Gratitude Day 551

Tues., Jan. 5, 2021

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp before my feet and a light for my journey.

We often begin a new year with great intentions:

Eat healthier.

Spend less.

Watch less TV.

Exercise more.

Clean every closet in the house.


Some of these intentions are simply ones we tried to do last year … and they never were accomplished. Or maybe if we were honest, we’d remember these intentions have been carried over for multiple years … with little progress towards accomplishing them.

I’m a huge believer in the thought that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results simply DOES NOT work.

End of discussion.

If we want something to change, then our behavior must also change. Otherwise, we’ll have this same intention a year from now that received little progress in the last 365 days.

There’s another aspect of trying to take on new things: our intentions must be realistic.

Sure, we can aspire for difficult and challenging things. I’m all for stretching ourselves.

But there’s also the part that if something is completely unrealistic, then it just may not happen.

Rather than committing to exercising seven days a week, maybe five or six will be a great place to start.

Instead of determining that you won’t spend any money for certain things, establishing a realistic budget is a great first step.

And then, there’s the goal so many people say they want to do … and yet, few, rarely actually accomplish it.

Read the entire Bible.

Seriously, if is your goal for 2021, please go after it. Delve deeply into following a plan that will help you accomplish this goal. There are several free online plans that provide you with what needs to be read everyday to read the entire Bible in a year.

Lots of people have attempted this. Many have completed the task. But there’s also another common scenario: people start at Genesis and are convinced reading the Bible from cover to cover is the best option. By the time, people get to about Leviticus, they begin to realize this is a more daunting task than anticipated. And the drop-out rate increased significantly.

Today, I’d like to offer two alternatives to reading through the Bible in a year. Two plans that are realistic, do-able and challenging enough to make us make a serious commitment to doing this without making the goal so big it feels unrealistic.

Here are the two options:

  1. Read through the New Testament in 2021. In 2020, I provided a read-through the New Testament option. Recently, I heard form folks who actually were going to complete it! Yeah! So. Dang. Proud. Of You!! In case you didn’t make this one of your aspirations for 2020, I’ve updated the reading schedule for 2021. This reading plan is very doable. Scriptures are only scheduled for five days a week: not seven. Therefore, you have a couple days a week to help you stay on track. I’ve moved the recommended readings around, spacing the four gospels throughout the year. Basically, this plan encourages you to read one chapter of the New Testament five days a week. With a commitment to five or ten minutes a day for five days a week, you’ll get to read all the stories about Jesus, how the church looked after the resurrection of Jesus and some important lessons and thoughts for us today. This plan provides a way to work through the New Testament in 2021 with a doable pace.

2. Enjoy the Books of Wisdom from the Old Testament in 2021. This is a newly developed reading plan that I’m sharing today. In the Old Testament, there are various types of genres present. Five books comprise the category of Wisdom literature. These books provide information for people to think about how to hack it in the real world. These books of the Bible acknowledge that people have real lives. With real problems. Real questions. Real challenges. Wisdom literatures provide insights and information about how struggling people can find comfort and guidance from God. While reading these books, you’ll discover many often-repeated sayings we share in our everyday language. How they are recorded in the Bible maybe slightly different from how we interpret them, which I think is a fascinating exercise to experience while reading the literature books.

Looking for a little bigger challenge? Follow both reading plans during 2021.

Please print these off, download them to your phone or computer and share them with others who might be interested in following a Bible reading plan in 2021. The plans are set-up as doable, realistic and yet just enough of a challenge for us to explore more of what the Bible says on a variety of topics.

I pray these plans WILL encourage you to dig a little deeper into God’s Word during 2021. God’s Word is given to us as an opportunity to discover more about the Triune God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You’ll find lots of references to all three aspects of God in scripture. When you take a few minutes regularly and daily, you begin to see exactly how the Old Testament ties in with the New Testament.

Last year, I followed the New Testament reading plan myself. For 2021, I’m excited to dig deep into the Wisdom books and rediscover some guidance for how I can hack it in the real world more effectively.

May these Bible reading plans encourage you to explore more of the Bible in 2021.

For the plan and encouragement to learn exactly what it ways for 2021, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Almighty God – You have given us a wonderful and rich background of the Christian faith that we know as the Bible. Encourage me to dig a little deeper into Your word this coming year. May it become a great way that I learn more about You, myself and the Christian faith. Amen.

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