Every New Year brings New Year’s resolutions. Almost inevitably, we fail to keep them. Whether it’s weight loss, exercise or Bible reading, we usually fall short of the mark we were aiming for. Nevertheless, every Jan. 1 we make more resolutions without much resolve to bring them into reality.
This year, my wife and I didn’t make any New Year resolutions. We talked about things we wanted to change, and we talked about what goals we have for our family when we were leading up to the end of 2011, but we never actually sat down and made a list of things we were going to do.
On Jan. 8, we were visiting some family in Jackson, Tenn., and we went to worship with them at the Campbell Street Church of Christ. The minister talked that day about a project they were starting as a church family that would be devoted to praying and studying scripture. It is centered on a Bible reading plan by YouVersion called Project 51. Project 51, which we started on Jan. 8, is set up to take the reader 51 weeks to read the complete New Testament and the Psalms in one year by reading one chapter per day.
My wife and I decided that this reading plan was a good way to begin establishing our routine for a nightly family devotional, something we have talked about since we were dating. After having our first son, it has taken us a while to adjust to being parents, still being in a relationship with each other, as well as making sure God stays the No. 1 priority in our lives. We decided that this plan was manageable and would still make it possible for us to catch up if we fall behind a day or two.
As a part of this plan, I am reading and re-reading each chapter in the morning before work, spending time in prayer, as well as keeping a journal of my thoughts and prayers. Each evening at dinner, we have been discussing the daily Scripture over our meal. Finally, before bedtime, we read the chapter aloud together as a family and pray again.
So far, so good. After a solid work week of implementing this plan, we are enjoying it (even if our son squirms and cries during the nightly reading).
All in all, this Bible reading plan is good for families, and it will be easy to stay loyal to even if you miss a day here or there.