Last year I wrote about some goals that I had for 2011. While I didn't achieve all of them, I did finished reading the Bible through this morning. I am proud of this, but I don't say it to boast about what I've done. I just want to share some of the things I learned through the process and where I went wrong.
There are countless reading plans to guide you through the Bible in whatever timeframe you want. One of the teaching pastors at my church is the president of Walk Thru the Bible, so I chose to go with their monthly periodical called Daily Walk.
This little monthly guide has a page for each day's reading, explaining what's going on in the story and providing some life application. The small "digest" format makes it really easy to carry around and works great if you use various Bibles (I mainly used my NASB copy and the YouVersion app on my iPad/iPhone). The other format that Walk Thru offers is the Daily Walk Bible:
The one disadvantage to this format is that it is an entire Bible, with similar commentary to the magazine, so the dates might not match up in subsequent years (Saturdays and Sundays are typically paired up). That said, I think the content is better, and there are extra days of reflection thrown in. So, if carrying around a heavier Bible with slightly skewed dates doesn't bother you, I recommend the full Bible. Plus, the magazine costs $10 more.
Reading the Bible through in a year is a great exercise in discipline. I got behind many times and had to catch up, and several times it really did feel like a chore. I have developed somewhat of a habit of reading the scriptures, though, which is good. Next year, I either want to read through the New Testament throughout the year (thus taking a slower pace and digging deeper), or I want to do a separate devotional.
I definitely don't claim to truly know the scriptures at this point, since there's so much to digest. What this exercise did for me, though, was to reinforce the stories that I did already know. On many occasions we would hear sermons at church about a story I had recently read (or vice versa), and I had a better grasp on it as I listened to my pastor teach. So I recommend reading it through at some point in your life, or at the very least, make an attempt to read the Bible more regularly and apply it so that we can represent Christ to the world.