The Best Way to Read the Bible in One Year (Plus Motivation to Keep You Going)

how to read the bible in one year

Have you ever read the Bible in one year? I have made this commitment several times. Some years I have succeeded, and some years it took longer than planned. But I believe it is very important for everyone to read through the whole Bible at least once, if not multiple times. 

There are many ways to read through the Bible in a year. Some of those ways include: 

  • Chronologically- Read the Bible in the order that the events happened. 
  • Historical- Read the books of the Bible in the order they were written. 
  • Beginning to End- Read the Bible from cover to cover, Genesis to Revelation. 
  • Old and New Testament Together- Read portions of the Old and New Testament simultaneously. 

I have found that the best way to read the Bible in one year is to use some form of Bible reading plan that keeps you accountable and keeps track of where you’re at. 

Which kind of Bible reading plan should you choose? The one that sounds the most exciting to you! Whichever type causes the  most motivation to rise up in you is probably the one you should choose. 

There are many Bible reading plans that you can download on the internet. Here are some free ones: 

Most Bible reading plans have the Bible divided into books and chapters. Many of them are organized by date so that after you read what is assigned for that day, you can check it off. If you follow the plan, you will read through the entire Bible in a year. 

Some helpful tips I can give you that have helped me stay on track when using a Bible reading plan are:

  • You don’t have to go in order. If you feel led to read a certain book, read it and then check it off.
  • If you get behind, you can catch up. Maybe you’re busy for several days and have to catch up on the weekend. It’s fairly easy to read several chapters on a Saturday morning and get caught up.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the amount you have left. Remember this plan is for the entire year. Just focus on what you’re reading.

Picking your Bible reading plan and getting started is really the easy part. It’s the staying committed that most people have trouble with! This is why you may need some motivation. I have written this article so that if you are falling behind on your Bible reading plan, you can come back to this and get inspired to keep going. 

Even if you’ve never been much of a reader, you can become one! Reading the Bible can become a habit, something you do every day without even thinking about it. If you need help getting started, read 5 Tips to Start Reading the Bible On a Regular Basis

Why You Should Read the Bible in One Year

Reading through the Bible in one year may seem daunting, but you can do it! Maybe you’ve heard the old saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!”. Reading through the Bible is the same way. Just keep at it. Even if you miss days, keep at it. It may take you longer than a year, and that’s ok. The goal is to finish! 

You may think that only ministers or super religious people should read the whole Bible, but that’s not true. God wrote this book for every single believer, to benefit us and to set us free! 

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32 NKJV

Ok, so here are 5 motivating reasons you should read through the Bible in a year:

1. The Bible Reveals Jesus

The whole point of both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible is to point to the Living Word, Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. The Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus to you as you read the Bible. This is the most important purpose of reading the Bible- to see Jesus and know Him. Jesus is the Word made flesh. 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

Everything in the Old Testament points to the coming Messiah. The New Testament reveals Him as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Discovering Jesus in the Bible is so exciting. As you see Him, you are transformed into His same image. 

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

There is absolutely nothing on this earth that compares to knowing Jesus. He is so incredible, so inspiring, so loving, so amazing, so empowering, and so wise. As you get to know Him, you fall in love with Him. You find a friend that will stick closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). You find healing for your body and freedom for your soul. Within Jesus is everything you will ever need. As you become intimate with Him through the written Word, you will discover who God really is, and who you really are. Knowing Jesus changes everything.

2. The Bible Is The Sword Of The Spirit

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; Ephesians 6:17

The Word of God is likened to the sword of the spirit in Ephesians. When you speak it out loud, it is your offensive weapon against the curse of the law and the enemy that are operating in this fallen world. 

The curse found in Genesis 3 and Deuteronomy 28 delivers a life of bondage, sickness, poverty, anxiety, and every other destructive thing. BUT, thank God, Christ has redeemed you from the curse! 

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), Galatians 3:13

You are no longer under the curse! The enemy has no more right to bring destruction into your life, because you have been given the gift of righteousness.  This reality must be accepted and enforced in your life by the words of your mouth. 

When you speak the Word of God out loud, it becomes the sword of the spirit- a sword in the spirit realm, slicing through the things that come against you and enforcing the will of God in your life. The Word of God spoken is extremely powerful.

Jesus Himself used the written Word of God as the sword of the spirit when the devil came against Him in the wilderness (Matthew 4). 

Every time the devil tempted Him, Jesus responded with “It is written…”. If the Son of God used the written word as His sword and defense against the enemy, how much more should we!

