According to a recent survey by LifeWay research, 9 out of 10 Americans own a Bible and most American families have 3 Bibles in their house. Out of the 9, half have never even opened their Bible or have read very little of the Bible that they own. As Christian people, I wonder how we can live a life for GOD, but never actually read His word? Its like trying to put together a piece of furniture or electronic equipment without ever opening the instruction manual. In today’s connected world, we have an advantage that previous generations never had. You can download a Bible app for free, read the Bible on the internet for free, or even purchase a Bible on Amazon for less than $5 (Click Here). In American especially, we have no excuse why we can’t find the resources to read the Bible. So why is it that so many Christian’s don’t ever read the Bible? A quick google search will bring up the most common objections: “I don’t understand the Bible,” “It’s too hard” “I don’t like to read,” and my personal favorite “I don’t feel like it’s relevant today.” All these are understandable and worth addressing, but today I would rather help you put a plan together to actually read and study the Bible. The Bible is God’s word written down for us so that we can have a more personal relationship with GOD our creator. From Genesis to Revelation there are historical stories, parables, poems, songs, prophecy, and teachings that will bring meaning and purpose to our everyday lives.
Many times in my own life I have experienced where the scriptures I read in the morning impacted me in a specific situation in that day. I honestly believe that most Christian don’t read or study the Bible because they simply don’t know how to start. We need a plan if we are going to do anything in life and reading the Bible is no different. When my wife and I go on vacation we spend hours and hours planning for our weeks vacation. We look on TripAdvisor and Google to find the best restaurants, parks, and places to see. If we added up all the time we spent planning for our vacations, I bet it would actually surpass the hours we spent on the vacation. Crazy right! So lets make a plan. Proverbs 21:5 says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity.” If we can define the roadmap, search for the best places to start, I believe spending time in GOD’s Word will become less like a chore and more like an enjoyable hobby that you’ll want to do everyday.
1. Set apart a defined time to read
As with anything in life, if something is important to you, you’ll set apart time to do it. The same goes for reading the Bible. Set apart some specific time in your day where you can fully concentrate. Maybe you wake up earlier than normal or you skip the last 30 minutes of TV at night for some reading time. For me, I am a morning person so I wake up about an hour earlier than I need to for work so that I can spend some quality time reading and talking with GOD. With 2 kids, I know that once they are awake, my day will center around them and I won’t have the opportunity to devote myself fully to reading the Bible.
2. Put away all distractions
One thing that I like to do when I read is to put my phone on the other end of the table or in another room altogether. I know that if it is sitting next to me, I’ll have the impulse to pick it up and check the weather, email, or the daily sports news. For me, it’s easier if I have no internet content sitting near me when I go to read the Bible. My wife on the other hand uses the Bible App to read and for her devotionals. For her, she can separate herself from going on Instagram or the internet so that she can spend quality time reading the Bible using her apps. That doesn’t work for me, but it works for her. If you are an app Bible reader, I would encourage you to go on airplane mode or really use self control so that you are not bothered by texts or emails.
3. Write or Journal what you have read
When I was asking my friends how they connect with GOD while reading the Bible, one consistent habit kept popping up and that was writing down or journaling what they just read. I like to keep a yellow note pad next to me while I read and then when something stands out to me, I’ll write down the verse and how it connects in my life. Many of the blogs that I have written for Anchor Movement have come from moments where GOD pointed out a specific verse, I began journaling how it made me feel, and then from there a blog or a series of blogs was born. Throughout the Bible, you can find numerous instances where GOD told someone to “write this down” or “put this on paper.” There’s just a something permanent in our mind and heart when we write the scriptures down that impact us the most.
Keep in mind, this is not an all encompassing list of the best practices when beginning or trying to instill the habit of reading your Bible on a daily basis. You are a unique person with individual personalities and characteristics. Each of us learn and study in different way, but I believe if you’ll set a defined time to read, put away all the distractions, and write down what you’ve read and felt, you’ll put yourself into position to have an effective Bible reading time.