The Transformational Simplicity of the Whole Bible in One Year

What are some first impressions of the Bible? It’s a big book. It seems overwhelming. It’s filled with people and places that seem different than us and our surroundings. If we take a closer look and actually get into its pages, we discover it’s extremely personal, and the people and places actually look a lot more familiar to us than they did at first glance. But what about the overwhelming part? It can be hard to know where to begin or how everything is connected.

The One Year Bible is a great resource to help us engage with the Bible in a manageable way. It takes the entire Bible and breaks it down into daily readings. It sounds so simple, and yet it’s transformational. From seekers to life-long believers, The One Year Bible has helped people understand God’s story and what it means to each of us.

Dishy was not a Christian when he started reading the Bible. He questioned its validity and wondered why people would believe it’s true.

“I have spent much of my life wondering whether any of Christianity’s teachings were true or just wishful thinking, and perhaps also a good sales job perpetuated by ancient people with an agenda. But it’s quite easy to have an uneducated opinion about something you vaguely know about but haven’t actually read! So, I decided to start putting forth an effort to read the actual Bible, the whole thing, from beginning to end. I hoped that this exercise would put the issue to rest in my life and I would be able to decide once and for all what I thought about Christianity,” he said.

To do this he selected The One Year Bible and an NLT Study Bible to help him go to deeper into the context and meaning.

“I really like the read-it-in-one-year concept with scheduled daily passages. It is helpful to refer to a study Bible to occasionally get more background and explanation. This One Year Bible encourages me to keep up with it. Since the passages aren’t very long each day, I think Surely I can read this for 10 or 15 minutes. So, whoever thought of the concept had a really great idea.”

Is this still a good Bible for people who have been reading it most of their lives? Hank thinks so. He is a lifelong Christian and has read the Bible every day for almost 30 years.

“I love the Bible. It’s such a joy to read it, and I just want everyone to have that joy and understand what it can give you,” said Hank.

He started with his family.

“For 19 years I read a One Year Bible, and each year I dedicated it to a family member. The notes in the margin were personal, such as ‘This is my prayer for you.’ I’ve underlined, circled, and highlighted many passages, letting them know what inspires me. It is my legacy to them,” said Hank.

Through these Bibles Hank has inspired a love for God’s Word in others. Sharing his struggles, joys, failures, and triumphs as he moves closer to God has been a comfort and a catalyst for his family members to grow deeper in their understanding of God through his Word.

“When I give it to them and they read it, they always come back saying, ‘I didn’t know you were going through that’ or ‘when you wrote this it helped me to better understand what I was facing.’ The Bible gives me joy whenever I read it, and I get joy by sharing it with others. The more you get into it, the more your joy will grow,” said Hank.

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One Year Pray for America Bible

Reading from May 7th in the One Year Pray for America Bible

Lord, Hannah understood exactly who you are. When she prayed, “No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you,” she nailed it (1 Samuel 2:2). May all who search for you—the powerful and the humble— recognize who you really are! Amen.

Prayer Prompt

1 SAMUEL 1:1–2:21
There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.

Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the Lord at that time were the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas. On the days Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to Peninnah and each of her children. And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion because the Lord had given her no children. So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the Lord had kept her from having children. Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat.

“Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have
me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”

Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.”

As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!”

“Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”

“In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”

“Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.

The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”

The next year Elkanah and his family went on their annual trip to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and to keep his vow. But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, “Wait until the boy is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the Lord permanently.”

“Whatever you think is best,” Elkanah agreed. “Stay here for now, and may the Lord help you keep your promise.” So she stayed home and nursed the boy until he was weaned. Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-​year-​old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine. After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.

