Do you read The Bible daily? Is it easy for you to read a devotion each day, or do you struggle with finding the time to read and study The Bible daily like you should? If you find it difficult to read your Bible daily, you are certainly not alone. Many Christians, including me, struggle with fitting Bible reading into their daily schedule. The first step to developing your daily Bible reading routine is to realize the importance of Bible reading to today’s Christians.
Why is Bible reading important?
- God’s word brings powerful instruction to our lives. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (NLT)
- God’s word provides direction for our lives. “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NLT)
- God’s word corrects us and brings us to repentance. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)
- God’s word helps us resist temptation. Ephesians 6:13 instructs us to “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” (NLT)
Like you, there’s often a battle between my daily responsibilities and my desire to maintain my spiritual health. There have been times in my life when spending time reading The Bible has been easy, and there have been times when it didn’t happen at all. It’s important that we realize the power of God’s word in our lives so we can focus on making it a priority every day. Today I thought I’d share with you some tips to developing a daily Bible reading routine.
Start With Baby Steps
I think one of the biggest mistakes many Christians make when attempting to develop a daily Bible study routine is over-committing themselves. It may sound like a great idea to read the entire New Testament in 30 days, but it’s a better idea to start with baby steps. Remember that your time alone with God is meant to be a time of communion with him and should be enjoyed. Do not make it into a chore by getting overwhelmed with a strict reading schedule or too complicated study method.
For example, years ago I had a friend who wanted to develop a stronger prayer life. Even 5 minutes of daily prayer daily was a difficult task for him, so I was surprised when someone at church suggested he commit one hour each day to prayer. You can imagine how painful this was for someone just starting a prayer time, so after a few unsuccessful attempts he gave up altogether. It is best to start with baby steps, and as you mature and grow in faith you will eventually find yourself taking larger, giant steps in your Bible study and prayer life.
Schedule Your Daily Bible Reading
It is much easier to make Bible reading a habit when you designate a time of day to do it. Just like establishing a physical exercise routine, it is easier to develop a habit when you train your body and mind to complete a task at the same time daily. It doesn’t have to be a specific time (like 9am) or a set length of time (like one hour). Just commit to reading your Bible when you first wake up, or right after breakfast, or after you put the children to bed. The time of day is your decision, but be sure it’s a time when you will be mentally alert and ready to receive God’s instruction.
Pick a Bible Reading Plan
It is much easier to study the Bible when you have a plan. There are so many ways to find a Bible reading plan these days. You can find a devotional book at your local bookstore or find reading plans online. You can pick up your Bible and commit to reading one chapter a day. Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
One of my favorite methods is to use the YouVersion Bible App. I have it on both my Kindle and I Phone so I can read my plan anywhere at anytime. There are many different types of plans to choose from, so you can choose a plan that is best suited for you. You can choose a plan to read the Bible in a year or in 90 days…it’s your choice. Right now I’m reading the New Testament in 60 days. In the past I’ve read the entire Bible in 90 days. Pray and ask God to help you decide what plan is best for you at this time in your life. Remember it doesn’t matter how little or how much you’re reading, just that you’re making the effort to make Bible reading a part of your daily life.
Document Your Bible Study
I started documenting my Bible reading after reading The Air I Breathe by Louie Giglio. He described how when he first started studying the Bible, he would read just one verse each day from the Book of Psalms. He would then choose a word to describe what that verse revealed about God’s character. He would write down the word in his journal, meditate on it and then write his own thoughts about how it applied to his life. I took Louie’s method and developed my own Bible reading method.
Each day I pull up my plan on YouVersion and write down the scriptures for the day in my journal along with the date. After reading the passage, I jot down my thoughts on those scriptures, mostly about what stood out to me in that day’s reading. Some days I may write just a sentence, but others half a page. Remember there’s no right and wrong here! Next, I jot down a prayer for God to help me apply the principles I learned to my life. Sometimes I even write down my specific prayer requests for that day. I discovered that by documenting my daily Bible reading in a journal, it helps me retain what I’ve read. It also helps me stay on track since I’m a perfectionist and hate to see missed days in my journal! Why not see if it does the same for you?
Don’t Give Up!
Don’t get discouraged if you miss a day. Just this past week when climbing into bed one night I realized I hadn’t completed my daily reading. I had woken up late that day, which made my morning super busy, and I didn’t complete it after breakfast like I normally do. You see, we all have days when things go awry and we find ourselves off track. There is no need to worry…just pick yourself up and start again the next day. Remember we are all in this fight together and we all make mistakes. That is the reason why we all need Jesus, after all.
Most importantly, you should pray and ask God to help you establish your daily Bible reading routine. He is faithful and will help you. The more you read and study his word, the more important it will become to your daily walk as a Christian. Before you know it, reading your Bible will be a habit and will take precedence in your life.
I’ve created a Daily Bible Reading Guide to help you get started. You can use the guide to help you develop your daily Bible reading routine in just 31 days. Subscribers can download the free guide from the free printable library by using their password. If you’re not already a subscriber, sign up below to get access and download your free Daily Bible Reading Guide today.