A woman in Sunday School said it the best: "Just by reading the Word of God, I'm seeing changes. I'm not working on anything, but the Holy Spirit is working in me!"
To be totally honest, I've never liked the "Read the Bible in a Year" reading schedules. I would make it to Leviticus, but after I realized that I wasn't actually digesting anything that I was reading, I would give up. I am strongly against the idea of force-feeding the Bible so that people become bored of it. The Bible should never be boring!
On the other hand, perseverance is a valuable part of Christian discipline. Even when it's challenging, we will benefit from reading the Word of God, provided that we read it correctly. (Definition of "correctly": Seeking to change, looking to hear from God, allowing God to be exactly who He is without censoring the parts of His character that we find unpleasant.)
The biggest difference for me has been reading the Bible as a group. I am forced to read correctly when the people around me are discussing the daily readings, and when we are seeking out God's message corporately.
If you would like to read the Bible this year, let me recommend that you get a group together. Pull together some friends with the same desire. Hold each other accountable. Expect God to act. Discuss, journal, and apply everything that you learn. Love the Bible in all of its occasional mystery and constant wonder.
If you would like to read the Bible chronologically, you may find the curriculum that I'm writing for Sunday School useful. I'm writing it week-by-week, so expect typos and occasional mistakes. On the first week, there is a reading schedule, commitment letter, and the first week's fill-in-the-blank outline. Not everyone benefits from filling in the outline, so don't sweat it if you don't choose to use it. For a full description of the curriculum, click here. For the resources to get started, click here. I will admit that it's a lot of printing, but I believe that anything that helps other women to read, understand, and love their Bibles more is worth paper and ink.
If you decide to start a Bible Reading Club, let me know by leaving a comment or Emailing me. I would love to start a group on Facebook so all of the groups may be encouraged and challenged by each other.
I'm not going to play down the challenge. It will be difficult, but it will be oh! so worth it!
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