Then Hannah prayed:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord!
The Lord has made me strong.
Now I have an answer for my enemies;
I rejoice because you
rescued me.
No one is holy like the Lord!
There is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
“Stop acting so proud and haughty!
Don’t speak with such arrogance!
For the Lord is a God who knows what you have done;
he will judge your actions. The bow of the mighty is now broken,
and those who stumbled are now strong.
Those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full.
The childless woman now has seven children,
and the woman with many children wastes away.
The Lord gives both death and life;
he brings some down to the grave but raises others up.
The Lord makes some poor and others rich;
he brings some down and lifts others up.
He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
placing them in seats of honor.
For all the earth is the Lord’s,
and he has set the world in order.

“He will protect his faithful ones,
but the wicked will disappear in darkness.
No one will succeed by strength alone.
Those who fight against the Lord will be shattered.
He thunders against them from heaven;
the Lord judges throughout the earth.
He gives power to his king;
he increases the strength of his anointed one.”

Then Elkanah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. And the boy served the Lord by assisting Eli the priest.

Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli’s sons would send over a servant with a three-​pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling, the servant would stick the fork into the pot and demand that whatever it brought up be given to Eli’s sons. All the Israelites who came to worship at Shiloh were treated this way. Sometimes the servant would come even before the animal’s fat had been burned on the altar. He would demand raw meat before it had been boiled so that it could be used for roasting.

The man offering the sacrifice might reply, “Take as much as you want, but the fat must be burned first.” Then the servant would demand, “No, give it to me now, or I’ll take it by force.” So the sin of these young men was very serious in the Lord’s sight, for they treated the Lord’s offerings with contempt.

But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the Lord. He wore a linen garment like that of a priest. Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice. Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the Lord.” And the Lord blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.

JOHN 5:1-23
Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind,lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-​eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”

But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.

The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him. So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.

So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.”

PSALM 105:37-45
The Lord brought his people out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold;
and not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled.
Egypt was glad when they were gone,
For they feared them greatly.
The Lord spread a cloud above them as a covering
and gave them a great fire to light the darkness.
They asked for meat, and he sent them quail;
he satisfied their hunger with manna—bread from heaven.
He split open a rock, and water gushed out
to form a river through the dry wasteland.
For he remembered his sacred promise
to his servant Abraham.
So he brought his people out of Egypt with joy,
his chosen ones with rejoicing.
He gave his people the lands of pagan nations,
and they harvested crops that others had planted.
All this happened so they would follow his decrees
and obey his instructions.
Praise the Lord!

PROVERBS 14:28-29
A growing population is a king’s glory;
a prince without subjects has nothing.
People with understanding control their anger;
a hot temper shows great foolishness.

Want to read more? The December 2019 Read With Us plan is featuring the One Year Pray for America Bible. Every week you will receive links to the reading for the each day of the week. Sign up and join us.

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God of Your Story

365 days from now you will look in the mirror and see a better person—if you will show up every day. The choices you make over the next 365 days will determine the story of your year.

Use the daily readings from The God of Your Story in conjunction with the One Year Bible to enjoy and appreciate the entire Bible without getting lost—and, perhaps for the first time, to hear the Bible speak to you on its own behalf. You may be surprised to discover that the God of the Bible is also the God of your story! Will you find Him where He’s speaking?

Make the Bible a daily decision. The adventure awaits.

Watch this video and hear from from Brian about his journey beginning with the One Year Bible to becoming the author of the God of Your Story.

Brian is the leader of the Daily Audio Bible podcast. Subscribe for daily readings from the One Year Bible.

One Year, One Book—One Exciting Journey

by Kim Adetunji, brand manager

As the year winds down and a new year is on the horizon, many people begin reflecting on the previous year and making plans for the new one. Our thoughts may return to the highlights and lowlights of the year we are in as well as remembering God’s faithfulness and the lessons we learned. We then turn to our goals and aspirations for the new year, the things we want to get right this year and the things we want to keep—or start—doing. The new year holds so much hope and promise, especially when the current year has been a difficult one. It’s a brand new beginning—365 days to pursue God, become more like Christ, rest in his presence, listen for his voice, and follow where he leads. It’s exciting to think of the possibilities that lie ahead.

