Maybe this describes you… your toddler is finally asleep after a morning of talking, tantrums, snacks, towers, all culminating in a somewhat healthy lunch, potty break, and naptime routine. Now you’re alone with a few minutes to spare. You see your phone peeking out from the cushions of the couch where you left it (or did the toddler put it there?). But you know that you need to read your Bible instead. You just don’t know where to start.
You open it up, read a few lines and immediately get distracted. Catching yourself, you repeat the lines you read earlier and then go a little farther. Before you know it, your toddler (or children) is awake and the chaos ensues once again.
By the time you get to the next day and you, once again, have a couple free minutes, you can’t even remember the passage you read the day before or where you left off!
Enter: Your Bible Reading Plan.
God has called us to know and study His Word (Psalm 1 and Psalm 119). There are many instances in the New Testament where we see Jesus encouraging a quiet time with the Lord every day (Mark 1:35).
But reading your Bible daily can be a difficult and daunting task, especially when you have little kids and lots of responsibilities in your home. I have shared many tips on how to make time to read your Bible even though you’re busy (read them here,) but I wanted to hone in on one tip in particular for this post: Using a Bible Reading Plan.
Bible reading plans are very helpful tools to use as you study God’s Word. There are many reasons to use them and many different plans to choose from. This post will help you think about choosing a plan that works for you and give you a few suggestions for plans to start now.
When we sit down to study God’s Word it can be tempting to just open the Bible to wherever our fingers fall and read there. While that is certainly not wrong (it’s never wrong to read the Bible!). I do not think it is the most helpful approach when trying to create a habit of reading the Bible every single day.
Not only do Bible reading plans help you use those precious “alone time” minutes while your child is occupied, they also help you stay on track in God’s Word, creating a habit of reading and remembering God’s ultimate love letter to His Children.
Personally, I have been using some form of a Bible reading plan for over 10 years now and they have helped me tremendously in making a habit out of daily Bible reading.
So let’s jump in and see which plan you would like to use!
How to Choose a Bible Reading Plan
Bible reading plans come in all different shapes and sizes. There are ones that have you read through the whole Bible in a year, through the Gospels, through the Old Testament, through the Psalms. Really, the possibilities are endless.
And, while that is very helpful, because there is not one plan that fits all, it can also be unhelpful in that there are so many choices to choose from! I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time choosing!
So, here are my tips when choosing a plan for your personal study.
Think About Your Time
When looking at plans (even the ones I share below) be sure to think about how much time you have to study the Bible each day.
Maybe you just had a baby and they are sleeping ALL. THE. TIME. Then that’s great! You can probably fit in a plan that has you reading 10 chapters a day, so do it.
But maybe you have 5 kids under 10 years old and you barely have enough time to sit down and catch your breath let alone read lots and lots of chapters in your Bible. Find a plan where you read one chapter and day and stick with that. Meditate on those verses throughout the day and find a way to keep them with you.
Maybe you have a very rambunctious toddler who is no longer taking naps and you have absolutely no time during the day to read your Bible. That’s okay too. Pick a shorter plan and read right before you go to bed at night, jot down thoughts or verses that stood out and review them while your toddler is awake in the morning.
We must assess how much time we have to read because we must be realistic with our time. If you pick a plan where you’re supposed to read 10 chapters and you realistically only have time to read 1 or 2, I can almost guarantee you will not be able to stick with the plan and you will end up discouraged.
The point is that you read your Bible every day. Not that you read X amount of chapters/verses or complete X amount of books by the end of the year. Creating a habit of reading God’s Word is what we are aiming for. Recognize that you may be in a very busy season right now and only able to read a little bit at a time. Then also recognize that it is just that, a season. It will one day be over and you will move on to another season where you can study longer, and, therefore deeper into God’s Word.
Don’t be discouraged by all the things that pull for your attention as a mom. Even if you just have 5 minutes to read a short passage, do it. Those short amounts of time add up in the long run and you can learn a lot about God in the “fringes” of your day.
