A couple months ago, I found my daily quiet times in a bit of a slump. Looking for a new tool, I took Zondervan up on an opportunity to try their Once-A-Day Bible for Leaders (NIV). It turns out this resource was exactly what I needed. After using it for over 50 days, here are the 4 features that I have found most helpful:
1. 365 Days. No Dates.
I’ve tried one year reading plans before. But every time I inevitably miss a few days and find myself completely off-track for good. The Once-A-Day Bible for Leaders is divided into 365 readings but numbers the days (1-365) rather than assigning them an actual date. So in the times when I miss a day or two, I can jump back into my quiet times without feeling like I’m way behind.
2. Old and New Testament Combined
Having a non-traditional structure, each day’s reading includes passages from the Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalms or Proverbs. I’ve found that I’m more engaged when reading a few different types of Scripture together. Additionally, I regularly discover themes that cross over the Old and New Testaments, furthering my level of discovery within Scripture.
3. Guilty-Free Underlining
For some reason, I have always hesitated to underline or take notes directly in my Bibles. I prefer to have a clean page when I go back to a passage as if I’m discovering it for the first time. Since the Once-A-Day Bible for Leaders is structured for daily reading, I won’t be using for general reference. This lets me scribble notes in it without feeling guilty. I only wish the margins were a bit wider. This Bible was not designed for note taking.
4. Daily Leadership Reflections
Each day’s reading ends with a short reflection on leadership by a Christian author. They are meant to connect with a scripture from that day’s reading. However, many times those connections feel loose at best. The content of most reflections are also fairly shallow. Despite these shortcomings, they do help me consider how the Scripture I read can inform my leadership. This is a great way to connect a quiet time to the workday ahead.
Regardless of which Bible you use, I genuinely believe that the personal study of Scripture is the greatest thing we can do for our leadership development. Our influence with others begins with the state of our hearts and God’s Word will constantly challenge us to grow in that area. I hope 2015 is a great year for your own quiet times!
Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
– Psalm 1:1-3