Last year, at the beginning of the pandemic, I decided I wanted to read the Bible chronologically in a year.  I’ve started this a few times in my life but never made it all the way through.  However, by God’s grace and with the help of an app and podcast called The Bible Recap, I am on Day 317 in my reading plan.  And, because hearing the Word has become one of the most precious times of my day, I have every confidence I’ll make it to Day 365 and then joyfully return to Day 1 and do it all over again.  

The other day, in my reading, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).  I realized this is exactly what God’s word has been doing for me this past year--giving me fullness of joy.  Amidst a taxing pandemic, polarized political turbulence, struggles of schooling from home, and a whole slew of other hard things this past year, I recognize God gave me the gift of His word to ground me in His steadfast love, truth, peace, faithfulness, and joy. He has been “my refuge and strength, my very present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).  And for that, I am incredibly grateful.    

Because this practice of reading through the Bible daily throughout the year has grown and grounded me in the joy of God and my relationship with Him, I wanted to share with you in hopes you might give it a try and experience this same joy.  Though I imagine this practice would bring the most joy for those who believe the word of God is true and want to grow in relationship with their Savior, I also believe there is joy to be had for those who don’t put themselves in this camp.  The Bible is the number one selling book in the world.  Could it be worth a read to see why? If so many people find joy in reading it, is it possible you could find joy in reading it as well?  Perhaps, you’ll be surprised by what you read. I know I’ve been.   Perhaps, you’ll correct misconceptions you’ve had. I know I have. Perhaps, you’ll encounter a God who is very different than the one you built up in your mind or the one you’ve seen portrayed by others.  I know I did.  And, perhaps, you will experience the fullness of joy Jesus promises.  I know I am!  

Though there are many reading plans to assist in getting you through the Bible in a year, I’ve shared a resource below that’s been of great help to me.  If you’re interested in reading along with me or want to dive in on your own, I’d love to know and would greatly desire to connect to hear what you’re processing and learning as you read. For God promises that His word shall not return to Him empty, but shall accomplish that which He purposed, and shall succeed in the thing for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11).  And, for this reason, whether one reads it for the first time or the 122nd, I’m confident it will never fail to provide food for a hungry soul!   

By Katie Miller

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The Bible Recap's daily chronological reading plan and podcast has been a wonderful resource for me this past year.  It has not only helped me read the Bible, but it has also helped me understand what I'm reading and fall more in love with the God it teaches me about.  If you'd like to give it a try, HERE is a link to get started. 

Although I sometimes read the assigned chapters, my typical routine is to listen while I get ready in the morning.  I first listen to the day's Bible readings, then I tune in to the corresponding podcast. The short podcasts (~8 minutes) are hosted by Tara Leigh Cobble.  They summarize the daily readings in an easy to understand way and also highlight take-aways I can apply to my own life.   I'd love to know if you decide to give it a try or would be happy to help if you have any trouble accessing the application.  I pray it would be as much of a blessing in your life as it's been to mine!