Let It Shine: The Bible in One Year

On episode twenty of the third season of Gilmore Girls, Dave Rygalski, Lane Kim’s love interest, reads the entire Bible in one night to impress Lane’s mom and secure her approval. On January 1, 2021 I set a slightly less ambitious goal for myself – to read the entire Bible in one year. 

365 days later, the ‘task’ is complete and I am forever changed.

Although I have attended Catholic school my entire life, my faith did not become a significant part of my identity until the summer before sophomore year in 2019. Ever since then, I have fully intended to read the Bible but never acted upon my desire to do so. My excuses, ranging from not having enough time to not knowing where to start, led me to avoid God’s word. 

My one and only New Year’s resolution for 2021 was to overcome my fear and start a plan on the Bible app titled “Bible in One Year” by Nicky Gumbel. Nicky is a priest living in London. In 1990, he started Alpha – a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith. Typically, each Alpha session runs for eleven weeks as believers and nonbelievers alike gather in homes, cafes, churches, and universities to share food, a talk, and conversation. Alpha has spread beyond Britain as there are hundreds of groups around the world. 

To reach a greater audience, Nicky created a “Bible in One Year Plan” on the Bible App. This plan is extremely accessible for beginners as it breaks down the Bible passages in a digestible way. On average, I would set aside 15 to 20 minutes to read each night. 

Every day’s plan starts with a devotional which explains the content of the passages, highlights the connections between them, and reveals how the entirety of the Bible ultimately points to Jesus. 

Following the devotional, there are 4-6 chapters taken from three sections of the Bible: Psalms/Proverbs, the New Testament, and then the Old Testament. 

For the first three months, I considered my 20 minutes of prayer time a chore. 

My mindset began to change in April when I realized how reading God’s word was impacting my life. The change was both internal and external. 

Internally, I feel a deeper connection to God. 

I am filled with the Holy Spirit, I am happier, I worry less, I smile more. The Bible has a wonderful way of opening your heart and letting peace in. I feel safe knowing that there is a God who understands me, loves me, and will guide me. 

Externally, I have become more conscious of how I can use my life to positively influence others. 

I have started to say little intentions for those I come across throughout my day. For instance, on my car rides to school, I whisper prayers for those biking up a hill or walking their dogs.

I have also begun to watch my words. Now, I catch myself as I gossip, remembering Bible verses that warn against a deceitful tongue.

The Bible has not made me perfect. We, as humans, will never be perfect. 

However, the Bible helps us recognize that through Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven. 

God wants us to try. To pray. To seek him out. That is the secret to a good life. 

Whether you have been drawn to the Bible for years or have never thought about reading God’s word, I highly encourage you to download the Bible app and start Nicky Gumbel’s plan. 

I promise that it will change your life for the better.