The Very Best Bible Reading Plan You’ll Find This Year (2018)

A struggling family with several teens lived one street over from a popular, restaurant district and came up on my radar.

Christmas was near, so I asked if they had a wish list. I expected them to clamor for video games, trendy sneakers, or iPods.

Instead, they showed me a dozen magazine clippings of recipes.  “We think we figured out how to make this stuff if you could get us the ingredients for Christmas.”

What was on their list? The makings for lasagna, grilled cheese, hot dogs and beans, shepherd’s pie, and tacos. They were hungry. Deeply famished, in fact.

As they showed me the food photos and read the directions, they spoke in dreamy tones of commonplace foods, describing how they would imagine being able to sit down at a table to eat as much as they could hold. I was overwhelmed. This was Rhode Island, after all, not a developing nation.

The family received food assistance, but their parent struggled with life tasks so usually purchased only two or three items. The cupboards were stocked with ramen noodles, peanut butter, and saltines.

Every day, these growing teens walked home from school through the aroma of the area’s finest eateries, but they were so hungry, food was all they could imagine wanting under the Christmas tree.

Such an easy problem to solve.

People who cared supplied all that their recipes required. Then a family friend helped that parent learn how to vary the shopping.

We introduced them to local church suppers and food pantries. The teens eagerly took over the cooking and learned to prepare a variety of meals. One of them finally observed, “Isn’t it crazy that we nearly starved to death and all the time we were surrounded by food!”

Many Christians live just like these hungry boys.

There are believers who languish in persecuted countries with no access to God’s Word. It’s understandable they would suffer from a famine of God’s Word because it’s not available to them. They go to great effort to secure even small portions of scripture, treasuring it when they find it.

Other believers, though, live surrounded by opportunities to feast, yet exist in a self-imposed state of famine. You may be one.

This is how you’ll know.

Walk around your house collecting all your bibles. (Go ahead. I’ll wait.)

Stack them on a table. Never mind the Bible study books or books about the Bible. Just collect the Bibles.

Then, ask yourself how often you opened and read any of them in the past two weeks. (I feel it important to mention here that there is therefore no condemnation in Christ. You are loved and found in Him, you are His child and secure in eternal life even if you haven’t read the Bible in the past two months – if you’d read the Bible, you’d know this. False guilt is a waste of time. Real guilt, if you’re ready to own up to it, is already covered by Christ so this is an exercise, not in failure, but in waking up.)

You love God’s Word. You know reading the Bible daily will open you up to a deeper relationship with Him. You know that it’s better to go right to the source and wrestle with it yourself than to listen to a thousand Bible debates on Facebook.

You know that time in God’s Word will increase your knowledge of Christ as well as your wisdom, endurance, and love for others. I don’t even need to remind you that Paul, who loved Jesus, was an apostle, and had miraculous experiences, loved to read and study Scripture so, of course, we need it, too.

Then what gets in your way?

It’s a famine induced by a glut of choices. A famine induced by the pursuit of the perfect reading plan.

A famine induced by indecision and the illusion that owning twelve Bibles and being surrounded by Bibles and clicking on links that discuss the Bible are all the same as consuming the Bible with your own eyes and mind.

Reading the Bible is reading the Bible and it’s the daily food every soul craves.

Allow me to speak words of freedom to you: There is no perfect reading plan.

Every reading plan was devised by imperfect humans and will be employed by imperfect humans so pick one plan and do it imperfectly.

When you miss a week – forget catching up – just start up again. Or, go wild and don’t follow a plan just start reading (okay, but not the start in Genesis thing because everyone drops off in Leviticus).

Start in an imperfect place, maybe the middle of Isaiah. Read three chapters or five and record what you read. Tomorrow, read five more. If you miss a day, so what? If you miss a day of showering you don’t decide to skip showers for the rest of the week and start up again on Monday, you just shower, right?

Another thing. There’s only one perfect day to start. Today.

Today is the perfect day to begin. And here’s the best part. It’s always today. Tomorrow is a terrible day to begin reading the Bible so avoid that and start on the perfect day, today.

When we’re young and single and interested in a person, we hang out in places we might encounter him or her. If we’re interested in a relationship with Jesus, one place we’re certain to encounter Him is in His Word, so it’s always a perfect place to spend time.

Pick a Bible. Any of the seven on your table. Open it. Read a portion.

