“5 Ways to Improve Your Daily Bible Reading”Categories: Christian Living, Joshuah Ellis
OK, let’s just be real here. We all know that we should be reading our Bible every day. After all, what could be a better use of our time then being in God’s Word? Then, why is it so hard to do sometimes? I have always been envious of people who talk about waking up at 5am and reading their Bible before they start their day. I so wish that I was that person, but I can barely get my pants on first thing in the morning let alone comprehend the inspired Word of God. So if you are one of the 5am folks, I salute you. But what about the rest of us? What about those of us who struggle with finding time to study our Bible and make it a meaningful and profitable experience? Here are 5 tricks that I have used to improve my Bible reading.
1. Set an alarm on your phone. No one said that you have to read your Bible first thing in the morning. Early mornings at my house are dedicated to school lunches, pop-tarts, sleepy kids and catatonic parents. Oh, I should wake up earlier you say? Don’t make me hurt you. So instead of doing my Bible reading first thing in the A.M., maybe I will set an alarm on my phone for 3pm or noon or whenever I know that I will have some time, during the day, to do my reading. Then, make this your practice for the same time every day. It doesn’t matter when you read as long as you get it done.
2. Read a manageable amount. I believe the demise of Daily Bible Reading is partially due to these “read the Bible in a year” plans. Who made that a thing? Where is it written that you have to read the Bible in a year? So you don’t have to start your reading with 4 chapters from Genesis, 8 Psalms and 3 chapters from Matthew. You may not have time for all that, and there is nothing wrong with that. Read a chapter a day and resolve to read 5 days a week. After all, it’s inevitable that you’re going to miss a day here and there. This way, you have some breathing room and can get caught up more easily when life throws you a curveball.
3. Don’t read. Listen. There are a ton of Bible apps out there. I even blogged about this a while back. You can check out that post by clicking here. Many of these apps give you the option of listening to the Bible, which can come in really handy. Plug your phone into the auxiliary jack in your car, connect via Bluetooth, or just listen from your phone’s speaker on the way to work. You might even find that you retain more from listening as opposed to reading.
4. Read with a pen in your hand. I love this! It helps me get the most out of my reading since my mind tends to wander at times. Getting into the practice of taking notes while you are reading can be super helpful. I have used P.A.T.H., which I learned about from another preacher a few years back. For this, when you read, you also write down something that motivates you to Praise God, an Admonition from the text, something that motivates you to Trust in God and something that Helps you persevere. I have also used reading reactions, which I learned about in grad school. Come up with 4 or 5 questions that you can answer about each passage as you read. Some examples of questions are “What did I appreciate about his passage?” “What did I have trouble with?” What application can I make after reading this passage?” “What can I say about God after reading this passage?” or “What can I say about the church after reading this passage?” Whatever device you use, give reading with a pen in hand a shot and see what you think.
5. Read with a friend/spouse. My wife and I have done this and we really enjoyed it. We would take turns reading aloud and then at the end we would have about a 10-minute discussion about the text. This is great because another person might pick up on something from the text that you missed. It is also a great source of accountability for making sure that you get your reading done.
Daily Bible Reading might not be the easiest thing in the world for you, and that’s ok. However, I hope that 1 or all of these suggestions will help you develop good practices and stick with them.