3. The Bible is the Seed for Everything You Need

The Word of God is absolutely precious to me and I’ll tell you why. It reveals the covenant promises of God to you. The book of 2 Corinthians tells us that every promise in the Bible is for you, and God has already said yes. 

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20

Did you catch that? Every promise found in the Word of God is yes and amen to you! That’s really good news! We don’t have to wonder whether or not God will answer a prayer that He’s already said yes to. 

Many people want a harvest of good things in their life, so they beg and wish and hope, but they never actually plant the seed for what they want. 

In Mark 4, Jesus explains that the Word of God is like a seed. When it is planted in your heart, it will begin to sprout and grow. What does it produce? It produces what it says. Your heart is just like the ground. It will bring forth whatever you plant in it. This is why the book of Proverbs warns us to guard what is put into the ground of our hearts above all else (Proverbs 4:23). 

You must plant the Word in your heart like a seed! Whatever it is you need, plant the seed for it. There is a promise in the Bible for everything you could ever need.

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Luke 8:11

For example, when the doctors told me that the child in my womb was at risk for certain problems, I found where the Word of God says that my children shall be whole and healthy (Isaiah 54:13). This promise is for my children and for your children. I took hold of that promise and declared it over my child. My child was born perfectly healthy. The Word of God is an incorruptible seed (1 Peter 1:23) and always works.

When symptoms of sickness come against your body, plant the seeds of health from the Bible in your heart. When anxiety or distress are afflicting you, plant the seeds of peace. Anything you could possibly need in this life is covered in the Word of God. You are never without hope. 

He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Psalm 107:20

When my husband and I were believing to conceive a child, I found the promise in the Bible that says I am like a fruitful vine and my children would sit around my table (Psalm 128:3).

I took this promise and planted it in my heart by reading it and believing it. I spoke it out loud all the time to water the seed in my heart. Sure enough, this seed from God’s Word produced what it said it would produce. I shared this whole story in Prayer Can Help You Get Pregnant: Here’s How it Works.

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

Why can you believe that every promise is for you? Because Jesus has obtained them for you. He took your sin and gave you His righteousness in exchange. This is the magnificent grace of God. You don’t have to deserve or earn the promises. They are yours because of what Jesus has done. This is amazing grace!

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV

4. The Bible Will Train You to Hear the Voice of God 

I honestly can’t think of anything more precious than hearing the voice of God. One word from Him can change everything in your life. Many people struggle with hearing God for themselves. I have found that the more you read the Bible, the easier it is to hear the voice of God. 

God is always speaking, but the more we read the Bible, the more we recognize His voice. When you read the Bible, you learn His language and His ways. He is able to communicate with you more frequently because you are able to discern His voice from the voice of a stranger. 

And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. John 10:4-5 NKJV

This verse says that you follow God by knowing His voice. It’s so important to learn to recognize His voice when He speaks. Reading the Bible will enable you to do this.

When God speaks, He will always be in agreement with His written word. The more you know His Word, the more you are able to discern if it’s God speaking or not. This is so important in order to protect yourself from deception. I have seen strong believers go astray, and it always starts with the withdrawal from the written Word.

5. The Bible Will Equip You for Every God-Ordained Task

I’ve heard so many people say that God is teaching them through the hardships in their life.

While I believe God can teach you through any circumstance, hardships are not His preferred way of teaching you and preparing you! His primary way of teaching you, correcting you, and preparing you is through his Word.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV

The more you read the Bible, the more you feed your spirit and become spiritually strong. The Bible causes you to grow and mature (1 Peter 2:2) and learn to walk by the Spirit.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63 NKJV

God intended us to be spirit- led, meaning our spirits lead us rather than our soul or body. To be spirit-led is to be led by the Bible. The Holy Spirit will never do or say anything that disagrees with the written Word. They are one. As you become spirit-led, you begin discovering who you are in Christ.

Once you learn who you are in the spirit, the Lord will begin preparing you for your destiny through the Bible. The whole Bible is beneficial to your growth and will equip you for what you were created for.

Even the stories of the Old Testament were recorded for your benefit, so that you can learn from the lives of the Old testament saints and prophets.

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4 NKJV

The wisdom you need to have good success in this life is found in the Bible (Joshua 1:8). But it won’t do you any good sitting on your coffee table! The Bible has to be read, studied, and meditated upon.

The Bible is not like any other book. It is alive and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). It has the power to transform every area of your life. As you become one with the Holy Spirit, He will transform you into a living epistle of His incredible love (2 Corinthians 3:2-3), and that is a gift that has an eternal impact on everyone around you.


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