Let’s be completely clear… We NEED to read the Bible. It’s not something we do as a favor to God. Life does not go well if we don’t. Now there are people who don’t read the Bible and live absolutely fabulous lives, but that’s because they aren’t a true child of God: they don’t need the Word of God because they don’t live according to the ways of Christ. But for those of us who are truly chosen, we don’t know who we are or what to do without consulting our “Life’s Instruction Manual” on a daily basis. Yes BooBoo, I said daily.
Many people feel guilty about the fact that reading the Bible is hard for them, not just because it’s hard to read, but because they simply don’t have a desire to. (Let’s just be all the way real!) Some people think it’s boring, which makes me question if they’ve EVER read the Bible because… my Dear… “boring” it certainly is NOT! (I’m convinced that soap operas learned drama from the Good Book!!) Some people tend to get so lost in the thus’, thou’s, and wherefore arts, that they just say “God knows my heart” and leave their Bibles on the nightstand to collect dust. Well what a lot of people don’t realize is that there are so many modern editions and resources that make the Bible so much more understandable, relatable, and interesting (yes, interesting!!) than it used to be in the past.
Here are 5 tips that will make you look forward to studying the Bible every day!
Get a Devotional
One of the hardest parts about reading the Bible is knowing where to start. When you’re a beginner to reading the Bible, a devotional is one of the best ways to start. If you don’t know what a devotional is, it’s basically a calendar of scriptures. Every day has its own scripture and a word of inspiration or encouragement for the day. I personally use the Jesus Calling Morning and Evening Devotional by Sarah Young, but there are an infinity of different devotionals for women, men, husbands, wives, singles, mothers, fathers, ect. Using a devotional helps you to make connections between the scriptures and how they fit into your everyday life until you are able to do that on your own. It’s also a good way to get daily direction for what scriptures to read. I often read the entire chapter of the verse for each day
(For example: If the day’s verse is Romans 8:28, I will read the whole 8th chapter of Romans.) Sometimes I end up getting so sucked into it that I have a hard time finding a stopping place!
Download a Bible App
Bible apps make every reason you’ve ever had for not reading the Bible sound completely and utterly ridiculous. These apps allow you to basically customize your own electronic Bible. Bible apps offer:
Reading plans– This is basically a daily scripture reading assignment that helps you to read through the Bible in a year. With some apps, each reading day comes with a short devotional as well. That’s a 2-in-1 already!
Scripture/ keyword search– This allows you to search scriptures by using certain words, topics, and phrases. So if you need scriptures on fear, just pop it in the search bar and you’ll have all of the scriptures on dealing with fear at your fingertips. Easy!!
Different Translations– Bible apps are also handy because they house all of the millions of Bible translations (no really millions, but there’s a lot of them). I would suggest trying out some of them and choosing your favorite one before buying a Bible in print (because they aren’t cheap!) To get you started, a few of my favorites are the New International Version (NIV), The Message bible (MSG), and the Amplified Bible (AMP).
Audio option – Most Bible apps have an audio option that will actually read the scriptures to you. Yes! It will do the reading for you! So multi-tasking, non-readers don’t have an excuse either! (Even though I don’t suggest multi-tasking while reading the Bible, especially when just starting out.)
The Bible wasn’t written from the minds of men; God was able to write it through them from their Spirits. So if you want to really understand it, you have to read it with your Spirit. I make it a habit to pray before I begin reading my Bible. I simply ask God to direct me in what He wants me to read and grant me the wisdom to understand it and the ability to hide it in my heart, even when my mind fails to remember it. Praying first opens my spiritual eyes to seeing things within the scriptures that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. This amazes me EVERY…TIME when it happens and it makes me look forward to whatever secret will be revealed the next time I read!
You may think this doesn’t make much of a difference when you are just starting out, but you will soon be able to notice a huge difference on the off-chances that I forget to pray first. Activate your Spiritual eyes and mind through prayer so that you don’t miss out on the insider info the Bible has to offer.
We often assume that we have to “feel like” doing things for God. But the truth is, God could care less about how our emotions are connected to the things He expects of us, as long as our hearts and intentions for doing them are in the right place. He cares more about our obedience in committing ourselves to learning about and living for Him.
We claim that we’re too busy, but we clearly have time to do lesser things in our day. *Heavy shade* What we need to understand is that in the midst of all the things we have to do, we can’t afford NOT to take the time to spend with God and His Word.
I personally schedule at least an hour immediately after I open my eyes in the morning and an hour right before I go to sleep at night to spend with God- worshipping, praying, and reading my Bible and devotional.
But for a beginner, I would suggest the 5/5/5 Method: 5 minutes of worship (1-2 songs), 5 minutes of prayer, and 5 minutes of Bible/Devotional reading.
Now this is just a starting point; after a solid month you should be able to worship, pray, and read longer than 15 minutes. But if you are doing this consistently every day, then you will notice that your time with God will naturally begin to become longer and longer over time as you grow in your personal relationship with Him. But for now: schedule it, don’t miss it no matter how you feel, and be consistent until your “want to” grows bigger than your “need to.”
Make it Attractive
I like to think of my time with God as a date. *insert heart eyes emoji* So I thought about the things that I would normally do to prepare for a date. I started to incorporate soft music, a clean and cozy space, soft lighting, and even candles. (I LOOOOVE candles!!) Sometimes I even choose to do the worship part of my date with God while taking a relaxing shower or bath. I know it seems a little “extra” but when I set the scene, it made me look forward to my time with Him.
I also made a point to make my bible study supplies really cute. I was always the type of nerd that looked forward to the first day of school, but not because I wanted to wear my flyy, new school clothes, but because I was excited to use all of my new school supplies!! Buy a pretty bible (check these out, they are gorgeous!) as well as a cute journal and your favorite colors in highlighters and pens for your bible study time.
Something I want you to know is that the Bible itself is not sacred, only the information it contains. Many people feel that f it “touches the ground” or gets a cup ring on it that it’s been defiled and they are damned to Hell. But that’s not true at all. So feel free to write in it and underline and highlight certain things that stick out to you. On the days I am allowing God to lead me on what to read, I flip through my Bible and read the things I’ve written, underlined, and highlighted until He gives me direction to dig into a certain scripture, chapter, or book of the Bible a little deeper.
There are very few pages in my Bible that don’t have writing or marks on them… I’ve ripped a few pages (oops)… the binding is coming loose… and the edges are curled up and chipped. Needless to say, my Bible is very well broken in. But it looks like that because I use it! You can buy a new Bible, but you only have one soul. Feed it with the Word so that it can continue to grow big and strong!