I’m going to eat right.
I’m going to exercise.
I’m going to read my bible.
Raise your hand if you thought about at least one of these for the new year. Keep your hand up if you are still going strong through 5 days. There is a high probability that while you would like to do some things better in 2010, this year will look very similar to the last one. But it doesn’t have to….especially if you are willing to come up with a plan.
One of my favorite preachers says, “Discipline not desire determines your direction.” It’s not enough to want to do something, you need to build in some discipline. You need to come up with a plan. In Donald Miller’s words, you need to be a “person that wants something and is willing to overcome conflict to get it.” Overcoming conflict is the discipline part. If you want to exercise, there will be conflict on that morning when you didn’t get enough sleep and your legs are burning from the last workout. When it comes to reading your Bible, you will encounter the conflict of being too busy and (if we actually believe Paul’s words in Ephesians 6) you will also face a spiritual conflict.
So what’s your plan? You could pick up your Bible each morning and open to a random page and just read wherever you land, but let me make a few suggestions. Start by going to YouVersion.com and create a free account. YouVersion is an excellent online Bible and they also provide a free Bible app for iPhone/iPod Touch/Blackberry/Android phones…you name it. YouVersion has over 20 different plans to help you build in discipline into your life. They range from a month to two years and cover everything from assorted verses to the Old Testament or New Testament or the entire Bible. Here are some of the highlights (in my opinion):
- Psalms – 31 Days – read through all of the Psalms
- One2One – 25 Days – a simple tool to aid in personal discipleship
- New Testament Epistles and Acts – 85 Days
- The Gospels – 30 Days
- FirstSteps Reading Plan – 1 Year
- Bible in 90 Days – 90 Days – Only for the hardcore
The great thing about YouVersion is that you can track your progress as you go along. There is pretty strong research to show that Christians who spend at least 4 days a week reading Scripture experience a dramatically different life than those who don’t. Whether you choose YouVersion or some other plan, find some way to spend time reading God’s word this year.