Creating this collection of monthly Bible reading plans stems from a desire to help people experience the power of God’s holy Word. While those outside the faith often marginalize the Bible simply as an ancient text, a collection of stories that have no real relevance in today’s culture, there can be a tendency even among believers to overlook its power. And for those who have grown up in the church, our spiritual disciplines can become nothing more than mindless habits if we’re not careful.
I say that because I have been there, gaining head knowledge about God with little change to my heart, reading without applying, overlooking the transformative power of the text. And while I love making a list and then checking things off, I have to be careful not to make my time in God’s Word a rote part of my To-Do list.
Why is Bible reading important?
Billy Graham once said, “If you are ignorant of God’s word, you will always be ignorant of God’s will.” Reading the Bible is important because it is one of the most powerful ways we can be drawn into a more intimate relationship with our Creator; it guides us to the truth.
One of the beautiful aspects of the Christian life is that God, through His Word and His Spirit, has given us direct access to know Him. While our culture may change, God’s Word does not. The voices competing for our attention grow louder each day. The winds of change are fierce. But when we read the Bible in expectation of revelation, we anchor ourselves to biblical truth that keeps us firmly positioned despite the storms that rail against us.
And when we know the truth and live the truth, we become unstoppable forces for Christ. And more than anything else, that is what our world needs today. Consider this:
“…you and I are the custodians and stewards of the answers our culture desperately needs. Here’s the good news: a resource exists that can keep us from sin (Psalm 119:11), guide us into God’s best for our lives and nation (Joshua 1:8), make us “complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17), empower and direct our prayers (John 15:17), and work to revive our souls, make wise the simple, rejoice the heart, and enlighten the eyes (Psalm 19:7–8). This resource, of course, is the revealed word of God. However, before we can share the biblical wisdom our society needs—much less persuade secular people to adopt its truths—these truths must first be transformational in our lives. We must be the change we wish to see.”– Dr. Jim Denison, “Supreme Court begins ‘blockbuster docket,’” DenisonForum.org
As John 8:32 (ESV) reminds us, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
What is a Bible reading plan?
Put simply, a Bible reading plan is just that — a plan for reading the Bible — and a quick search will yield a variety of results. From book-focused and topical Bible reading plans to ones that cover specific life stages or help you read through the Bible in one year, there really is no shortage of support if your goal is to develop this daily, spiritual discipline.
But sometimes, knowing where to begin is the highest hurdle, and if that’s your challenge, then utilizing a Bible reading plan is the perfect place to start. My hope is that this collection of monthly Bible reading plans will serve as a helpful resource. Additionally, I’ve taken a topical approach, creating themes around each month of the year. You’ll find other resources below, though, if you think you might like something different.
Using a monthly Bible reading plan
Each printable Bible reading plan (pdf or jpg) includes a collection of verses, one set for each day of the month, focused on a central theme. You’ll also find a box at the top of each printable that includes the words:
Pray | Read | Write | Observe | Apply
They are there to provide guidance to those who might be new to reading the Bible, developing a quiet time, and/or prayer. I’ve written more about these steps here, but simply stated, it’s a suggestion to:
Before you open your Bible and begin to read, pray for God’s wisdom and discernment.
Read the verses. Read more if needed to understand the context behind what’s being said. Using a study Bible is an excellent resource to gain an understanding of passages that seem confusing and provides easy access to historical details.
Personally, I like to write passages that stand out to me. I’d suggest you give it a try, as well. There’s a strong connection between writing and memory, so it’s certainly one way you can begin to “hide God’s word in your heart” (Psalm 119:11).
What do you learn from the passages? What stands out to you?
How can you prayerfully apply what you’ve read?
Whether you use a prayer journal template, a simple spiral notebook, or even a dedicated quiet time journal like this, having something to collect your thoughts and inspiration is key. If you don’t already have a preference, it may take a little trial and error to find what works for you.
As mentioned above, when reading the Bible, it’s important to understand context, which is why I’ve chosen to offer you a collection of verses, as opposed to just one or two key verses that highlight the theme.
As Robert Velarde shares in his post, “How Do I Interpret the Bible,” found at Focus on the Family, “The Bible contains God’s messages to us, but if we cannot properly interpret what it says, we’re destined to become confused, misinterpret and probably misapply biblical content.” It’s a fairly quick read and worth your time if you’re interested in learning more.
If you want a much deeper dive, you can find that here: How can I study the Bible?
So let’s begin! Below you’ll find the monthly Bible reading plans (new ones added each month), in either a printable pdf or jpg format, along with additional resources you might find helpful.
Monthly Bible Reading Plans
- January: All Things New (printable PDF | printable image)
- February: No Greater Love (printable PDF | printable image)
- March: Season of Sacrifice (printable PDF | printable image)
- April: Salvation Comes (printable PDF | printable image)
Best Study Bibles
If you don’t have a good study Bible, I’d encourage you to get one.
This is the one I have, and I love it. However, much of this comes down to preference. My two favorites are the NIV (New International Version) and the ESV (English Standard Version). Most recently, when I was trying to decide which Bible translation to buy, I found this information and graphic helpful in understanding the differences.
Here are a few popular picks to consider:
- ESV Study Bible
- NIV, Life Application Study Bible
- NIV Study Bible (This is the most recent, fully revised edition of the NIV Study Bible)
- Quest Study Bible
If you’d like some additional information on a few of the top-rated study Bibles, this post has a section that you’ll find useful.
More Monthly Bible Reading Plans
You can find Bible reading plans from a variety of sources, and sometimes it just takes a little research to find the one that’s right for you. Below, I’ve rounded up a few from some trusted sources:
- Free Printable Bible Reading Plans for Beginners: includes printables, screensavers, and more
- LittleFaithBlog: shares monthly reading plans with journaling and activity ideas
- Seasons in the Word: This is a paid resource from The Daily Grace Co. but is reasonably priced and offers many different reading plans.
I’ll leave you with this:
“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”-Charles Spurgeon