Every couple of years I read my Bible through. I usually just start in Genesis and read a few chapters a day until I reach the end of Revelation. I've used other methods (chronological, daily mix of old and new testaments, etc.) but for the most part I just read it from beginning to end.
I was talking to some of my book club friends about it and by and large everyone said about the same thing. We all start out strong but then you quickly come upon Leviticus and Numbers. We all acknowledged that those books are important . . . but boy are they tedious to get through!
As I began thinking about ways to make reading through your Bible more doable a concept kept coming to the forefront of my mind. We've been working through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace using the baby steps he outlines. If you are familiar with the program you know that step 2 is creating a debt snowball.
To do a debt snowball you list out all of your debts and pick the one with the smallest balance and pay it off. Then you move on to the next smallest and just keep paying them off. You don't look at interest rates or things like that you just do the smallest debt first and keep going. Trust me when I say that this works! You quickly get a sense of accomplishment and motivation to power through the rest.
So . . . what if you used that same principle to read the Bible? Start with the smallest books and read them through and then move on to the next batch until you have finished the entire Bible. The more I thought about this the more excited I became.
I decided to put together a booklet for my fauxdori that I could use to track my reading. My dashboard is called "1st Things First". On the first page I printed the 2017 Habit Tracker from Illustrated Faith. I like the way I can hold myself accountable just by coloring in the dots for every day that I read.
For the rest of the pages I just made a table with the number of chapters for each book of the Bible. As I read a chapter I'll color the cell in. My booklet turned out a little wonky (I need to fix the margins) so for now I'm not offering it as a download. It would be quite easy for you to make your own and I'm betting you can be a bit more creative than I was.
Did you know that there are five books of the Bible that only contain one chapter? So if you think in terms of snowball effect you can easily read FIVE books of the Bible in five days if you only read a chapter a day. Now if that doesn't make you feel like you've accomplished something I don't know what else will!
Here's the list of books by chapter length:
Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude
Joel, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, 2 Thessalonians, Titus, and 2 Peter
Ruth, Jonah, Malachi, Philippians, Colossians, and 2 Timothy
Lamentations, 1 Thessalonians, James, 1 Peter, and 1 John
Galatians, Ephesians, and 1 Timothy
Song of Songs
Ezra, and Esther
Ecclesiastes, and Daniel
Nehemiah, 2 Corinthians, and Hebrews
Hosea, and Zechariah
Mark, Romans, and 1 Corinthians
Judges, and John
1 Kings, and Revelation
Joshua, 2 Samuel, and Luke
Matthew, and Acts
1 Samuel, and Proverbs
Numbers, and 2 Chronicles
If you follow this you will have read FOURTEEN books by the end of the first month just by reading a chapter a day. Now the truth is that some of these chapters are pretty short so you may wind up reading more than a chapter a day. Can you say SCORE?
Let me tell you about one more thing that I do that I count in my booklet. I also count the chapters that I read in the devotionals that I follow along on a daily basis (as long as it is a full chapter). For example I am currently reading the book of Psalms with the Lifeway Women in their 40 Days of Prayer. I also read She Reads Truth every day and we are currently reading through the book of John.
Doing this method has made me realize that I read more of the Word each day than I thought. Thank you Jesus for revealing this to me. Even though I'm a crazy reader (some might say addicted reader) I still need the affirmation that I'm diving into the Word daily.
I hope that this will be an encouragement for you too. I'd love for you to share the idea with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram but more importantly I'd love to hear what you think of this approach. I'm tickled with it and want to hear how it's working for you. Tag us @RambleSAHM so we can follow along on your journey to read your Bible through this year!