Scripture open reading to start reading the Bible

Scripture and Devotional Reading Plans to Start the New Year

For many of us, January is a time of renewed focus that includes new initiatives to help us develop new and healthy habits. These new habits are designed to rejuvenate and reenergize us physically and mentally, cleansing our bodies and minds as we face the challenges and opportunities of a brand-new year.

While you’re swearing off the last of the holiday leftovers and starting a new exercise plan, there’s no better time to focus on spending more time in God’s Word as well. Starting a daily devotional time is one of the most meaningful steps you can take to becoming a better version of yourself (not to mention improving your relationship with your Creator!).  But starting such a practice can be difficult, especially without a plan. To help you get started on the right foot, we have developed Scripture-only Reading Plans and Devotional Reading Plans designed to inspire and educate, all while helping you apply biblical truth to your everyday life. These plans let you select specific areas of interest and begin at your own pace. We’ve also included plans for the whole family as well!

Scripture-Only Reading Plans

If it’s your goal to read through the Bible this next year, or if you prefer to simply read Scripture instead of devotional content, here are several Scripture Reading Plans you’ll be interested in.

1. One Year Through the Bible

This one-year Bible reading plan does all the work for you; all you need to do is open your Bible and start reading! The readings for this plan are all tied to dates of the year, but if you don’t get started in January, no worries! You can begin at the beginning or start at today’s date no matter what time of year you choose.

2. 60-Day Overview of the Bible

If you are new to the Bible or are feeling overwhelmed with the idea of reading through the entire Bible at one time, this 60-day Scripture reading plan is perfect for gaining a solid overview of the stories and teachings in the Bible in just two months. Pick it up whenever it works best for you!

3. 30 Days with Jesus

Follow the story of Jesus from his humble beginnings on earth to his glorious ascension to heaven and everything in between. Learn about Jesus’ ministry, miracles, and resurrection through the eyes of four of his closest friends and disciples: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

4. 100-Day Summer Bible Reading Plan

This plan is designed to be used by adults or children during those wonderfully lazy days of summer. To help guide your summer reading, the devotional passages are tied to the dates that run between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

5. God’s Promises from the NIV Beautiful Word Bible (7-Day Reading Plan)

God’s promises to you are spread throughout the Bible! Spending time each day on the Scripture passages shared in this reading plan will encourage you and lift your spirits, knowing you are loved and cared for by God.

Scripture Reading Plans for Kids

Here are four 7-Day Bible Reading Plans designed especially for children ages 12 and under. These plans allow kids to begin exploring the Bible beyond the most familiar Bible stories. These readings will also help them understand how the Bible can and does apply to their daily life.

1. Women of Faith
2. Following Jesus
3. God Takes Care of Us
4. Paul’s Missionary Travels

Devotional Reading Plans for Adults

1. Ancient Insights into Seven Familiar Bible Stories (7-Day Devotional)

This devotional reading plan will give you greater insights into the ancient backgrounds behind some of the Bible’s most familiar stories. With this added context, giving you a glimpse into how the original listeners to these stories understood them, your interest in these stories will be reignited and you will be better equipped to accurately apply their truths to your life and to the lives of others.

Content for this devotional plan is taken from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible.

2. Explore the Cultural Backgrounds of Bible Times (7-Day Devotional)

You’ve heard many Bible stories hundreds of times, but how many behind-the-scenes details are you missing? A little context is all you need to discover the rich meaning behind the stories of Scripture. In this short devotional plan, every day’s reading is packed with expert insight into the “whys” and “hows” behind familiar narratives. This ancient insight casts new light on these familiar stories and helps you to understand the nuances behind them, so that you hear them in a way similar to the Bible’s earliest readers.

Content for this devotional plan is taken from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible.

3. Women’s Devotional (14-Day Devotional)

This devotional plan is written by women for women. It includes guided reflections to help women apply Scripture to their daily life; it also helps them get to know the women of the Bible through candid portrayals, highlighting both their victories and their struggles. As you study these women’s stories, you’ll be inspired and challenged in your own life.

Content for this devotional plan is taken from the NIV Women’s Devotional Bible.

4. Men’s Devotional (14-Day Devotional)

This devotional plan provides engaging and practical devotions written by men for men. Each day’s reading includes an application question for reflection, which helps you put God’s Word into practice in your everyday life.

Content for this devotional plan is taken from the NIV Men’s Devotional Bible.

5. Parenting with Grace (21-Day Devotional)

Raising children brings incredible joy and fulfillment, but it can also bring frustration, uncertainty, and stress into our lives as parents. Thankfully, God gives us guidance on how to be godly parents through the stories of the parents in the Bible. This devotional plan helps you bring God and His Word into your parenting in new and creative ways.

Content for this devotional plan is taken from the NIV Once a Day Nurturing Great Kids Devotional.

6. Find Hope in Christ (7-Day Devotional)

Find hope in Christ as you are reminded of His amazing promises. This devotional plan offers insights into holding on to the vibrant hope of God’s love and care during various seasons of life. It is designed to inspire and bless you as you navigate both the highs and the lows of a life lived with the hope of eternal life as your navigational beacon.

Content for this devotional plan is taken from various NIV Bibles.

7. Radiant Virtues (7-Day Devotional)

Discover how the virtues of faith, hope, and love are woven through both the stories of the Bible and your own life with this 6-day reading and activity plan from the NIV Radiant Virtues Bible. Each of the virtues through encouraging devotional readings and prayers, coloring art for reflections, and journaling prompts to help you dig deeper.

Content for this devotional plan is taken from the NIV Radiant Virtues Bible.

8. The NIV Telos Bible (7-Day Devotional)

Content for this devotional plan is taken from The NIV Telos Bible.

9. Recovery Insights from Bible Personalities (7-Day Devotional)

People in the Bible struggled with hurts, hang-ups and habits, much as we do today. Each of the stories in this devotional reading plan illustrates a particular recovery issue from the lives of characters in the Bible that many also struggle with in our modern world. As you read through this study, you’ll gain insights from the lives of Esther, Moses, Eve, Samson, Peter, and others, that will inspire you as you walk along your own recovery journey.

Content for this devotional plan is taken from the NIV Celebrate Recovery Study Bible.

10. Verse Mapping – The Book of John

11. Verse Mapping – Advent

Verse Mapping is a method of studying the historical context, transliteration, translation, connotation, and theological framework of a verse in the Bible. If you are not familiar with verse mapping and want to learn more, check out this article: Verse Mapping 101: Guide for Breaking-Through-Barriers Scripture Study.

These devotional plans feature two interactive guides: one uses the book of John and is ideal for the season of Lent; the other is designed to be used during the season of Advent. Both of these guides have been developed using the Verse Mapping study system from author and teacher Kristy Cambron. The first study guide maps in each of the guides are complete, though readers will want to add to the Outcome (Step 5) as they draw their own conclusions from the readings. Later study guide maps include blank steps (Steps 4-5) for the reader to complete as they analyze and apply God’s Word to their lives.

Content for these devotional plans is taken from the NIV Verse Mapping Bible.

Digging Deeper

If you are looking to dig more deeply into the Word of God so that you can grow in the knowledge of Him and follow His desire for your life, here are some additional articles to help you develop a consistent, meaningful time in God’s Word.
Self-Care in the New Year
How to have a Quiet Time
5 Bible Reading Techniques for Spiritual Growth
Tips for Reading Your Bible Every Day Even When You’re Too Busy

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