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My Simple Bible Reading Plan for Deeper Study (as a busy homemaker)

on August 7, 2016 by Jami Balmet 17 comments

I created a free course this year focused on finding more JOY in your home, your life, and your relationship with God. In lesson #3, I cover the daily habit of Bible reading.

In that lesson, I share the simple Bible study method that Jason and I have been using for over a year now. We’ve been loving this simple Bible study method and how it’s brought such a depth and richness to our Bible study and reading.

A simple Bible Study method for busy homemakers

And since I’ve been sharing about this method in the free course, hundreds of women have started using this method also. And while there are many different methods or styles you could use, I’ve found this one very easy to follow as a busy (and often exhausted) homemaker. (Later this week I’ll be sharing some different methods for you as well in case this one doesn’t work for you.)

So today I wanted to break down that method for you and give you some resources for learning more and diving in deeper.

Our Simple Bible Study Method

Simply put, our Bible study method is to read a book of the Bible, every day for 30 days. 

Huh? I know it sounds weird, but hang in there with me, it’s a brilliantly simple method that has brought so much depth to our Bible study this last year. And no, I did not make up this method, I’m simply gleaning wisdom from far wiser people than myself.

I found this particular method from pastor and Bible teacher, John MacArthur. He has a small, simple little book called How to Study the BibleAnd within, he details the Bible study method that he’s been using for years that has led to so much depth in his own study.

And the method seemed straightforward enough, so Jason and I decided to take the plunge last July and try it out. It’s now been over a year of using this method and it’s been great! But I’ll let John MacArthur tell you about it (because he says it so much better than I ever could).

“My method when I was in seminary was to read 1 John every day for thirty days. You can do it this way, too. The first day just read 1 John all the way through. It will take you only 25 or 30 minutes. The idea is to read it through the first day, then on the second day read it through again; on the third day, read it through again…

Basically, this is what I do all the time. As I prepare messages, I just read through the particular Bible book over and over again until the whole book fills my mind in a kind of visual perception. I would also suggest that you take a three-by-five card and write down the major theme of each chapter.” – How to Study the Bible, pages 111-112

Basically, we take one book of the Bible, and read it everyday for a month. Then the next month, we pick a different book and read it. If you stick with this for about two and a half years, you will have read the New Testament 30 times!! How awesome is that?

Studying the book of Philippians

How We Got Started

So we started where he recommended with 1 John. It’s a quick, short book with only 7 chapters and took about 25-30 minutes a day to read which fits perfectly into my morning reading routine (see below).

MacArthur recommends alternating between a small book of the New Testament and a big one. So after 1 John, we decided to tackle the Gospel of John. Since it’s too big a book to read every single day, we split it into 3 months. We read the first 7-8 chapters every day for a month, the next month we read the middle part, and the third month was the final 7 chapters.

So for the last year, we’ve alternated between a large book and a small book. Here in August we are currently reading the first part of Romans – and loving it so far!

What I Love About this Method

Makes it easy

I don’t have to think about what I’m going to read. When I get up in the morning, the house is quiet and all the kids are sleeping, I don’t have to figure out where to read. I open up my Bible and know that I’m reading Romans 1-7.

This takes the decision fatigue out of trying what to read and randomly flipping through Scripture. It gives you a clear reading plan which is easy to follow.

I’ve done Bible in 90 plans and read the Bible in a year plans where you read a tiny bit from the O.T., a tiny bit from the N.T., and a Psalm or a Proverb every day, but honestly, it ends up being too much for me to keep track of.

And as soon as I get a day or two off, it feels impossible to get back on track. With this, if I miss reading on August 9th and 10th, then on the 11th…I just pick back up with Romans 1-7. It helps me to stay motivated because I never feel like I’ve gotten behind or off track.

A simple Bible Study method

I’m learning the Bible

I’ve never felt like I’ve ever studied the Bible as deeply before. I’ve done in-depth Bible studies before but never for this long or this consistently. Yes, I’ve only studied a handful of books of the Bible over the last year, but those books I studied, I know so much better than I ever have.

I’ve deeply studied God’s Love and our commandments to love others in 1 John, heard the warnings of false teachers in Galatians, and come to see God’s Grace as so powerful throughout this study.

I’m really learning and studying the Bible…and it doesn’t take hours a day. Plain and simple, that’s why I’ve fallen so in love with this “method”. It doesn’t take fancy pens, charts, or coloring systems to keep track of words and phrases (which can be helpful).

But in this busy season of life, I need things simple and easy. I want to study God’s Word deeply, but I don’t need one more complicated system that I won’t follow after 3 days.

