6 hacks to save your Bible reading goals

February 27, 2019

If you made it past two weeks in your commitment to read through the Bible in 2019, congratulations – you are in the minority! Dubbed “Quitter’s Day,” new research has shown that most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by Jan. 12 each year.

Maybe you made it through two weeks, but then you hit Leviticus, and old covenant law and 6 a.m. just didn’t seem compatible. Stalling out on the discipline of daily Bible reading is common. Starting your plan felt great, but discipline has turned to duty, threatening to turn delight into drudgery.

Stalling out on the discipline of daily Bible reading is common. Do not allow the enemy to use a poor start to keep you from finishing well.

Do not fret. You can get back into the Bible. It’s never too late, and here are six ideas to help you:

  1. Listen – Having trouble with those Bible names and places? Do you find yourself reading without retention? Use the audio feature in a Bible app to hear the Word, which is available in most translations. Many people learn better if they listen rather than read. Personally, I find myself more attentive if I listen while I read, especially during those long lineages in Numbers.
  2. Join the story already in progress – Have you missed a few days? Just look at the schedule and jump in on the reading for that day. Read for the joy of meeting God, not just to check boxes. You may have missed some key points along the way, but you can pick those up through a study Bible or go back and re-read later. 
  3. Reset – Maybe context is a big thing for you. In that case, just pick up where you left off. You may be behind schedule, but so what? Don’t treat this like a homework assignment. Just keep reading. 
  4. Hit the highlights – George Guthrie has provided an abbreviated plan that follows the chronological plan but with shorter readings to keep you in the story of God. This plan is great for people who are not in the daily habit of reading the Bible. It’s like the “Couch to 5K” of reading plans. 
  5. Set shorter reading goals – Maybe setting a one-year goal was great as a New Year’s resolution, but now that the year has started, reality hit you in the face. Consider setting 90-day reading goals. Setting periodic milestones may keep you going where that Dec. 31 stop date may seem too far out in the future. Will Mancini, author, coach, consultant and founder of Auxano, a vision-framing process, suggests in his blog, “There is something about a 90-day period… that is entwined deeply with the operating system of human beings.” 
  6. Give yourself grace – Above all, please remember why you read the Bible. The goal is for the Bible to get through you, not for you to get through the Bible. I had a friend who got “stuck” on John 17 for a whole year because he sensed that God was teaching him such powerful truths about Jesus, prayer and mission that he did not want to rush through it. You are not reading for achievement, knowledge or ritual. You are reading for transformation. Give yourself permission to listen to the Holy Spirit and camp out on the passages that are comforting, challenging or convicting you.

Everything that brings personal improvement and change requires discipline. The pursuit of life change includes failure. Do not allow the enemy to use a poor start to keep you from finishing well. Take up the Bible and read.


by Brian Upshaw  
/  Disciple-Making  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

NCMO theme encourages churches to be ‘known by love’

Every September, churches across the state of North Carolina pause to reflect on, celebrate and give sacrificially to the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO). The NCMO is an annual offering that provides support for the ministries of Baptists on Mission, also known as N.C....

3 keys to being on mission together as families

I was at a church the other day and while looking at their promotional materials, I saw a tagline that read, “where faith and life collide.” To be clear, I think this is an awesome tagline and this church is doing good work. Yet, I couldn’t help but think this tagline would be...

Sharing Christ with your LGBT neighbor

This podcast was recorded at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s 2019 Annual Meeting and focuses on sharing Christ with your LGBT neighbor. Sharing Christ with the neighbors around you is a mandate given to us throughout Scripture, but how do we share Christ with our...

3 Circles: A versatile tool for ministering the gospel to a variety of cultural contexts

The 3 Circles is a versatile tool to communicate the gospel in a variety of cultural contexts. The reason for its inherent flexibility is due to a variety of factors. To begin with, it’s a framework, not a method. Previously, many Western evangelistic trainings taught step-by-step...

Budget proposal seeks ‘balance’ between NC, SBC

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) executive committee unanimously approved a $30.5 million budget proposal for 2020 that includes an increased allocation to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) through the Cooperative Program (CP). The committee approved...

Proposed bylaw amendments address cases of ‘serious misconduct’

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) executive committee unanimously approved proposed changes to the convention’s bylaws that would create a formal process by which individuals could be removed from positions of leadership for behavior that would disqualify...

The Genesis Great Commission

If asked, “What is the Great Commission?” most Christians would say, “to make disciples.” Many years of Jesus’ life and ministry are spent forming His disciples in Christlikeness and teaching them how to do the same for others. Jesus’ life modeled God’s mission of relationally...

On earth as it is in heaven

Revelation 7:9 describes a beautiful picture of heaven in which a multitude of individuals from every nation, tribe, people and language are worshipping around the throne of God. Have you ever stopped to ponder this picture and wonder what it might be like to have this scene lived...

[/ess_grid

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!