Toward the end of 2021 I started thinking about what goals I wanted to set for 2022. My esteemed friend Grayson Gilbert wrote an article about goals setting in the spirit of Jonathan Edwards. I find that setting S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals helps keep me from squandering my time and lays out a clear path for achieving what I want to get done. Doesn’t work for everyone but it does for me.
Among what I have come to refer to as “the classics” (losing those extra pounds, fiscal responsibility, home improvement projects, etc) are items that are uniquely Christian in nature (Prayer, Fasting, Memorizing Scripture, Giving, Bible intake, Faithfulness in family devotions, giving others the Gospel, etc).
I think every believer that I know usually tries to make it through their favorite Bible at least once per year. When it comes to tackling this yearly task a quick google search will bring a virtual buffet of Bible Reading Plans before your eyes.
There are three-month plans, five-days per week plans, seven-days per week plans, ½ year plans, big ones, small ones, or the old classic–making it Numbers and then giving up until next year. I wanted to stretch myself a bit and began searching for a plan that would allow me to read the entire Bible in one month. The only plan that I could find included the apocrypha, so I decided to make my own. (See Below or Click Here for a pdf file).
A Few Rules I Set for Myself
I wanted most of the reading to be actual reading not just passive listening with an audio Bible. However, I did make use of an audio Bible in two areas: first, listening to some sections during my 10-minute commute to work. Second, on days that I was having a particularly hard time focusing I would play the audio while I followed along in my own Bible (the only thing that I was missing was that little tinkling sound to tell me when to turn the page).
Only reading when I wasn’t at the office. To test the feasibility of this challenge I wanted to only check off chapters that were read outside of my normal work schedule. Being a Pastor, it would be easier (not easy) for me to lock myself away in my office and really knock this challenge out but instead it was before and after work only.
It was harder than I expected it to be – This is a lot of reading and takes large blocks of time to
accomplish. Because of the sheer amount of chapters that need read, getting behind on the schedule
(which I did a few times) felt a lot like being stuck in quicksand.
Time management was key – I got up early, went to bed late, and cut out nearly all media
consumption. If I had just tried to add this challenge into a “normal day”, I would never have gotten it done. I found that getting it done early in the morning before all my kids were awake was the best time).
Reading Vs Studying – keep in mind that you are NOT doing a deep study with this challenge.
Approaching it as a sweeping tour of the Biblical landscape really helped speed things up for me.
Changes in my thinking – I found that my mind was saturated throughout the day with the things of
God (more than usual).
It gave me something to brag about to my friends – ok this one is a joke. Just wanted to make sure
you were still reading.
It was totally worth it – This was perhaps my biggest take away. What a magnificent God we serve. I
didn’t miss the things that I cut out for a single second because I was getting to read my Lord’s Perfect Word from start to finish. The story of Redemption danced along the pages as I moved from the Garden to the throne Room of the Almighty at break-neck speed.
If you are looking for a challenging opportunity to really take in God’s Word, I would point you toward this month-long feast:
|Day||Old Testament||Psalm||Proverbs||Gospel||New Test.|
|1||Ge 1-24||Ps 1-5||1||Mt 1-3||Ac 1-6|
|2||Ge 25-49||Ps 6-10||2||Mt 4-6||Ac 7-12|
|3||Ge 50- Ex 23||Ps 11-15||3||Mt 7-9||Ac 13-18|
|4||Ex24-Lv 8||Ps 16-20||4||Mt 10-12||Ac 19-24|
|5||Lv 9-Nu 5||Ps 21-25||5||Mt 13-14||Ac 24-28|
|6||Num 6-30||Ps 26-30||6||Mt 15-17||Rom 1-5|
|7||Num 31 – D18||Ps 31-35||7||Mt 18-20||Rom 6-11|
|8||D19 -Jos 9||Ps 36-40||8||Mt 21-23||Rom12-16|
|9||Jos 10- Jud 9||Ps 41-45||9||Mt 24-26||1C 1-6|
|10||Jud 10 – 19||Ps 46-50||10||Mt 27-28||1C 7-12|
|11||Jud 20-1Sam 18||Ps 51-55||11||Mk 1-3||1C13-2C2|
|12||1Sam19-2Sam12||Ps 56-60||12||Mk 4-6||2C 3-8|
|13||2Sam 13- 1K 13||Ps 61-65||13||Mk 7-9||2C 9-13|
|14||1K 14- 2K 16||Ps 66-70||14||Mk 10-12||Gal 1-6|
|15||2K17-1 Chr 16||Ps 71-75||15||Mk 13-15||Eph 1-6|
|16||1Chr 17-2Chr 12||Ps 76-80||16||Mk 16-Lk1||Phil 1-3|
|17||2Chr 13-Ez 1||Ps 81-85||17||Lk 2-4||Phil4- Co4|
|18||Ez 2- Esther 3||Ps 86-90||18||Lk 5-7||1 Th 1-5|
|19||Esther 4 – Job 18||Ps 91-95||19||Lk 8-10||2Th 1-1T3|
|20||Job 19-42, Ecc 1||Ps 96-100||20||Lk 11-13||1T4-2T3|
|21||Ecc 2- Isa 6||Ps101-105||21||Lk 14-16||2T4-Phlm|
|22||Isa 7 – 31||Ps106-110||22||Lk 17-19||He 1-6|
|23||Isa 32 – 56||Ps111-115||23||Lk 20-22||He 7-12|
|24||Isa 57- Jer 15||Ps116-120||24||Lk 23-Jn1||He13-Ja5|
|25||Jer 16 – 40||Ps121-125||25||Jn 2- 4||1 Pt 1-5|
|26||Jer 41 – Ez 8||Ps126-130||26||Jn 5-7||2Pt 1-1Jn3|
|27||Ez 9 – 33||Ps131-135||27||Jn 8-10||1Jn4-2Jn|
|28||Ez 34 – Dan 10||Ps136-140||28||Jn 11-13||3Jn-Rev1|
|29||Dan 11 – Amos 5||Ps141-145||29||Jn 14-15||Rev2-7|
|30||Amos 6 – Zep 3||Ps146-150||30||Jn 16-18||Rev 8-13|
|31||Hag 2 – Mal 4||Ps 151||31||Jn 19-21||Rev 14-22|
This was a guest post from Blake Laberee. Blake is a husband, father of three, and the lead Pastor of a small Baptist Church in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministry and was a Youth Pastor for five years. Blake averages one book per week, is an avid outdoorsman, and is a fan of Phillies Baseball.