What else we use

During this month of study of one book, we immerse ourselves in that book. We try to listen to sermons about that book, look up commentaries on passages we don’t understand, etc. This has also helped us to go even deeper in understanding the text. Here’s a few resources we use:

  • Grace To You – A ministry which has hundreds and hundreds of Sermons archived from John MacArthur. He usually teaches through exposition, which means he goes verse by verse through a book or passage when he’s teaching on it. And on their website you can actually search by book of the Bible. So when we were reading Galatians, we listened through MacArthur’s sermon series on Galatians which helped us understand it even more!
  • John MacArthur Bible Commentaries – We also happen to own the entire MacArthur commentary series (but you can use any commentary you know and trust). We keep that month’s commentary out to help us understand difficult passages, words or phrases that seem odd, etc. For example, he has a commentary on Romans 1-8, perfect for this month!

When We Do Our Reading

Jason and I, over the past year and especially in the last 6-8 months, have been working on the habit of getting up before our kids to have our Bible reading and prayer time.

I am NOT a morning person and I never thought I would be the person sharing this. But in this season of little kids, it has so been worth the sacrifice to shut off the tv, power down our phones and go to bed earlier so that we can have those precious minutes in the morning.

I am not exaggerating when I say that my morning routine of getting up early, has literally transformed my home. On the days I don’t get up early for one reason or another, I always miss it. It’s become my main motivation for actually getting up early when my alarm goes off…because I know how much better my morning routine will be.

View More: http://etchedintime.pass.us/jamiywg

So I do my 25-30 minutes of Bible reading, with a cup of coffee of course, and then spend anywhere from 5-20 minutes in prayer (depending on when my littles start waking up and breakfast time begins).

But Summer has completely thrown off our schedule and now more than ever, I am missing my early morning routine. I NEED to get it back on track and so I’m jumping back in and committing to read every day again! Will you join me? 

5 Keys to Planning a Successful Day 

Free PDF Guide & Training Video! 

If you want to take this concept further and jump into how you can plan for a successful day (and what that even means), then I want to invite you to sign up for my FREE video and PDF guide 5 Keys to Planning a Successful Day

Sign up and you can start going through it right away! Join me to chat about how, with a few simple tips, we can start living with more intention. It might seem overwhelming to work on being more intentional and purposeful in your schedules and to-do list. But in reality, it takes just a few minutes to begin transforming your routines with 5 simple steps…

5 keys

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Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and like your house is out of control?
  • Join my free course and learn the essential habits for Christian homemakers
    • Oh I didn’t include that!! We are adding in nightly Bible reading of the Old Testament. This was another suggestion from John MacArthur. It takes only about 20 minutes a day to read the old testament in a year. So Jason and I are starting the habit of reading the OT at night before bed. Sometimes it’s 20 minutes, other times it’s not as long. 🙂

  1. That is such a great idea! I’ve not done it for 30 days in a row, but I’ve used the “How to Study Your Bible” methods in varying capacities, and LOVE them! Thanks for the reminder of how simple Bible study can be.

  2. Hi! I love your blogs and I love reading how other mom’s fit their bible reading during their day. I have heard about making over your mornings several months ago, but I didn’t do the course. I am reconsidering it now, but I am wondering if you have experience with the evening course. Someone on another blog recommends starting with the evening one first. Thoughts? Thanks!

    • I love the evenings course!! I think you can start with either. But Crystal created the mornings course first and I like starting with my morning routines first because it seems to have a bigger impact on my day. And then working on my evenings course just helps support and reinforce my morning routines. I think you can start with either 🙂

  3. Thank you for this great way to study the Bible! I have John MacArthur’s book and I am going to pull it now to read!
    Looking forward to the Make you Mornings Over challenge, I started and maybe now I will finish it will some accountability!

  4. Thank you for this idea. I have just started using this method and I am really enjoying it. I feel like I am learning soo much more with this method. I have found that if I don’t have time to read the Bible, listening to it while I am getting ready removes the feelings of guilt over not reading it.

    What books would you recommend to read after 1 John?

    I love your blog, even though I am not a Mum or Wife yet; I feel like I am learning and gaining insights into what life will be like. Thank you xxx

    • Thanks Bethany!!

      So glad you’ve been finding it helpful 😀 We did 1 John, and then tackled the Gospel of John (which we split into three months), then I believe we did Philippians, then Acts (which was split into 3 months but it was so long it could have almost been split into 4). After that, you can just go big book then little book 🙂 Hope that helps!!

  5. I’ve never studied the Bible before and I’m 27! I love this idea because I get so overwhelmed when reading my Bible that my eyes end up going crossed.

    Where would you recommend starting for someone who has never really picked up the Bible beyond a few failed attempts?

    Thank you so much!

      • Hi! thank you for the answer.I do that (20-30 times every new testament book) the last 6 months and i really enjoyed . I also do the same synthetic bible study from the book of James Gray ,whichis really helping me read this way the bible!I ask you just to get a little encouraged ,because most people fail to follow. haha 🙂
        I want to ask you also when is a large book for example 1 romans .You of course brake it to two chinks but do you read the first 8 chapters the first month and then the second 8? or you alternate?

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