My 2023 Bible reading plan
This year I knew I had to start another Bible read-through. Last year, I read different books of the Bible and bounced around here and there. It proved, again, to me that I do much better with a systematic reading plan. But, I also didn’t want to get bogged down with reading to catch up and feeling behind when I’m following a one year reading plan.
So I looked into some of the plans I have used before and enjoyed like this free five day reading plan, and a two year reading plan (with catch-up days!) and a whole slew of other plans, all of which look great. And, I STRONGLY encourage you to pick a plan for this year, however fast or slow and stick with it!
But, I remembered a video I shared a short time ago, and heard one of the speakers, Mack Tomlinson, shared how he read the Bible (31 minutes in). He read 2 chapters in the Old Testament, 2 Psalms, 2 in the New Testament, and 2 in Romans. That was a little much for me, but I thought I could so something similar, but simpler. So I plotted and started towards the end of December and will continue this year. Here’s the plan:
I’m reading 1 chapter in the Old Testament, 1 Psalm, and 1 chapter in the New Testament.
After reading each chapter, if there’s a verse that stands out, I write it down in a small notebook.
After that, I reflect on each one. Sometimes that might be working through a short meditation list where I ask and answer what this verse (or verses) show me about:
God (How can I worship or praise Him?)
My sin (What do I need to confess?)
His grace (His lovingkindness, His forgiveness, His strength)
My need (Ask Him for what I lack.)
My life (How can I apply this specifically to my life today?)
Sometimes if there’s a term I’m familiar with, but need to flesh out what it actually looks like, I’ll write out the verse then make three columns in my notebook asking and thinking on what this term looks like when it’s neglected, when it’s casually or occasionally done, and what it looks like when done deliberately. This has given me some really powerful and convicting insights and leads to confession and petition almost automatically.
And sometimes, I just write out what I find out about God in a verse or section of verses.
But the main thing is, I’m going slow this year but with an organized system. I know how important it is to my spiritual growth to read the Bible in its entirety, and also know that a reading checklist to get me through in a year isn’t what I’m looking for this year (but there is definitely value in that, and I may return to it next year.)
What are you going to do for your Bible reading this year? How will you be sure to stop and meditate on what you’re reading?
I feel the need to spend concentrated time in the New Testament and the Prophets. So, I am reading starting in Romans and Isaiah. I am writing down verses that stick out to me and trying to spend time reading slowly and asking meditation verses. My goal is to actually spend time with Jesus and not just do a mental exercise. Your post has given me more helpful ideas. Thank you.
So, I have tried my plan and realized I am going waaaaaay too fast. Slowing down and asking the Father what He wants to show me. Got only through 4 verses today before I was stopped.
Awesome! I think there is definitely huge benefit for just slowing waaaaaay down! It’s not how much you read, but how thoughtfully you read and spend time with God! Keep it up!
The church I am a member of has a plan for reading through the Bible in the year. In January I start reading in Genesis and in December I finish up in Revelation. Each day you read 3-4 chapters a day. Since I am a slow reader I used the Bible app. I listen and read along with the person who reading the Bible. I have learn so much from do this each year. This is my six year of doing this.
That’s great! Six years is amazing!
I really like the questions and the time to consider the answers. It doesn’t matter if you read it and God’s word doesn’t change us.
I’m doing a similar DIY plan. I’ve read through the Bible the last three years in a row and I decided I wanted to go a little slower this year. So, I’m doing 4 book plans (YouVersion) – Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs and Matthew. (The DIY part is that I chose the books) When I finish a book, I’ll go to the next one and see wherever I end up at the end of the year. I’m doing a deep dive in the book of Mark right now that goes verse by verse (video study) and there are like 73 videos or something. I’m only on #24 so I’ll be here awhile.
That’s great! Love it!
First off,,,,,,Happy new year! Secondly – thank you for this post.
I have been away from the Lord for about 2 years and i feel convicted. I was looking for something to start off this year to help me get back into the word and closer to Jesus, but i am not good at sticking to routines, so this plan here is very versatile and i cant wait to start this. Thank you for this BLOG!!!!!
I hope Kari doesn’t mind that I comment on this – but your comment caught my eye this morning as I went to leave my own. I have been exactly where you are and this blog is SUCH a great place to find ideas to reconnect. Kari has some amazing posts through the years of how to plug (back) into the Word of God – praying for you right now as I post this – that God captures your heart and your affections through His Word.
Amen! Thank you for reaching out here! I love that!
Praise God you have the desire to get back to Him! I’ll be praying for you!
I’m doing that, reading one chapter of OT, 1 Psalm, 1 chapter of NT each day … or trying to. I started that in October of 2021 and still working through. I like the way you aim to interact with the passages and really think on them. I’ve figured out a way to bring my prayer journal into my morning devotional time, but I’m gonna be thinking about this method you laid out. I really appreciate it when you share these things! I struggle to do more than read the passage. I have no creativity or much thought at that time of the morning, though I don’t have much more of either even after I’ve finished my coffee.
I love that you’re trying what you can where you are! Keep going!
You have helped me to go deeper into the Word than I have before. In the past I read the One Year Bible, but a couple of years ago (thanks to your blogs) I did some other plans like Mediate on 1 chapter a day then I read 10 chapters a day. Now this year, I feel the need to focus on the minor prophets and the gospels. So, for 1 month I am doing a book study starting with Nahum, then spend 1 month in a gospel (Mark), then 1 month a book study in Habakkuk, then 1 month in Matthew etc. By book studies, I am writing out the outline of the book, finding key words, making daily observations, and applying it.
That’s wonderful! Keep going!
The past few years I have taken the summer to do a rapid read-through (B90), but found myself floundering through the rest of the year. Last year I did NT in 90, but during the rest of the year I did the Sermon on the Mount study (AMAZING!!!) and a deep-dive into Romans. This year I found Growing 4 Life – she leads her blog through repeated readings of three or four books, some Psalms, and a character study. This year it is Mark, Jonah, The life of Elijah, 1& 2 Timothy, 3 John, and a handful of Psalms. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your idea of making the three columns. I want to implement that. Oh and I am now on my second year of slowly working my way through Barb Raveling’s Taste for Truth (and the companion I Deserve a Donut).
I’m so thankful you did the Sermon on the Mount study. I can’t say enough how life changing it was for me! And I love that you’re working through Barb’s stuff too. She has really helped me so much too!