4 Benefits to Reading (most of) the Bible in a Year

Confession: I am afraid this post is going to come off like one of those neat and tidy, happy clappy “Life is so good with Jesus” posts that are true as far as they go, but can make everyone feel queasy and a little “less than”.

That is NOT what I want. But I also can’t deny the powerful effect committing to a “Read through the Bible in a Year Plan” has had on me. Yeah, I’ve always read the Bible before, but this has been different. And yes, I’ve missed a bunch of days, but that’s ok.


So…Here are few things I’ve experienced reading the whole most of a lot of the Bible in a Year

  1. I’m not in control. Often the way I read the Bible on my own is to look for verses that meet my need in the moment, or you know… all those delightful promises.

This isn’t bad, but it also limits how the Holy Spirit might want to speak to me. With a Bible reading plan, each day there is something I don’t choose from the Old Testament, Psalms or Proverbs, and the New Testament.

Turns out Jesus doesn’t love like all the things I like and hate all the things I hate! My readings may include what I want to hear, what I don’t want to hear, what I’ve forgotten, or what I’ve been blind to.


2. I’m more aware of the sin in my life. In a good way. A life-giving way. I guess this makes sense. The more we look into God’s perfect Word the more we see ourselves in contrast – pretty imperfect. But totally woven into the Word that shines light on my messiness, is the assurance of forgiveness and redemption.


3. It reassures me I’m not alone. In my readings I see over and over again the bumbling bumblers who have gone before me – men and women who were “unschooled and ordinary”, who were forgetful, and rebellious and clueless and whiny just like me. But God didn’t give up on them and He’s promised not to give up on me.

4. It helps me to recognize God’s voice and differentiate it from others.  Daily I’m listening to a tiny bit more truth that is contrary to the megaphone of culture that I hear most of the day. Like a toddler knows his mother’s voice, the more consistently I’m exposed to the Lord’s pitch and tone the more it will stand out from the others.


I’ve really been amazed at how something I thought would feel oppressive and legalistic has been so formative.

You can read more about the plan I use here.

Have you tried a Read the Bible in a Year plan? How’s it gone?

 Lastly, I love this prayer from Psalm 119:169-176 (MSG) that was in my reading the other day!
Let my cry come right into your presence, God;
provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word.
Give my request your personal attention,
rescue me on the terms of your promise.
Let praise cascade off my lips;
after all, you’ve taught me the truth about life!
And let your promises ring from my tongue;
every order you’ve given is right.
Put your hand out and steady me
since I’ve chosen to live by your counsel.
I’m homesick, God, for your salvation;
I love it when you show yourself!
Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well,
use your decrees to put iron in my soul.
And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me!
I’ll recognize the sound of your voice.




  1. Beautiful, timely posting, Laura. Thank you for all you do to encourage and strengthen us through the power of His might, and the authenticity and humour of your writing. You cannot imagine how many people you help with your faithful words! Blessings to you!

  2. Do you just begin in Genesis and read a few chapters a day? Or do youuse a chronilogical Bible? Any version? Would just like to know your format. So enjoy your blog.

    • Oops i didnt see the link

    • Thank you! Great question! I use the YouVersion app (shows up on my phone and computer). Here’s the link: https://www.bible.com/en/app

      The reading plan I’m using is a “Read through the Bible in a Year” plan that is curated by Nikki Gumbel, the pastor at Holy Trinity Brompton church in London where the Alpha program started. What I love about it is there is something from the Old Testament, Psalms or Proverbs, and the New Testament every day, and Nikki writes a devotional that weaves all of the readings together with a theme. He includes prayers at the end of each section. Again, I don’t treat this legalistically. There are days I miss and times I skim either part of the reading or part of the devotional thoughts. Hope this helps!

  3. Hello Laura,
    I’ve been doing the same plan and really am enjoying it. I’ve tried other BIOY plans and never made it past May or June. It’s November! Gumbel wrote the commentary based on notes in his Bible. It really comes together so nicely with a Psalm or Proverb, New T and Old T reading interspersed with his commentary and prayers. I love the intro and subject headings which help me to focus on the theme or learning from the passages so I don’t succumb to “mind drift” early in the morning. 🙂

    • I so agree with all of that Joanne! I really like the prayers – they are what help me to keep focusing 🙂 We need all the help we can get, right?

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