I made a commitment to read through the entire Bible this year using a One Year Catholic Bible. And I did! Now I’m going to share with you why I think you should too. I gained so much from my daily Bible reading. Now, when I say daily, just know there were a couple of times I had to read a day or two at a time because I had gotten a little behind. But, those days were few and far between and I ended up finishing ahead of schedule!
Why Read the Bible in a Year?
The shortest and simplest answer is, “Because it’s the Word of God.” I know, we all already know that. But I sometimes wonder if we really know it. If we really and truly believe our Bible is the Word of God and the Word of God is living and active as the Scriptures say, then why would we not read the Bible in a year? Why would we not make an intentional effort to spend at least a few minutes every day with the Word of God in our hands, in our hearts and minds and on our lips?
We can read all the live long day about God but I am telling you, there is no substitute for reading the actual Word from God. There is something eternally connective when something we’ve previously read in our Bible suddenly comes to mind at just the right moment. There is something Divinely comforting when a Scriptural word of encouragement for ourselves or others is on our lips.
How to Read the Bible in a Year
Without sounding cliche or trite, the best way to start reading the Bible in a year is to start reading the Bible. Now, there are some things you can do in preparation to help make it easier by removing obstacles, just make sure you don’t get hung up in the preparations and miss out on the actual application of sitting down and reading.
The first thing you need is a Bible. Choose the one that you want to read, not what others are reading. Translation, size, shape, feel, font-size, etc. all of these details can make a big difference.
I have tried to read my Bible in a year using a translation I thought was supposed to be the better translation. I tried using a translation everyone else was using. I tried using the exact Bible everyone was using. I tried using the reading plan was everyone was using. I tried using the app everyone was using. Fail…fail…fail…
Actually go to the store and hold the different Bibles. Pay attention to the ones you are drawn to, why? Notice how one feels different in your hand over the others.
Next, make a tentative plan for when–morning, afternoon, evening, before bed, etc. and where–comfy chair, kitchen table, school pick-up line, bed, kitchen counter, etc.
Finally, the literal how? I set two “rules” for myself to read my Bible in a year. The first one was, If I thought it, I wrote it in the margin or on a sticky note attached to the page. I have written, “Wow!…Ugh!!…What in the world?!?!” I’ve had more reflective thoughts as well, “Stand your ground…Every sin we commit leaves a footprint…Sometimes I won’t understand it until God reveals it…”
The second “rule” as if it made me think if it gave me even the slightest pause, I underlined it and then when I finished reading for the day, I went back over it with a highlighter.
Speaking of underlining and highlighting. I used whatever pen I had close by and I grabbed whatever color highlighter was closest to me. No color coding, no fancy pens, no worry about bleed through, etc. Just a pen and a highlighter.
The One Year Catholic Bible
Last year I purchased a One Year Bible New Living Translation. I had compared different translations online and found this one most pleasing for everyday reading. I do not use this translation for study or memorization. This is strictly my “get the Word into me on a daily basis” Bible and I LOVE the NLT for this purpose. I liked that the readings were sectioned off by day so all I needed was my Bible–no extra reading plan, no journal, nothing else.
I also purchased it used from Amazon, no markings, good binding. I did not want to be afraid of this Bible! I didn’t want to worry if the pages crinkled, the pens bled through, the cover got spilled on, etc. Let me repeat myself, I did not want to be afraid of this Bible! I wanted to use this Bible every single day of the year.
What’s next for me or you? For you, I hope you’ll make a decision to read the Bible in its entirety this year. I hope you have a desire to get to know more about God from His Word and not solely on the words of others. I pray you can find the time to spend even just five minutes a day with Him in His Word.
For me, I’ve already started back over this time using the Augustine Institute, Your Daily Encounter with God. This is the Revised Standard Translation. This is the translation I used before I started my One Year Bible NLT so I’m a little excited to get back into this translation, although I already miss the NLT a little.
*Note, this is not my Catholic Journaling Bible I use for, well, journaling. I also have the Blessed is She Journaling Bible. Here’s a post comparing the two.