As we’ve established, reading your Bible everyday is difficult! So, one tip in choosing your plan is to get accountability to read your Bible. Whether it’s your mentor, your accountability partner, your sister, your mom, even your husband. Find someone who can remind you to read and maybe even read the same plan as you.
You’ll see it below, but I love the online accountability that the Bible Reading Challenge Plan provides. There is a Facebook group to join, but they also post reminders and encouragements on their Instagram page. While in person accountability is always better in my book, this online accountability in the simple form of a “follow” is very helpful.
We all need those people who can point us back to the Bible and the God of the Bible when we are struggling or forgetting or going astray in our personal study.
Print and Keep It IN Your Bible
My last tip in choosing a study is to make sure that it is printable. I know I’m a little old school (I am a grandma at heart). I really recommend finding a plan that is printable.
Here’s why: if you have to look on your computer or phone, there is a much higher chance that you will get distracted and not read at all!
I’m speaking from experience here! There are already so many things that distract us from reading our Bible, lets completely get rid of this one.
So, when you’re looking at the plans, make sure you can print it (all of the ones I’ve shared below are printable :)). Then, once you’ve chosen, keep it in your Bible (preferably at the place you are reading), and don’t take it out! Now all you need to do for your quiet time is simply pick up your Bible and you’re ready to go.
Bible Reading Plan Suggestions
Okay, now that we’ve got our tips and we’re ready to choose, here are the plans that I have used myself over the years and I would recommend.
1. The Bible Reading Challenge
I started using this plan last year and I absolutely love it! This plan will take you through the entire Bible throughout the school year. You will read 6 chapters of the Bible each day. They have versions for men and women, a podcast, Facebook group, Instagram, you name it. There are lots of opportunities for accountability online with this plan.
This is the plan I will personally be using this year (it starts on September 7th) and I’d love for you to join! Let me know if you do.
You can read more details (and find the links to the groups and social media) here.
2. Through the Bible In a Year (Chronologically)
This plan has you read through the entire Bible chronologically. So you’ll begin in Genesis with creation, then jump to Job for his story, back to Genesis, etc. It takes you through the events of the Bible as they happened in history. You will read 2-3 chapters every day.
I used this plan myself for several years and enjoyed it. It helped me to see the whole scheme of the entire Bible and how God has worked throughout history to bring salvation and redemption to His people.
Some dear friends of mine use this plan every single year and have read through the entire Bible with it for 11 years straight! You can read more about it here.
3. Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System
Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System is a great way to study a lot of the Bible at once! I used this plan when I was in college and I would love to use it again when time allows. He has separated the books of the Bible into 10 lists that you will read one chapter from each day. (Yes, that’s 10 chapters each day!). He gives lots of useful tips at the link above for this practice.
Every year you’ll read through all the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters 4-5 times each, the OT wisdom literature six times, all the Psalms at least twice, all the Proverbs as well as Acts a dozen times, and all the way through the OT History and Prophetic books about 1 ½ times. That seems like a lot, but it is helpful in understanding the Bible. And, with this plan, each time you finish a list, you simply start at the beginning of the list again the next day. So you will never read the same chapters together again!
4. 30-Day Bible Reading Plan
Now, if those plans didn’t get you in your Bible enough, you can also read through the Bible in 30 days. With this plan you’ll practically be reading through a whole book of the Bible in one sitting. I’ve found that to be really helpful when I’m trying to get the overview of a book of the Bible or understand the structure in general. So, if you’ve got extra time this month, print out the 30-day Bible reading plan right here and get going.
Reading God’s Word is vital for our lives as believers. We MUST spend time knowing the Bible in order to know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, which we are called to do (2 Peter 3:18).
So, whichever plan you choose, print it out and start today. It doesn’t matter if you’re not “on track.” What matters is that you commit time to studying God’s Word, the wonderful words of life.
My Favorite Resources:
This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure here.