I read a good article published by Zondervan and wanted to share it today. I incorporated some of my own thoughts as well. Hope it encourages you to read and study your Bibles faithfully.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
When life is filled with responsibilities, it can be stressful to keep up the daily habit of reading the Bible. This is understandable, as modern life can be complex and hectic; however, we should remember that spending time in God’s Word is essential to continuing the good work of Christ within us. Reading the Bible is necessary to align our hearts, minds, and actions with Christ.
As the Psalmist wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (119:105). Reading the Bible reveals God’s path to us.
So, are there steps can we take to establish and strengthen the daily habit of reading God’s Word?
Try these 5 tips:
1. Start Small:
Let’s get practical. If reading the Bible is to become a daily habit, it will require a commitment of time. Avoid stress by starting small. Try introducing just 5 minutes of Bible reading each day and then, as the time commitment begins to feel more natural, gradually increase your reading time.
ADDITIONAL TIP: Fonts can have a huge impact on the quality of your reading experience. Make sure you select a Bible that’s been designed with a clear, readable typeface so your eyes will be able to focus on God Word’s with ease.
2. Reflect and Journal:
Keep a notepad or journal handy as you read. As God speaks to you, reflect on what He’s saying and briefly write out God’s message. This will help foster personal application from your reading. As James 1:22 tell us, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
ADDITIONAL TIP: There are Bibles customized with space for note taking and journaling. These editions are a convenient option to simplify your devotional time.
3. Set a Goal and Use a Reading Plan:
As you become more comfortable with a daily reading time, challenge yourself by setting goals to read through the Bible, or portions of the Bible, at a steady pace. There are multiple reading plans available to help you find your rhythm. Some plans are intensive, leading you through the entire Bible in as little as 90 days. Others allow for more meditation. For example, there are plans that will take you through the Gospels in 40 days and others that will help you read the complete New Testament in one year.
No matter what plan you select, remember that a reading plan is only a tool to help you stay on track as you spend time in the Word. Don’t let it get in the way of hearing God’s voice.
ADDITIONAL TIP: Checkout www.libertyfamily.org for a yearly Bible reading plan.
4. Go Deep with Study:
Understanding the context and historical setting of a passage is important as you apply the Bible to your life. Not only does the Bible speak directly to us, but it also shows us how God has spoken to His people since in ages past.
Using a study Bible and other study resources will help you learn the cultural background of familiar biblical stories. As you discover what the biblical writers were facing, a new understanding of God’s power and faithfulness will be revealed through the Scriptures. For example, Ephesians 3:20 takes on a new meaning when you realize Paul was in prison: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…”
5. Read with Your Community:
While reading the Bible is essential for personal growth, it also fosters strong community. Find a trusted friend, pastor, teacher, spouse or small group leader to share what God is saying to you through your daily Bible reading. Go a step further and read aloud with a friend. There is power in reading God’s Word in community and in hearing the Scriptures spoken. The accountability may help you to maintain the habit of Bible study! Don’t fail to seize every opportunity to hear the Bible preached and taught by gifted pastor/ teachers.
Terry has been the Senior Pastor of Liberty for 30 years. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 spoiled dog named Cooper.