Some Advice For Your Bible Reading This Year January 8, 2020


We are one week into the new year. How are you doing with your devotional Bible reading so far? Many believers begin at the first of the year with some goal. Perhaps you have already started. For many of us the first weeks of the year are fairly easy…then comes the daily grind. The routines of life have a way of distracting us from what truly matters.

Remember that our time in God’s Word is a marathon – not a sprint. The goal is not to be in the Word for a short period of time but to live in the Word for the rest of your life.

Take a new challenge. I have heard of several friends who are reading through God’s Word in the next 30 days. Wonderful! The fact that they are doing it together helps with accountability. Here are a few ways of approaching God’s Word that I have enjoyed most:

  • Read the Bible chronologically. Dr. Ed Reese was the first man to ever challenge me with this idea through his Reese Chronological Bible. There are a number of helpful chronological plans available online. The one I am currently using is called “Reading God’s Story: One-Year Chronological Plan” on the YouVersion app. This method of reading helps to you to put the pieces together, to see the flow of Scripture and events. It is very helpful.
  • Read the Bible in 90 days. I did this at the beginning of one year and was so helped by it. The secret is in reading great sections of Scripture together; it gives you a greater understanding of recurring themes. The goal of all Bible reading should be to live a Scripture-saturated life. This is one way to do it. And it is doable by reading 10-12 chapters each day.
  • Read a Proverb every day. This is a good way to start or end your day and can be done at the time you are not doing your primary Bible reading. We all need wisdom! Proverbs is both a reminder of that and a resource for it.
  • Read one book at a time. Pick a book and live in it until you finish. There are 66 in the divine library and they all are unique and rich. As you slow down and meditate and pray through a book of the Bible you will discover much that you have missed in the past.

Set attainable goals. The key to effective reading of Scripture is not reading a certain number of chapters but reading until you know God has spoken. The Word should lead you to worship. Read God’s Word listening for His voice and ready to respond in prayer. Talk to God about what He is talking to you about. This will make your Bible reading more of a conversation and less of a chore.

Variety, variety, variety. If you are like me you can grow bored with a system. Never allow that to allow you to grow bored with God’s Word! Change up what you are doing if you find yourself in a rut. Dr. Frank Sells said, “Never be a slave to anything but Jesus.” The “plan” you are on is merely a guide. God may give you a divine detour one day to another place in Scripture. That’s ok. Remember that the goal is God.

Come to every Scripture, every day with expectancy. Right now you may be in a portion of Scripture that is familiar. Soon you will be in the genealogical record of Chronicles! Never forget that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable” (2 Timothy 3:16). Come hungry and you will be fed. Come looking and you will find. Come listening and you will hear. Do not skip or skim any passage. Let the Lord be thorough with you as you are thorough with His Word.

I would love to hear what God has led you to do this year. Comment below with any suggestions and ideas you would like to share. May God bless you as you read, meditate, and live the Word this year!

You may want to join our 10 minute Bible study podcast each day as an aid to your time in Scripture. We would love to have you! Listen to “Enjoying The Journey” at or on your favorite podcast player.

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  1. Nicholas Holmstedt on January 8, 2020 at 8:58 AM

    Bro Pauley,
    My Bible reading goals are as follows:

    Morning Reading: Reading through the books of the Bible in alphabetical order.
    Evening Reading: Reading through the Reese Chronological Bible.

    When your reading feels discouraging (or like a grind), remember that we are told to give attendance to reading (I Tim. 4:13), and those who read God’s Word are blessed (Rev. 1:3).

    In Christ,
    I Samuel 12:24

    • Scott Pauley on January 20, 2020 at 10:38 AM

      That’s tremendous. Keep on my friend!

  2. Pastor Michael Smith on January 8, 2020 at 9:03 AM

    In 2019, multiple members of our church did the Bible in a Year straight through together, and the Lord often led me to preach Sunday morning from a passage that was read that week. In 2020, we are doing it again, but we started with the New Testament first. Having multiple people within the church reading together is such a blessing, and I have encouraged accountability partners and texting daily comments to each other.

    The previous pastor’s widowed wife that still attends our church shared something with me that her husband and her used to do together, and I have adopted that in my daily devotions. It is called SOAP. Since the Word of God is our cleansing agent (Psalm 119:9), we can call it our SOAP. It is used as an acronym that stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. Whatever Scripture you read each day, write down at least one observation that spoke to you, then write down how you can apply it to your life, and then write down a one sentence prayer to thank God for that Scripture and ask Him to help you apply it!

    • Scott Pauley on January 20, 2020 at 10:37 AM

      I love that! Appreciate you sharing. God bless you all.

  3. Pete Knickerbocker on January 15, 2020 at 2:17 AM

    Dear Brother Scott,
    I enjoy following you and thrill to watch how the Lord is using you.
    For the last 10 years I have developed a Bible reading plan that works for me
    I read 2 chapters in the OT
    One Psalm
    A portion of Proverbes
    A chapter or less in the NT.
    When I was a full-time missionary I did this
    When I took up secular work I said I am going to do what I have challenged others to do for years.
    So by God’s grace I have kept read through the Bible yearly.
    This year with my fiancée we are reading the Bible through together what a blessing.
    Keep on keeping on. And thanks for the encouragement.

    • Scott Pauley on January 20, 2020 at 10:36 AM

      That is a great plan. God bless you my friend with the most fruitful year yet!

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