The Bible Every Day: Tips

10:28 PM

Let's face it: reading the Bible every day is hard.  Doing anything every day is hard.  And when you're first forming a new habit, it can be especially hard.  I definitely have not mastered being perfectly diligent with my daily Bible reading, but I'm growing, and God has been teaching me many lessons along the way.  

One thing that I've discovered is that I must read the Word of God every single day, even when I don't feel like it.  If I take a day off because of my own laziness, or even because of business, then it is even harder to read the next day, and I begin to lose the desire to read the Bible.  But when I read every day, then it is normal, and it isn't especially hard to read day after day.  I recommend reading the Bible first thing in the morning, because it sets your mind on the things you want them to be set on for the rest of the day.  But reading first thing isn't going to work for some people, so if it doesn't for you, then pick a different time.  Don't plan on reading the Bible at a time that will almost never work for you!  It's also a good idea if you try to read 2/3-3/4 of the amount you plan to read at your normal time.  If you put off reading too much until later in the day, then you may have a hard time catching up.  Or, you may forget altogether, and then you will get behind.  

This just doesn't work.

Do not try this at home...even if you are reading my blog.  Try to remove as many distractions as possible.  No, you can't expect everyone to be perfectly quiet while you read your Bible, but you can choose to put your phone in a different room while you read your Bible.  Your distraction may be something completely different -- a new book, wanting to start a conversation with everyone who comes into the room, trying to do geometry and write that paper while also doing your morning devotions.  You just can't do it.  Imagine how you would feel if you were trying to talk to someone about something very important, and they were completely engrossed in social media or were trying to get half a dozen tasks done while you talked.  You would want them to give you their full attention, and you would think that it was very rude if they didn't.  We need to read our Bibles with our minds completely focused, because God is telling us something very important.  We don't want to miss it.  

Speaking of paying attention, something that helps me a lot is to visualize what I am reading.  I picture Moses coming down from the mountain with his face shining, Athaliah's rage at seeing her grandson made king, Jesus raising the widow of Nain's son, and the believers fervently praying after Peter and John were arrested.  I also try to read "out loud" in my head.  So basically, I'm hearing myself in my head use the same voice and tone that I use when I recite.  Doing this compels me to notice every word, rather than just glazing over half the words.  For example, I realized recently that I have a tendency to read large numbers as "six, zero, three, five, five, zero" instead of "six hundred and three thousand, five hundred and fifty".  Even though a number may not seem very important, it disrespects the Word of God for me to ignore any part of it.

There are many different ways to go about reading the Bible.  My favorite way is to read through all of the Bible in a year.  If you are reading through the Bible in a year, then you should read an average of 3.2 chapters each day.  Up until now, I have not read it in order, although I normally read individual books in order.  This year, I have gone completely in order as of today, so we'll see if I continue to do it that way.  Some people like to use Bible reading plans.  If you google "bible reading plans", you'll get lots of results, but here are some basic ones from BibleGateway if you don't want to hunt for plans.  If you know me very well, then you probably know that I do not like schedules, because I feel tied down to them and feel like I'm a failure if I can't keep a goal (I know, it's really silly).  However, if you are a very organized person but are relaxed about mess-ups, then plans will probably work really well for you.  I prefer to follow my own plan, so I just use a Bible reading chart.

Last year, I started writing down verses as I read that were especially meaningful to me or that I wished to meditate on.  I keep a notebook (or two) in my Bible case, that way I am always able to write down verses that I come across.  This has helped me a lot with focus, memory, and understanding.  I will say one thing, though: do not feel like you have to have handwriting that looks like calligraphy to do this.  I know that it's ridiculous to hold back from writing verses in a notebook that no one else will see, just because your handwriting isn't the most beautiful out there, but I must admit that this was a temptation to me when I first started.  But now that I have been doing it for nearly a year, I no longer think much about my handwriting, but about what I am actually writing.  And this is a wonderful way to meditate.  

For those who cannot tell from the picture, the question is on one side of a card, and the answer is on the other side.  So no, "bitumen pits" was not Abram's intended heir :). 

I love these little books!  You can get them for about $2 each at Walmart, and they are so wonderful for so many things.  I've implemented them into my daily Bible reading, writing general Bible knowledge questions from the text.  This may not be as geared toward meditation, but I want to know the Word of God better, and I think that this will be helpful.

Underlining in my Bible isn't something that I do as much as I did when I first started reading my Bible regularly, but I still think that it can be very helpful.  If you underline a verse, then you will inevitably end up reading it twice.  Yes, it will leave a mark in your Bible, but if that helps you to remember and understand the Word of God better, then it is worth it.

One more tip: get ahead on your reading.  There are going to be days when something completely unexpected comes up, and you really just won't have time to read your normal amount.  You may still want to read a chapter or so, but if you have read extra on other days, then you won't feel stressed if that's all you have time for.

To those who are struggling right now, it gets easier the more you do it.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a really hard time focusing when I first began reading the Bible.  But now, I'm reading through the Pentateuch for the fifth time, and I'm amazed at how much I am enjoying it.  That's evidence of the grace of God, because I never would have thought in 2012 that I would someday find a lot of joy in reading Leviticus or Numbers.  So don't give up!  Keep on reading, and you will eventually enjoy and begin to understand it.  As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."

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  1. Thanks so much for the encouragement! I've been reading through the Bible in a year but I missed the last few days so your post has encouraged me to go find my Bible right now. :D

  2. Thanks for sharing these, Anna! I especially love how you mentioned spending time with the Lord is the same as talking to a friend, and how we should be focused on him and not distracted.

    Also I like the new blog design. :)


  3. Great post, Anna! I've really enjoyed this series - I'm reading through the Bible in a year too (for the first time, sadly!), and it's been a huge blessing so far. And yes to the grace of God that can make even Numbers and Leviticus encouraging and rewarding!

    Oh, I like the new design, too! Can't wait to see when it's finished! :D

    1. I'm glad to hear that! Yes! To be honest, there are days where I feel like I'm slogging through mud, but then it's so special when something suddenly clicks and makes sense, and then I am so encouraged and convicted by that truth.

      Thank you! I seriously am so impressed that it took you only about two hours to update your website. I've already spent roughly 15 hours on this :P.

  4. Thank you so much for the encouragement!!! I have been going through certain books of the bible with different friends, and I agree--studying God's word is a GINORMOUS BLESSING!!! I will be praying for you as you pursue what God has placed on your heart!!! God bless!!!


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