Have you read the whole Bible? What about the whole Bible in a year? What about reading the whole Bible in just one month?! Well, I was able to get through the whole Bible last month and I have to tell you all about it.
This past month of January, I took up a challenge to read the whole Bible in one month. To be honest, I didn’t plan to do this and jumped in rather spontaneously. But now that I’ve come through to the end of the month and the end of the Bible reading, I am very thankful I got to give it a try.
Reading through the Bible in a month (or about 30 days) was very different than how I’ve read my Bible before which helped me learn a lot, and I think if you were to challenge yourself to read the whole Bible in 30 days, you’d learn a lot too. So today I’m going to share with you 4 lessons that I learned by personally reading the Bible in about one month.
1. You have more time to read and/or listen to the Bible than you think.
As a mom and homemaker, my days are usually full of chores, outings, and activities for my family and caring for my family. That leaves little margin for hours of reading through my Bible each day. At least, that’s what I thought.
But you see, over this last month I learned that I actually have a lot more time than I think I do.
When you read through the Bible in one month, you have to read around 35-40 chapters per day. That’s a lot! But because that large amount is what you have to read for each day, it made me want to replace every other thing I did during my breaks in the day with Bible reading so that I could get all the chapters in.
I found myself reading my Bible instead of scrolling through Instagram at night time. I switched out other theology books for more Bible reading. And I usually left my Bible wide open somewhere in the house so that I could quickly read a chapter or two if I had a spare minute.
Now, obviously, this may not work for you, but the shift in thinking is important. Remember what Psalm 1 says? Meditating in His laws, that’s the Bible, day and night is a good thing and it’s how we are firmly planted and rooted like a tree by the waters. I’m sure you have some little pockets in your day that could be used for Bible reading instead of social media or another activity. I was doubtful, but I actually found that I had much more time to read than I thought.
2. Listening to the Bible can be done well.
Even though I found more time to physically read my Bible, there were still a couple times in the month that I fell behind. I kind of thought that would happen because of the sheer volume of chapters you need to read each day to stay on track.
So, when I first fell behind, I decided that I would also listen to the Bible as part of my monthly reading. This proved to be a great help as well.
I usually write off listening to the Bible as useless. I’m not an auditory learner, I have a hard time remembering things that I’ve only listened to. So I’d much rather hold my Bible in my hands, reading through it word for word.
But because I was forced to listen to the Bible in order to keep on track with my month-long challenge, I learned to do it a lot better than in the past.
After trying it out last month I have come to the conclusion that listening to the Bible can be helpful. There are times in life that you are legitimately busy (I’m thinking of you, moms with small children), and you may not have a lot of time to sit down and read the Bible for hours. Listening to the Bible can be helpful in those busy seasons.
But if you want to listen to the Bible while getting things done at home, be sure to pair it with a mindless activity or job. It really won’t be helpful to you if you have the Bible playing in the background while you’re thinking through math problems with your child. But, it will be helpful if you switch it on while you are washing the dishes after bedtime.
Listening to the Bible should never replace reading a physical Bible. There’s really no substitute for reading the actual Bible. Even if you are cautious when listening so that you are mindful of what you are listening to and not just glossing over Scripture, it still won’t totally replace time spent actually reading and studying your Bible. So be sure to only use listening to the Scriptures as a supplement in a busy season or alongside reading and studying your physical Bible daily.
And if you give listening to the Scriptures a try, don’t give up right away because you are having a hard time focusing on the words. I really didn’t like listening when I first tried, but now that I’ve practiced some, it’s much easier. Just give yourself time to get used to taking in Scripture this way and it’ll work well for you too.
I enjoyed listening to the narrative sections of the Bible the most. It felt like I was listening to any other story or audio book, but it was the Bible. I especially enjoyed listening to 1 and 2 Kings. Somehow the stories of the rise and fall of each king was made more real by listening to it. And, if you are listening and working at the same time, be quick to pause the playback when you need to step away. I kept forgetting to do that and then I’d come back and find that 5 or 6 chapters had gone by while I was helping my daughter with something. So just quickly press pause beforehand, you don’t want to miss a single verse!
Where to Listen to the Bible
The app I use for listening to the Bible is from a ministry called Faith Comes By Hearing. They work to distribute the audio Bible in many languages in third-world countries. But they also have an amazing free app called Bible.Is. Their recording is the ESV translation of the Bible and it is dramatized. There are different voices for each person that speaks and there are background noises (like birds, bugs, fires crackling, trumpets sounding, etc.). I’ll link to the app in the description of this episode. I found the dramatization to be helpful as I was listening to the Scriptures to catch up with my month-long plan. It kept me attentive and made the Scriptures easier to focus on.
Listening to the Bible was a great way to fit in more Scripture throughout my day. I think this is a practice I want to keep up even when I’m not trying to go through the whole Bible in one month.
3. Getting up early is worthwhile when it comes to Bible reading.
But because I was going through the whole Bible last month, it really helped me get back into a routine of getting up early in order to have time to read. That is the 3rd lesson I learned by reading the whole Bible in a month: getting up early is worth it!
I used to get up super early all the time before I became a mom. Since then, it’s usually been easier for me to save nap time for Bible study and reading. But this challenge to read the whole Bible in a month was a great time to start waking up early in order to read.
