All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
My husband and I have read through the entire Bible twice during our 15 years of marriage. Our first read-through was in 2019. Let me tell you: it wasn’t easy. When we read through it in 2019, we struggled to get through. We had no explanation for those tricky parts of Scripture, no guidance on how to read, and the Bible is long and complicated.
We didn’t regret reading through the entire Bible (of course!), but we decided to do our own plan in 2020. And we kind of failed to stick with it.
So in 2021, we went back to a group plan – this time, with a pastor to guide us in a YouVersion group reading plan. And we did it! We read through the entire Bible in a year and came to a better understanding of many parts of God’s Word.
If you are looking to read the Bible more consistently, I would highly recommend reading it in a group with someone to guide you. Here are five reasons you will have more success reading Scripture if you enter into a Bible Reading Plan with a group and with a guide on YouVersion or another app:
1. Group Accountability
We might teach our kids about the dangers of peer pressure, but it’s actually a good thing in this case. When you know that other people can see if you’ve read for the day, you are more likely to stay on track (and catch up if you get behind!). Plus, you know that completing the reading each day encourages others to complete their daily reading.
2. Expert Guidance
I think one of the reasons my husband and I struggled with our first read-through of the Bible was because we didn’t have someone to guide us through it. Having Pastor Ben comment each day, in conjunction with short videos on each book of the Bible, really brought Scripture to life for us. This “guide” might be a pastor, a teacher, or someone else who is trained and gifted in understanding the Scriptures. Your guide could also be a resource such as the Bible Project. This person or resource can provide commentary, encouragement, and answer questions you have as you dig into God’s Word.
3. Insights from Group Members
During our 2021 reading plan, my husband and I enjoyed reading what others had to say about the Scriptures. Sometimes, other’s insights helped us think about God’s Word in a different way. Other times, it was validating to hear that someone else struggled with or was confused by the same verses we were. It’s so encouraging to read how God is working in the hearts of others so we can recognize better how He is working in ours.
4. Easy Buttons
If you like to hold your physical Bible in your hands and read it, I would never take that away from you! But I would encourage you to consider still using an app like YouVersion while reading through a group plan. In addition to everything listed above (guidance, group insights, accountability), these apps have some great features. You can set reminders for yourself to read, access Bible commentary, view different translations, and more. These tools can increase your success in staying on-track with the plan.
5. Grow Closer to God
We know from 2 Timothy 3 that the Bible is God-breathed. Think about that for a second. God literally gave His people the words He wanted each of us to hear. That’s crazy! I will be honest and say that not every verse of Scripture spoke to me. In fact, there were whole books of the Bible where I struggled to connect the dots to my life. But reading large pieces of Scripture with other people helps you to gain an understanding of how God has worked through His people in the past so you can see your present and future with Him.
Give It a Try!
I don’t know how God will use a group reading plan in your life. But I know He WILL use it for your eternal good! God’s Word will encourage you (Psalm 18:30), convict you (Hebrews 4:12), strengthen you (Isaiah 41:10), guide you (Psalm 119:105), and lead you to Him (Romans 10:17).
You may find it difficult to keep up. There may be days you have to skip and you don’t ever get back to it. Guess what? It’s okay. No guilt. No shame. Keep trying! Ask others for support and encouragement. Set aside time with God. It will change you forever.
You can join in Victory of the Lamb’s 2022 plan on YouVersion by clicking here.