2 Simple and Critical Bible Reading Plan Hacks

It’s the New Year.  Cue tons of blog posts about Bible Reading plans.

If you’re like me, you’ve struggled with Bible Reading plans.  You start, you stop, you start again, you hit the book of Numbers and fall asleep, you get behind, you get discouraged, and eventually… you quit and resign yourself to the fact that you are a sub-par Christian.

If that describes your experience at all, let me introduce you to two simple and critical hacks that have been super helpful to me.  I hope you’ll also see the significance of this post going up on January 2nd.

Here’s how it works:

1.  Start with a Bible Reading Plan

My plan of choice is the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan.  You can snag a copy HERE.  I like it because it is structured to take me through the Psalms and New Testament twice and the entire Old Testament once.  I also enjoy reading in four different places at once in the Bible for breadth.

2.  Print It Off 

This step is actually important to me.  I print off the plan, fold it in half, and stash it inside the front cover of my bible.  I get a sick sense of satisfaction of literally crossing off the days as I progress through the year.  The hard copy is also going to come in handy at Step 4.

So far so normal...

3. Cover Up the Dates

This is the first simple and critical hack.  Covering up the dates allows you to progress through the plan at your pace, not theirs.  It converts a “yearly bible reading plan” into, simply, a “bible reading plan.”  For me, this takes pressure off to “keep up” (something, I’m almost guaranteed not to do) and it removes a level of self-imposed guilt if I fall behind. 

If you fall behind or miss a day, no big deal.  Just start again tomorrow where you left off last.  The goal is that you’re progressing through the Bible.  The goal is not “keeping up with the plan."

Using the copy of the plan linked above, I simply cross out the months in each section.  The dates are small and unobtrusive and don’t need literal covering up for me.

4. Start in the Psalms

This is the second simple and critical hack.  After printing off your copy of the M’Cheyne plan and ignoring the dates, start in the Psalms.  The Psalms are simple, devotional, and you are almost always going to feel encouraged, challenged, or personally helped in reading them.

This is an “easy entry-point” for getting going with reading the Bible on a regular basis.

Per the linked plan above, this means you’d start with the readings for either April 1st or August 4th.  Remember: the dates are irrelevant.

I suggest starting at April 1st because this also throws you into Proverbs (again, very practical, simple and helpful) and it helps you get Leviticus out of the way early :)

Getting Started

Taking all of the above into account, whether you start today, tomorrow, or on May 21st, the first day you’d read: Leviticus 4; Psalms 1-2; Proverbs 19; and Colossians 2 (i.e. April 1 readings). 

The next day (or the day after if your kid woke up puking at 5am on day 2 and there’s no way you’re getting your bible reading in), you’d read: Leviticus 5; Psalms 3-4; Proverbs 20; and Colossians 3.

Happy New Year.  Happy Bible Reading Year.