Read Through the Bible in One Year – In Chronological Order
Create in me a pure heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Most Americans have heard Psalm 51 verse 10 many times throughout their lives. “Create in me a pure heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (NIV) For the past couple of years I have lead a group of Bible readers at our church. The goal being to accomplish the reading of the entire Bible in one year. Prior to bringing the idea to our congregation I had spent several weeks going back in forth in my mind, is this my idea or is this from the Lord? Finally one week before such a program would start I quit arguing with the Lord and opened the laptop and send an email out.
At first the response was somewhat of a trickle, and after three days I thought, good there are 6 of us reading; this will be fun. Then after I stood up in church turning red, as I usually do when public speaking, and announced how exciting it was to have 9 (a couple more had signed up) of our church family reading the Bible together everyone seemed to “get it” at the same time and before January 1st 2012 we had formed the 2012 Club with over 40 people.
Once a week I sent out the next Bible readings. The program I choose divided the Bible into 7 sections: The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, Gospels and Epistles. Each day’s reading took from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, or for some, hours as they pulled out reference materials to futher research something just read. Even our minister and his wife joined the 2012 Club. Folks looked to me to be their cheerleader and I considered getting a tee shirt labeled “Bible Czarina” as I exhorted and encouraged one and all to crack open their Bibles. Sure a few dropped out telling me it was harder than they thought it would be to which I always encouraged them to at least read some Psalms everyday. The timing wasn’t right for everyone who signed up and some tried again in 2013.
At some point during 2012 I knew that the Lord expected me to continue encourage others to read His word with a Bible in a year program each year for the rest of my life. The 2013 Club had about 20 readers with a couple being like myself, determined to read the entire Bible every year. As our year drew to a close I do not know how many actually kept up with the program and I didn’t ask. My job is to provide the scripture readings and to encourage.
For several months I have had it on my heart that for the 2014 Club we will read the Bible in Chronological order in one year. Yeah, something different and for me, exciting as so many times as I read the Bible I feel a bit insecure as to exactly what time period is being referenced. I’ve mentioned this idea to a few with great results which brings me to the next part of my joy to encourage others to read the Bible; I would like to form a 2014 Club here at RedState. A weekly posting of scripture readings with an open thread for comments and encouragement.
Do you feel the strong spiritual urging to get into the word of God this year? At our church we learned that really only a handful of people had actually read the entire Bible. Most had read here and there, or along with a specific Bible study, or as the mood struck them. We have a 76 year old reader who last year read the Bible for the first time and it was amazing to hear her say things like, “oh I knew that was in the Bible but had never read it before” or “I didn’t know that”. It is definitely fun to be reading along and read something that people have been saying for years but never, ever referenced the Bible as to where the saying came from. We also had this sweet little Catholic lady who had never read the Bible for herself. She was like a child with her awe at what she read each day and so awesome to talk with especially when we were in the New Testament.
If it is allowed I’d like to post a diary every Sunday with the upcoming week’s scripture reading under the title Read Through the Bible in One Year. Normally I email out scripture assignments but as this forum is connected to disqus it would probably be a bad idea to post my email!
The following email was sent to our entire church family and to all the prayer warriors that receive emails from our prayer request hub. The response has been great which confirms that the Lord is speaking with many to return to His Word.
Blessings in the New Year to Everyone. Our 2014 Club will begin reading scriptures on Monday January 6th. The reading program this year is quite different as we will be exploring the Bible in chronological order each day. As always, the main goal is to accomplish reading the entire Bible in 1 year, however a secondary goal for many is to read every day.
Usually I try to encourage all I meet to read the Bible, even if it is only a Psalm a day. Just let me say that if you end up reading every single day throughout 2014 you will absolutely notice a change in your life, your attitude, your spiritual walk with the Lord. If you can’t read every single day but have “catch up” times, the good news is…you will absolutely notice a change in your life, your attitude, your spiritual walk with the Lord!
A chronological reading starts us in Genesis for the first few weeks, then moves to Job for a bit. Actually for the first few months everyone will feel like they are pretty much reading the Bible in the order listed. However later in the Spring we will be reading the Psalms in chronological order and it is quite different than their numbered order!
For those who want to sit down each day and read a few chapters, perhaps 2 from the Old Testament and 2 from the New Testament I would just like to encourage you to do that. Get that Bible open and read, however if you are ready to try something different, please commit to the 2014 Club.
The reading is different than what we have been doing and so are a few other aspects of our Bible reading club. For 2014 I am going to ask each reader to openly tell others what they are doing and to seek out those who are reading with them for discussion. We need to check in with each other and encourage. Due to health problems in 2013 I wasn’t able to wear my “bible czarina” hat and for 2014 let’s make sure we are all wearing that hat to encourage our fellow club members to keep on track.
One last difference, I have purchased the program we are going to follow and the booklet has information and interesting tidbits that will be passed along to you periodically. I would encourage you to use your regular Bible for the 2014 Club and not purchase a special chronological Bible. Just have this notion that the Lord is going to open up His Word in a wonderful way for us this year so use the Bible you are most comfortable with. Oh, by the way, did you sign up for the 2012 and 2013 Clubs and not achieve reading your Bible all the way through? Don’t let that stop you from trying again. We’re going to have fun this year…I need some Bible fun, how about you?
Your sister in Jesus, Elaine
Moderators, please let me know if this is acceptable but I guess first let’s wait and see if anyone is interested. Thank you. Mrs.eb