encouraged and in awe over how accurate it is so I really want to study it this year.

    Right now though, I'm in Luke 21-22, which is really feeding my heart. Only our Lord can answer the tough questions and span millennia with His answers.

  3. For the past year and a half I have been in a prayer partner relationship with a friend of mine where we commit to reading only about 10 chapters a week, and then we meet for an hour once a week to discuss the reading, talk about accountability and pray for each other. It has been immensely live giving.

    For 2012 I have started with a new routine of getting up 30-60 minutes earlier in the morning to read. So far it has been very tough! I admit I have not been reading my bible each and every day, so this is an effort to change that... but the change in my sleep schedule is SO hard!

  4. This is the first year I am using a plan to read through the Bible. I am using The Discipleship Journal Bible reading plan. It also takes you through the entire Bible in one year. What I like about this plan is that it is only designed to use 25 days a month. So I can use my extra 5 or 6 days to catch up if I fall behind or chew on a particular subject or passage. I've been reading the Bible for several years, but I have never intentionally read through the entire Bible in a year. I'm excited to see what the Lord reveals through following this plan. I'm also definitely interested in following a chronological plan next year.

  5. Oh, I love hearing all of your different plans for reading the Bible this year!

    One of my favorite things to see is how each of you have chosen an approach that works best for you, whether it's utilizing emails or a prayer partner to encourage accountability or digging into a subject of the Bible that has really piqued your interest.

    Here's to starting this new year off right!

  6. I'm using the chronological plan to read my bible this year. I started in December. Gave myself sort of a head start. I'm enjoying it so far. Didn't know Genesis would be so interesting. and I'm sure it's only going to get better!

  7. I've decided this year that instead of just "getting through" the scriptures, I'd like to "get to know" my Savior better and be more like Him. So this year, I'm picking an attribute of Christ that I would like to improve - or acquire - each month and making that the focus of my study. I've started January with the attribute of virtue and have loved the scriptures in Proverbs about what a "virtuous woman" is and does.

  8. Joanne, great idea to give yourself a head start! There were quite a few times where I wanted to linger on a passage longer but also wanted to stay "on track" so I didn't delve in as much as I would have liked. Having that extra time will be a great help for those times!

    Heather, I love the idea of studying different attributes! Proverbs 31 has been such an inspiring (and convicting!) piece of Scripture for me to study over the years!

  9. I'm using a reading plan called 'Closer to God', which looks at different parts of Scripture and a theme each day and asks you questions. I'm also doing a Beth Moore bible study, which requires a lot of looking up of different Scriptures. I finished a bible read through last August but I found it too much of a chore having so much to read each day so I prefer a bite-sized approach this year.

  10. Louise, I love Beth Moore studies. Which one are you doing? I've never heard of the Closer to God plan, but it sounds neat! I think it's so important to figure out an approach that works for you and your schedule, so I'm glad you've found a good balance :)

  11. I'm going to give the chronological plan a try! Usually, I follow my Life Journal reading plan but after a few years of the same routine, I feel like I need to change it up. My biggest difficulty is making the time to read my Bible every day. Hopefully, this year I'll be more disciplined about it.

  12. I'm working on a few Bible studies by Cynthia Heald right now with a friend. Her "Becoming a Woman Of" series is just such a blessing. Great to chew on the word and really think over what is being read. I'm currently doing Excellence with a friend and Prayer on my own. When I'm not doing that, I'm reading through Proverbs.

    That chronological plan sounds awesome! I'll have to look into it. :)

  13. I started a plan last year from Wayne Cordiero's book "the divine mentor". Reading that book completely changed the way I approach reading my Bible. I feel like I'm becoming a more mature Christian, and would recommend it to anyone!

  14. I started a plan last year from Wayne Cordiero's book "the divine mentor". Reading that book completely changed the way I approach reading my Bible. I feel like I'm becoming a more mature Christian, and would recommend it to anyone!


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