Start the new year with a Bible reading plan

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One of the fastest and most effective ways to build faith is by reading God’s word.

You can’t help but be impacted in some way by the life-changing book. Reading the Bible is one of the key disciplines common to Christians who take their faith seriously.

I’ll admit that I dabbled in reading the Bible for years, often considering a daily devotional to be a “Bible study.”

Then I joined a disciple-making group called Plethos Global. One of their foundational teachings is that daily systematic study of God’s word is the No. 1 keystone habit that defines a committed Christian.

“Systematic Bible reading and having a way to hold yourself accountable to practice what you learn is one habit that will change your life,” the Plathos Life Plan reads. “We have been given the words of life. Let’s crave it and practice it with God’s power.”

Reading the Bible tells us exactly what God wants us to be and to do.

Acting on their advice, I selected a plan through the free YouVersion Bible app (available for Apple and Android devices) and read the entire book from cover to cover in just over a year.

With the whole story, I could see God’s plan clearly and put the Old Testament and New Testament in their proper context.

It also meant that I wouldn’t have to stumble for an answer if I bumped into Amos along the streets of heaven only to have him ask me what I thought of his book. Eternity is a long time to avoid an author!

Seriously, as the new year approaches, I would strongly encourage everyone to begin a systematic daily plan to read the Bible. You don’t have to do the entire Bible in a year, like I did. There are many options to choose from.

Ligonier published a list of free reading plans on their website. Some take a year to complete, while others can take one or two years. Some plans are flexible and some are intense.

Regardless of the plan, the goal is the same — to read the every word of the Bible.

The key point is that in order to really understand who God is and what his plan is for your life, you need to study the messages he has given us. Allow God to speak to your heart.

“Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

Hebrews 4:12-13 teaches, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

Not only will you learn more about who God is, but you will also learn more about who you are, too.

I’ll be restarting You Version’s Bible in a Year plan on January 1.

It never ceases to amaze me how often passages relevant to my situation always seem to pounce off the pages, and I wonder how I missed it the 100 other times I may have read those words.

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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