Catch Up! The Tortoise Approach to a Bible-in-Eleven-Months Plan
So, you wanted to read the Bible in a year, January is nearly over, and you never got started. Now you’ve pretty much decided to put that goal on the shelf until next year. It was good in theory and all, but American life has once again succeeded in distracting you. Oh, well. “There’s always next year. I’ll just do an intensive study of Job or something while I wait for that big ball to drop.”
What if I was to tell you, though, that catching up in a “Bible-in-a-Year” program isn’t as difficult as you think? What if being a month behind didn’t mean that you have to read 20 chapters a day just to get caught up? It’s really not as daunting a task as you think, and there’s still hope for you who still want to get into this thing.
My wife and I are doing the McCheyne Bible-in-a-Year study. It is a very family friendly study in that it incorporates personal Bible study with household Bible study. Each individual is expected, in this type of study, to read approximately two chapters a day from two separate parts of the Bible. Then, the household comes together at night (family, young married couple, college roommates, etc.) and corporately reads, in general, two more chapters together from two other parts of the Bible. Built into this system is a definite sense of accountability and washing with the word. There are others that can be just as beneficial. This is not one size fits all. Be sure and do your research.
“But,” you interject, “it’s almost February. I have no hope of catching up, now.” Not so fast. In the process of reading through the Bible together, my wife and I have gotten behind many times, and we could have killed ourselves trying to get caught up (figuratively speaking of course). We chose not to, however. Here’s what we suggest for those of you who still would like to get into a “Bible-in-a-Year” program and don’t want to tear your hair out doing so:
Step One: Find the study that’s right for you. There are many different approaches out there. Find the one that’s just right for you and your household.
Step Two: Make sure that you are not in it alone, unless you are simply a self-driven person and you are not part of a family unit.
Step Three: Make sure that even doing a “Bible-in-a-Year” program is right for you. Some people benefit more from doing a book at a time over the span of 5 years, as opposed to reading the entire Bible in one year. The most important issue is that you strive to be in the word daily. It is, after all, one of the few means of grace the Lord has left at our disposal.
Step Four: Don’t get in a hurry. Sprinting can lead to fatigue and burn out. Take your time. If you need to, just spend the first month doing the January study before attempting to add any extra reading. DON’T TRY TO CRAM A MONTH WORTH OR READING INTO A WEEK!!
Step Five: When you do begin the catch up process, do it a chapter at a time. Read an extra chapter a day, and within a few to six months you should be caught up.
Step Six: Couple it all with prayer and thanksgiving to the amazing God who, though He was completely transcendent, saw fit to stoop down and reveal Himself to us through what has been made (both seen and unseen), through His Son who became flesh that He may save us from the penalty of our sins, and through the divinely inspired, inerrant, and infallible word of God: the Bible.
Give me some feedback. I’d love to know if this was of any benefit to any of you. God bless you.
William F. Leonhart III