It’s that time of the year where we all commit to do better in our lives. Well, not all of us. I pretend not to set resolutions while conveniently dedicating myself to more writing, reading, exercise, etc. Meanwhile, my husband outright rejects the idea of New Year resolutions.
For almost everybody else, it’s the time when you reflect on what went well in your life. (Assuming of course that 2020 treated you a lot better than it did most other people!) After this reflection, you then resolve to end a bad habit or begin a new and hopefully good habit.
For quite a few people, that habit is going to revolve around Bible study.
And the whole “read the Bible in the year” is going to turn into a lot of stress and guilt. Is it doable? Very much so. Is it always the best idea to improve your Bible study time? No, not always. Sometimes it adds more noise than joy to your life.
There’s plenty of reasons why reading the Bible in a year won’t work out for you. There’s plenty of reasons why it could. However, the most important part is not that you read the Bible. It’s that you grow in your relationship with God and worship. Remember, knowing your purpose behind Bible study is important for a productive Bible time!
The good news is that there are so many other resolutions you can make besides the traditional one-year Bible plan. Let’s talk about joyful resolutions you can make for your Bible study and worship time!
5 Joyful Bible Study Resolutions You Can Make for the New Year
(besides the one-year Bible reading plan!)
#1 – A Passage a Day
My 5-year-old daughter has listened to us read somewhere around 20 books of the Bible at this point in her life. Do you think we tried to read three chapters a day? Nope. We take it roughly 20 verses one passage a day. It adds up, doesn’t it?
It also allows you to slow down and really notice the details. Especially in Old Testament books, we frequently have moments where we end the Bible reading segment of our family time with the exclamation, “I’ve never noticed that before!”
If, however, you feel like a passage a day is too slow, you can just commit to reading one chapter a day. Also, don’t be afraid to give yourself a break on Sunday. There’s no such thing as extra-credit in your faith.
#2 – 5/10/15 Minutes a Day
Pick an amount of time to dedicate to Bible reading. Keep to it. Don’t feel a need to give yourself additional time if somebody interrupts your Bible reading time, either. This is about worship and joy, not cramming for a test. You’re not going to enter a state of worship if you’re mentally thinking, “Okay, let me restart my time. But now I’m going to be rushing to make lunch for everybody!”
#3 – A Tightened Focus
If you’re fairly familiar with the Bible, you might get more out of really diving in deep into a particular few books of the Bible. You might want to focus on Jesus’ life, on the letters written to the early church, or even take it back to the Old Testament by reading through the first five books. For myself, I want to look closer at the minor prophets that I’ve been a little too prone to skipping through while half asleep.
This is a great goal because there’s a lot less pressure when you’re dealing with a small section of the Bible. It allows you to read and reread at your pace, pause for a week or two if needed, or spend most of your Bible study time reading theologians answers to any questions you might have.
Don’t forget to take a layered approach to your Bible study if you go with a goal like this! You can read more about that in the Beginner’s Guide to Bible Study.
#4 – A Psalm a Day
I think a lot of Christians feel like they struggle to worship. I know it’s easy for me to feel like I’m acting out worship instead of experiencing a true heart full of worship. When that happens, I like to flip through Psalms. After all, those were the original praise songs!
If you want to focus on worshipping and finding joy from your Bible Study time, then make your goal revolve around this wonderful book. You might even be shocked to see that quite a few Psalms are written from the perspective of an angry or frightened individual who is crying out to God for help.
#5 – A Proverb a Day
This is similar to Psalms. We have an amazing book dedicated to practical wisdom. How many Christians read and apply this one to their lives? If you ask me, everybody in this world needs a good dose of Proverbs in their life.
While I know it’s popular to read an entire chapter of Proverbs a day, I find that makes it difficult to appreciate and reflect on the wisdom of this book. After all, the majority of the verses are written to be stand-alone.
Less Stress, More Joy for the New Year
So there you have it. Five very simple resolutions you can make about your Bible Study that are simple, approachable, realistic, trackable, and hopefully joyful. Happy Bible study! I will see you in the New Year!