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 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!
Well, this scenario used to be me on a daily basis. But you know what changed my Bible reading the time the most as a mom? Using a Bible Reading Plan.
First off, let’s answer a simple question, why should we be reading our Bibles?
We are called to know and love the Scriptures that God has given us. The most meaningful example of this for me is what David wrote in Psalm 119. That Psalm is 176 verses of praises and benefits of knowing the Scriptures. David loved them! And how can we come to know and love the Scriptures like that without reading them on a regular basis?
And when we look to the New Testament, Jesus constantly quoted Scripture, elevating it to a high place and showing us that we need to know it as well. And then in the epistles we are encouraged to encourage one another with Scripture and Psalms. How can we do all of this if we aren’t reading the Bible every day? So it is clear that we need to be immersed in the Words of Scripture. They are truly the Words of life because they come directly from God and we need them to live each day of our lives here on earth.
But reading your Bible daily can be very difficult. This is especially true when you have little kids and lots of responsibilities in your home as a mom. A lot of times we do have a few minutes throughout the day to be quiet or sit with our phones. But it’s what we do with those minutes that has always been hard for me. That’s why I love having and using a Bible reading plan for my daily Bible reading.
Creating a Bible Reading Habit
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 daily.
Personally, I have been using some form of a Bible reading plan since I was a teenager and they have helped me tremendously in making a habit out of daily Bible reading.
But how can you choose one that is right for you? Here are my tips to help you choose a Bible reading plan:
Think About Your Time
When looking at Bible reading plans 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.
If you would like to, be sure to follow me on Instagram where I’ll be sharing my Bible reading plan for this summer and you can be accountable in a way over there.
You could also simply use your phone to set some reminders about reading the Bible. Whatever tool you have to help remember your Bible, use it!
Of course, In person accountability is always better. 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. And it can be super helpful when you can discuss what you’re reading with another person.
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, let’s completely get rid of this one.
So, when you’re looking at the plans, make sure you can print it. 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 you’re ready to choose, I will share the plans that I have used myself over the years and that I would recommend. They will all be linked over on my blog so that you can find them and easily print it for your own Bible!
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 which means you’ll read the whole Bible from September to May. They also have certain days that are labeled as “catch up” days in this plan, they are nice for doing just that, catching up when you’ve missed a few days.
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 that I have personally used for the last several years and I’ve really appreciated it. The reading for the whole Bible starts in September. But they also have one for the summer months that takes you through the New Testament and Psalms.
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 and it begins in January, ending in December each year.
I think this Bible reading plan helps you see the whole scheme of the entire Bible and how God has worked throughout history to bring salvation and redemption to His people.
Some friends of mine use this plan every single year and have read through the entire Bible with it for 15 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!
I think this plan is very helpful in finding different connections in Scripture. It also keeps the Bibler reading fresh each day because you aren’t reading through the same passages together twice. It is 10 chapters a day though, so just be sure you have enough time for that long of a reading.
Psalms of the Summer Bible Reading Plan
The last Bible reading plan is actually my favorite because I made it up for myself this summer! It’s called the Psalms of the Summer Bible reading Plan and it is available on my blog. This plan will take you through the book of Psalms 3 times throughout this summer. Once in June, once in July, and once in August. And there are 3 Psalms selected to memorize along with your Bible reading.
Why am I reading through Psalms so much this summer? Well, I have actually dedicated the last 3 summers to studying the Psalms exclusively in my quiet times and Bible readings. It has been so encouraging to really dig deeply into this book of the Bible throughout the summertime months. I also realized that when I use the Bible Reading Challenge plan throughout the year, I am only reading a Psalms here or there along with another passage. I believe the book of Psalms should be read in order and studied that way. So when I have the extra time in the summer, I read through the Psalms chapter by chapter… and it’s amazing!
I’d love for you to join me in reading through the Psalms this summer. I know I will need accountability as I am going to have a newborn this summer! So please click over to my blog and download the free Bible reading plan for the Psalms of the Summer. Print it and stick it in your Bible to start reading on June 1st with me.
Just Start Today!
And that is where we want to end, with you starting a Bible reading plan! I hope that my tips today can help you find a plan that will work for you.
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.
So, whichever plan you choose, print it out and start reading today. It doesn’t matter if you’re not “on track.” What matters is that you commit time to studying God’s Word and create that habit of being in the Bible daily.
All of the plans I mentioned are linked on my blog at naptimetheologian.com. Thank you for listening today!