Ask God what the passage says about Him. What does the passage say about you? What from this passage can affect your life today? Tomorrow, read this section again and do what it says.

This is the single best way you can enter the Christmas season or the New Year or the middle of winter or any season of life. Don’t allow your soul to waste away steps away from the finest food prepared by Your Loving Father.

Today is the day, loved ones. Wake up to the power between the pages of God’s communique to all living on this outpost of Glory. Today, is the day. Read on and feel your soul revive.

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    The Conversation

  1. There are days, Lori, when I attempt to fill that nagging empty place with secular, empty food when God’s feast is within reach. Thank you for the great lesson from this sweet family and those who reached out to them.

  2. Phil Disney says:

    As a Gideon, I totally agree. The reports we receive from 200 countries where we distribute New Testaments in over 90 languages also agree with you. God’s Word will always accomplish what He intends (Isaiah 55:11). The church is exploding in membership and hungering for the printed Word. We are establishing a new Gideon camp somewhere in the world every 2 or 3 days. They all have the same need: more Bibles and New Testaments. Last year we sent about 92 million copies into the world and we still have a backlog of requests for 12 million copies. Thanks for sharing the Truth. Help Gideons International send the Word to save more souls. Merry Christmas. Great Joy to all.

  3. Profound! And your ‘plan’ works for almost everything in our lives. Today! Yes, today! Thank you, Lori, for listening to the Lord’s leading in your writing.

  4. Mary says:

    Wonderful!! Thanks fir thisvgreat message! Learning this sane lesson on other fronts! Just do it! Whatever it is! Merriest of Christmases, Lori!

  5. Andy Lee says:

    Hi Lori! Thank you for reminding us of the physical needs of families in our own cities. I loved how you compared that to our own spiritual malnourishment. I will be linking your post in my next one. Every week I give a simple reading plan simply for those who don’t know what to read. Great job! Great title. Blessings!

    • Andy, I’m continually amazed at the barriers that exist to some children just streets away from me having fully bellies or fed souls. I’ll be sure to pop over and check out your daily plan!

  6. Esther Uramkin says:

    So true! Five years ago I started reading through the Bible in a year. I’ve used different plans. I hate to admit it but it took about two years of it feeling more like a task, (due to my hard heart and head) when ever so gently I started realizing the joy and blessing. Now every day I know God is speaking to me. I often journal and my pray time has also improved. God is so good and patient. Don’t give up!!

  7. Elaine says:

    What a wonderful wake-up call. Thank you!

  8. Carole says:

    You speak right to my heart. EVERY. TIME.

  9. Thank you for your comment about reading plans. When I began one online, I thought I had lassoed the moon! However, somehow reading on a screen and not out of the book deadened scripture for me. I lost interest and couldn’t feel the connection to Jesus. Why was that? My bible is marked up and falling apart, so I purchased a shiny, thick new one. Just couldn’t get into that one either. So after feeling guilty and having my regular reading routine RUINED, I headed back to my tattered bible with the crumbling spine. It is my lifelong friend and Jesus lives in those pages. It’s where the Holy Spirit speaks and teaches me about my Savior. I can’t do a program, so I read the way I always have and let the Spirit lead me where He wills. Now I’m happy as a clam. 🙂

  10. Patty Schell says:

    This is the perfect plan. I hope it causes many to dig in and get their fill. Thank you for your words.

  11. Suzanne Mink says:

    Guilty! So many Bibles and sadly sporadic in reading them, but getting better. I’ve prayed and prayed for GOD to give me a hunger for His word, but too often I walk by it on my way to something that only helps me pass time but does nothing to enrich my soul or draw me closer to Him. But maybe I’ve finally gotten what I prayed for – you. This is in no way a butter-you-up comment. It’s a dawning realization that your writings are stirring me up to read His love letter to me and draw closer to Him. There was a time years ago that I would sit and read the word and the Holy Spirit would just flow from my fingers to the page, but I let an incident with a Bible study member derail me. Oh how I’ve wanted back on that exciting ride. Thank you for the nudge to get back to reading the Bible and thank GOD for never letting me get comfortable in my distractions.

  12. carla femat says:

    Thank you! There is no perfect plan of how to read the Bible, but just plan to do it! I have found the more I read and memorize scripture the more I want to. So you are right, just read it! God will show up, if you do.