Successful Bible Reading Plan (Looking Back at 2015 & Already Reading in 2016)


    SUCCESS!!! This is a word that my melancholy, often guilt ridden brain doesn’t know much about. Even though I have many successes in my life, I often think they are meaningless or not good enough. However, accomplishing my goals this past year has helped my negative thinking be curbed quite a bit.

    I spent most of January last year praying about the method I wanted to use to read the Bible. I wanted it to be a priority, and I knew that I was going to have many transitions in my life that might interrupt and distract from reading the Bible. Therefore, I made multiple documents (letters to myself, Excel sheets, web pages that I copied pieces from, etc.) to make sure that when I skipped a week of Bible reading the goals were not going to be failures.

My Goals for Bible Reading in 2015 were:

Goal #1: Form a daily habit of Quiet Time. In my post 5 Daily Goals to Thrive By, I shared about five priorities that made every day abundant, instead of staying in survival mode. On that list was Morning Quiet Time. By scaling back my expectations I was able to say that just doing anything that could be part of a quiet time was the important thing, and reading the Bible every day was one of the ways that I felt like I kept from drowning this past year.

Goal #2: Follow my Bible Reading Plan. This is the exciting one! It took me until March to finalize my Bible Reading Plan, which was fun because for two months of me researching Louis was in Lebanon and it gave me purpose and distraction. Also, taking the extra months forced me to rest and come up with a plan that takes very little adjustment to work for every year coming up. The 2016 Bible Reading Plan took me about two hours to plan, receive input from Louis, chart, and explain in writing. Perhaps I will post some of that writing in an upcoming post. If you want to see the method I used for creating my Bible Reading Lists, CLICK HERE. I had a goal for each list:

LIST 1: Blog Bible Study. Complete 2 Blog Bible Studies. This goal was based on finishing 1 Samuel while in the States and then beginning another book once we returned. Originally we believed it would only be seven months in the States, but instead I stayed Stateside for 12 months. That extra five months is where this goal went, but because I set the goal based on returning, it wasn’t a failure, it was just delayed a few months. Now that we are back in Lebanon this will be back on the calendar.

LIST 2: Read the Gospels & Acts [Repeating Cycle: Up to Five Chapters a Night]. I wanted to get a bigger picture of these books instead of one chapter at a time. I read Matthew 5 times, Mark and John 4 times, and Luke and Acts 3 times in 2015.

LIST 3: Read the Epistles [Repeating Cycle: An Epistle a Night]. Since these books were written as letters I wanted to read them like letters. This was where I hit a bump a few times because the longer letters were not always completed and a few times I stopped reading the Epistles altogether because I felt guilty not following through. However, I came around and kept reading.

(Repeating Cycles: I wanted to read certain books over and over during the year, to focus on them. So, I made lists that were shorter, and if I read every night I could read everything in the list each month all the way through.)

LIST 4: Genesis & Deuteronomy [One Chapter a Night]. These two books were on my heart, so they got their own list. I enjoyed reading this books tremendously.

LIST 5: Poetry & Prophets [One Chapter a Night, with 2 Psalms]. These were books I was interested in reading, so I just went through them with the books of Psalms split up amongst the list. I only had seven books left in this list at the end of the year. I also read every Psalm to Davy, which is pretty exciting. If Davy fell asleep during our Bible reading each night or I didn’t tuck him in I didn’t read the Psalms that night. So when I finished book 5 of Psalms this past week, I was thrilled because it meant that Davy had also read the entire book. Also, we read Ezekiel 3 and a half times this year because Davy wanted to read it each night. This was also pretty amazing! This list was a huge success!

LIST 5: Bonus Reading: The Rest of the Bible. [One Chapter a Night]. By the numbers if I read every night I would have made it through them in a year this way, but I didn’t plan on this list in my goals, it was bonus. I began reading from this list after I finished Deuteronomy, and so anything I read from this was bonus.

For 2016 the books in this list have a higher priority, and have made all my lists into repeating cycles so that I have the option of continuing again once I finish each list, the way the original inspiration for my lists The Horner Bible Reading Plan actually works.

Books of the Bible Read in 2015

1 Samuel, Jeremiah, Numbers

Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Exodus, Leviticus, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Revelation, Genesis, Deuteronomy

Ephesians, 2 Timothy, Titus, Hebrews, 2 Peter, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John

1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, James, 1 Peter, Luke, Acts, Jude, Ezekiel

Philippians, 2 Thessalonians, Philemon, Mark, John, Romans


This table shows the books I read in 2015 by the number of times I read them. The graph on the side uses the same key for colors.


Here is a glance at my 2016 Liss Lists:

LIST 1: Blog Bible Study [1 Chapter per Week]. 2016 GOAL: Complete 2 Blog Bible Studies with this method.

LIST 2: New Testament [4 Chapters per Night]. 2016 GOAL: Read all the Epistles and Acts 4 times, Gospels and Revelation Once.

LIST 3: Law [1 Chapter per Night]. 2016 GOAL: Read Once.

LIST 4: Historical Books [1 Chapter per Night]. 2016 GOAL: Read Once.

LIST 5: Wisdom Books [1 Chapter per Night]. 2016 GOAL: Read Once.

LIST 6: Prophecy [1 Chapters per Night]. 2016 GOAL: Read Once.


Author: Annie Liss

Currently a mother and a wife who loves reading. Formerly a middle school math teacher who kept too busy and stressed out to read. My husband and I are missionaries in Lebanon.

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