So you decided to read the Bible more—now what? There are a lot of words between the covers of that holy book. Where do you start? The things in there can be so hard to understand. It can be downright intimidating. You may hear others talk about reading the Bible every day and wonder how in the world they pull it off. What is the secret to reading the Bible more?
I am one of those daily Bible readers. I really do enjoy the time I spend reading God’s word. I am passionate about it and I want to encourage others to develop that passion, too. I have a few secrets to share with you.
Pick a specific time and place.
Our lives are so busy, crammed full of work and home responsibilities. It is easy to get to your pillow at the end of the day without doing some of the important things. Decide ahead of time when and where you will read your Bible. It matters not if it is first thing in the morning, your lunch break, nap time, or before bed. The important thing is to make an appointment with yourself and keep it. Put your Bible in your designated place or pack it in your bag so you are ready when the time comes.
I prefer to read my Bible first thing in the morning. I tend to get busy with my to-do list during the day, making it hard to stop my body and brain long enough to get quiet with the Lord. Maybe you’re not a morning person. If the night fog doesn’t lift until after that second cup of coffee, you may prefer to read your Bible later in the day. As you think about the best time to read, consider this bit of wisdom from Lysa TerKeurst:
We must exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world.
Find a translation you understand.
As you read, consider your ability to understand and apply what you are reading. If you struggle to understand it, chances are you will abandon your commitment to read the Bible regularly. Let’s look at Psalm 119:15-16 in three different translations:
- I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word (KJV).
- I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word (ESV).
- I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word (NLT).
Same verse, same meaning, but different wording. For help choosing a Bible translation that is right for you, read Five Keys to Picking the Best Bible Translation for You.
Follow a plan.
I am all for a commitment to read the Bible through in a year, but I would not advise anyone to start there. I do, however, recommend some type of reading plan. It is good to know exactly what you are going to do when you sit down to read. These are a few of my favorite reading plans.
First 5 is an extension of Proverbs 31 Ministries. It is a free, app-based reading plan, generally a chapter a day. First 5 provides an in-app devotion each day, as well as a “Going Deeper” section if you want to study more. A supplemental book is available for order or download but is not necessary to participate. The app provides space for your thoughts as well as public comments. You can even set an alarm in the app so it will remind you to read.
She Reads Truth
She Reads Truth‘s mission is “women in the word every day.” They do an excellent job of cultivating a better understanding and a deeper passion for the word of God. Their reading plans vary—books of the Bible, seasonal studies such as Lent, and topical studies. The community within She Reads Truth (SRT) is strong. The “She’s” offer great support for one another within the comments. SRT also produces beautiful study guides available for purchase, as well as artwork and related supplies. You can find SRT in several formats: web-based, delivered via email, or purchased via the SRT app (some plans are available to download for free).
If you prefer video over reading, IF:Equip provides supplemental video for your daily reading. This plan prompts the reader with three questions to help you understand and apply what you read: “If this is true, what does this mean about God? You? The world?” There is also a supportive community within the comments, as well as local IF:Gatherings. Founder Jennie Allen shares her heart here:
A devotional book or Bible study guide are also a great reading plan. Select a book by a reputable author that speaks to a felt need or topic of interest. Some of my favorites are Believing God Day by Day (Beth Moore), The Quiet Place (Nancy Leigh DeMoss), and Women of the Bible (Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda).
Ask for help.
We are not meant to walk this journey alone. If you get stuck in your reading, ask a trusted friend or search out the answer from integrable ministries such as Grace to You and Revive Our Hearts. Perhaps understanding is not your concern but consistency is. Find someone to hold you accountable. Ask a friend to text you each morning to prompt you to read. Last (and certainly not least), pray. Ask God to give you a passion and understanding for His word. He wants to be close to you and delights in hearing that prayer!
At the end of the day, it’s not about checking off boxes on a reading plan or finishing the Bible in a year. The objective of daily Bible reading is finding deeper intimacy with God. His promises, His instructions, and His heart are all found in the pages of His word. The more time I spend learning about Him, the more I grow to love Him.
If you want any additional help or direction, please contact me! I really do love helping others find their passion for God’s word!
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