Will the new year hold new friendships, a new job, or new opportunities? Will we finally reach that goal we’ve been striving for? Will our long-time prayers for a spouse or healing or a mended relationship or a different heartache finally be answered? Will our trust in God grow deeper than we ever thought possible? Will our hard hearts soften? Will we experience joy once again? Will we finally be able to put aside that fear, anger, resentment, disbelief, or “you name it” that is holding us back from trusting God fully? Will we surrender new areas of our lives to God? In what ways will God stretch us beyond what we think we are capable of? Will we sense God’s deep, unconditional love anew? Who will we share the Good News with this year?

We may even think about new ways we’d like to grow spiritually, whether it’s growing more patient with our spouse or kids or letting the peace of Christ rule more fully in our hearts. How could we move toward God’s plan for us rather than shrinking away from where we hear God calling us to. What are new ways to step out into obedience this year? How can we slow down our schedule just a little bit more to create space to listen for God’s gentle whisper? What truths from Scripture have I dismissed? How can I give God my very best each day? Do I dedicate enough of my day to those things that draw me closer to God and allow me to hear his voice? Am I following through on God’s promptings? Am I open to allowing God to challenge me in a new area?

Do you plan to track your prayers in the new year? the ways you intentionally follow God’s lead? your service projects and how God expands your heart through those experiences? the ways you’ve seen God’s faithfulness in your life? answered prayers? words from him? verses you’ve memorized? There are so many unique ways to track our spiritual growth and keep focused on our goal to pursue and honor God. Each of us is unique, and there is no one right way to do it. If you’re like me, you may be constantly seeking new ways to become more efficient with recording and tracking everything that is meaningful—all in one place.

As the new year approaches, you may search for a new journal, notebook, daily planner, or app to help you organize your year and capture all the memories, highlights, and learnings. Journaling Bibles are a great way to capture all that God is doing in your life in one place. There are two One Year Bible journaling editions—Expressions and Reflections—that give you a daily reading plus space in the wide margins alongside each day’s reading to reflect on the passage you’ve read, write notes or journal entries, keep track of highlights from your day, or archive mementos or pictures. It’s a very practical way to document God-sightings in your life while being intentional about reading God’s Word daily.

Many people have been doing this, where their Bible becomes a treasured keepsake with 365 days’ worth of investment in knowing and following God, including observations from his Word and practical applications. The One Year Bible readings offer a portion from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs for each day. It is organized so you’ll finish the Bible in one year with the investment of just 15 minutes a day. At the end of the year, you will have an incredible collection of highlights, milestones, and so much more to look back on in your Bible as you look toward the new year.

Check out the One Year Expressions Bibles

Check out the One Year Chronological Expressions Bibles

Check out the One Year Reflections Bibles

Going beyond Genetics—Leaving a Legacy of Faith

A recent popular trend is ancestry kits. People want to know their heritage—where they came from and who they are. Throughout the Bible we see the importance of lineage. Slugging through those difficult names can seem like a burden, but the point is that each of those names has a story. It is a lineage of choices, mistakes, triumphs, joys, and sorrows.

Through Christ we are part of God’s lineage of grace. We can pass on more than just DNA to the next generation. We can leave a legacy of faith. That’s what our friend Hank is doing.

Each year he chooses a different family member and reads through a One Year Bible, making specific notes and sharing personal insights that he felt God calling him to share with that loved one. Is there a more beautiful gift than a legacy of faith and love?

“For 19 years I read a One Year Bible, and each year I dedicated it to a family member to be given to them when I die. The notes in the margin were personal, such as ‘This is my prayer for you.’ I’ve underlined,circled, and highlighted many passages, letting them know what inspires me. It is my legacy to them.” – Hank Snyder

What notes, reflections, inspirations, and prayers would you share with your loved one? What has helped guide you through God’s Word?

Look inside the OneYear Reflections Bible