The New Year is less than a week away - and we've challenged ourselves to read through the Bible in the first 180 days of 2018. It sounds a little daunting right now, but all we need is faithfulness for one day at a time, and I believe God will show us His own faithfulness in even greater measures. I can't wait.
Before we get started, here's a quick checklist to go over and make sure you're all set:
I've written out the complete 180-day reading plan on a single sheet of paper, so that you can easily print it and tuck it in your Bible. You can download it here.
If you have Facebook and you'd like to join our little community, click here! This will be a great place to share insights and encouragement with others, and to be held accountable to stick with it. If you don't have Facebook, no big deal - you'll still get my weekly resource emails!
3. Sketch out a (flexible!) plan
As you look at your reading plan printout, you'll notice that along with your chronological reading, you'll be reading one Psalm per day. You'll also notice that Sunday of each week is a day of rest, with no scheduled reading.
I encourage you to think about how you'll make this schedule work for you. You may want to use the day's Psalm as a morning prayer or evening worship, and do the rest of the assigned reading during a different part of the day. Or maybe it would work better for you to read all six Psalms on your day of rest, rather than throughout the week. Maybe your rest day will become a day of prayer and meditation on what you've read, or maybe you'll need to use it to catch up if you've gotten behind.
The most important thing is this: make it work for you. And then be flexible in case what works for you needs to change.
Remember, the Bible is a cohesive story of God's work, starting from the foundations of the world and ending with a vision of the New Heaven and New Earth. It helps to start with a solid bird's-eye view of this story so that you can set each day's reading in its context.
5. Watch for your weekly email
Every week, I'll be sending out an email on your rest day (Sunday) outlining the upcoming week's reading schedule and some of my thoughts and insights on what we'll be reading.
This email will also include two different video overviews of each book you'll be reading that week. One of them will be from The Bible Project's "Read Scripture" series, which outlines the background and key points of each Biblical book in about 5-7 minutes. If you want to go a little deeper, I'll also include a video from my alma mater's "One Hour One Book" series. I want to make these available so that you never feel lost in what's going on, but don't feel pressured to go through all of them if it's going to make the schedule too demanding.
Any other resources I've found helpful will be included in your email as well, so make sure you don't miss it! Especially helpful will be the timeline of the prophets and the outline of the kings of Israel and Judah, which I'll send once we get into those portions of the Old Testament.
6. Don't give up!
Remember - you're not doing this alone.
Remember - 180 days isn't a magical number. If it takes you longer, it's okay.
Remember - the only real reason we do this is to know our God more intimately. If we come out of this experience knowing Him even a tiny bit better and walking even a little nearer with Him, it is enough.
Let's do this!