Waking up early has helped me so much that I would really encourage you to give it a try as well. The first few days of waking early are difficult. But if you can persevere and get in a groove of actually getting up at an early alarm (not pressing snooze), then I know you’ll find the peace and quiet before the storm of the day to be a refreshing time with God’s Word and with God. Even if you just wake up 20 minutes before everyone else, it can make a big difference.
I’ve always been a morning person, I would much rather wake up at 5AM to read than stay up late at night. But even then, I try to have a little routine when I first wake up early that sets me up for a good time in God’s Word. And if you are not a morning person like me, having a quick wake up routine can really help to start your day. It’s just something as simple as washing my face with water to wake up a bit and get a drink of water from the kitchen before I sit down to read. I also try to not be too cozy while reading so that I don’t want to go back to sleep again. And please make sure you turn on enough light to read properly when the sun’s not up yet, that’ll keep you awake too! I always try to begin my reading time with a short prayer of, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” Those words are Samuel’s response when God called him into His service at 1 Samuel 3:9.
God does always speak to us through His Word, whether we read it all in a month or just a chapter a day. Whether we listen while doing chores or wake up super early to read. He will show us His will and His character through His Word. And when I read through the Bible this past month, God showed me the big picture of the overall biblical narrative.
4. You will learn the big picture of each book and the overall biblical narrative.
That is the fourth lesson I learned this month: the big picture of all of the Scriptures is God’s redemption plan. As I read and listened this month, I loved seeing the big sweeping picture of God’s redemption plan throughout the Scriptures.
When you are reading that many chapters in one sitting, you are not going to be looking for small, minute details. I was not marking every reference to God, looking for certain repeated words, or looking up verses in a commentary. Now, each of those things has a place in your personal Bible study, but not during a challenge like reading the whole Bible in a month.
Reading that much in a month reminded me that the Bible is vast. I will spend my whole life reading and studying it and never know it all. And it is also vast in that it speaks to all areas of life. God has given us so many clear instructions in the Bible and clear examples to follow which made me very thankful.
The Bible is not only vast, but it is all about God’s redemption culminating in Christ. God’s full redemption story lives in the pages of your Bible and reading so much of it at a time helped me to see God’s plan throughout all the years and through all the things that happen in the Bible.
I could really see those big, sweeping brush strokes of God’s painting of redemption as I read. I especially saw it in the first book of Genesis. God starts the whole world, the people fail and bring in sin, but right away, God promises a Savior to them. Then in 1 & 2 Kings, God always has a remnant, always. Even though each king rises and falls whether he was evil or good, There’s a remnant of God’s people. In the prophets, devastation and destruction abound, but God still points His people to the coming Savior and saves a remnant for Himself. Then in the New Testament, all of the longing is over and Jesus comes, fulfilling all of the prophecies and bringing actual redemption through His sacrifice on the cross. And the rest of the New Testament shows us how to live in light of what Jesus did at calvary, how to live now that we’ve been redeemed.
Then, as I got to Revelation, the last book of the Bible, I was so encouraged by the description of God’s heavenly kingdom to come. To think that God would be gracious to save us with His only Son’s sacrifice, then provide instructions for us to live and please Him, and then, after all is said and done, He will take us home to be with Him for eternity… What kind of God is this except the most gracious, loving, and kind?
And I don’t think I would’ve had that great picture of redemption in my head without reading through the Bible so quickly. Reading that much laid a solid foundation on which to build my appreciation for God and His careful, faithful plan throughout history to bring His people to Himself. It made me think of Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good to those who love Him.” That verse is usually thought of in hard times or when facing a difficulty. But as I read through the Bible this past month, I thought of it often. There’s not a moment that God is not working for our good, He’s always been working toward redemption for His people. In Genesis, in Judges, in the prophets, and in the New Testament. And then I felt exactly like Paul who wrote in Romans 11:33-36, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to HIm that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”
Conclusion: You Should Read Your Bible in One Month!
As you can see, reading through the whole Bible in a month taught me a lot. I found more time to be in God’s Word and by both reading and listening to the Scriptures, God helped me to see His overarching plan of redemption and salvation in all of the Bible.
Obviously, I would highly recommend challenging yourself to read through the entire Bible in one month at some point. It does take a lot of time and effort to fit it all in. It’s doable and profitable, but maybe plan for a bit of extra reading time before you jump into it. Or be okay with listening to a lot of it as well. I definitely would not try to do it every single month. That’s just too much and I think you would lose focus after a couple months. But reading so much at once will definitely help you see the big picture of God’s redeeming work throughout the Bible and that’s very helpful for your daily life as a mom and homemaker.
We need daily reminders of God’s faithfulness in redemption. That big picture mindset you will get from reading the whole Bible in a month will stick with you as you read more Scripture and as you live your daily life pursuing faithfulness.
If you do decide you want to give it a try, I’ve created a Bible-In-A-Month reading plan and it’s available for you on my blog which I’ll link in the description of this episode. If you decide not to give it a try, that’s totally okay! Just be sure to be in your Bible, at whatever amount, every day. Remember that the Bible is living and active, no matter how much of it we read each month. Have a great day today and thanks so much for listening.