If you want to be successful this year when it comes to cultivating the regular practice of reading and studying the Bible, there are a couple of things that are important to keep in mind as you begin.
First of all, you need to find a time that works best for you in your schedule. All of us have busy lives. There are kids to get ready for school, deadlines that have to be met at work, and dance recitals to attend. If you do not make the time to read your Bible, you won’t. Don’t fall into the trap of waiting for the right time. We always make time for what is most important to us. If corporate worship is important to us, we make it priority. If sharing the gospel is important to us, we make the time to do it. And if uninterrupted time with God in His Word is important to you, then you need to carve out the time in your schedule. The best time for me is early in the morning before I begin my day. For some of you, maybe the best time is late in the evening before you go to bed. Regardless of what time you choose to read and study God’s Word, the important thing to remember is that you intentionally make the time to do so.
Next, I would encourage you to get your hands on a good study Bible. You can visit a local Lifeway store and pick up one. My personal favorite is the ESV Study Bible. It is thick and heavy, but don’t let that scare you away. A study Bible is good for background studies, historical context, and important notes to help you understand key theological concepts. One of the advantages to studying through the Bible by following a yearly plan is that it helps you break down the reading into daily, manageable sections. The Scarlet Thread Reading Plan consists of only two to three chapters a day. The study notes from a good study Bible can serve as helpful commentary to teach you and help you process the scriptures. Of course, nothing can ever substitute for the presence of the Holy Spirit. He teaches us and guides us into all truth by testifying of Christ.
If you’ve never read through the Bible before, let me tell you that you are in for a wonderful journey in 2017! My prayer for you is that this year becomes a year of great growth in your life. The most important thing for you to remember is that the Author of the book is with you as you read! It just doesn’t get any better than that.