If you’re like me, you know a few people who always seem to be on top of their Bible reading plan. They wake up at 4 in the morning, spend an hour in prayer, read through Leviticus three times, and have the book of Psalms memorized by the time they commute to work. And if you’re even more like me, there’s a part of you deep down that harbors a little bit of resentment towards those people. How can they be so consistent? How do they read their Bibles that much? How are they even coherent that early in the morning?
If you aren’t tracking with me and you’re one of those early morning devotions people, I applaud you. In fact, even if I resent you a little, I’m glad that you are so committed to reading God’s Word. I hope you stay consistent in your communion with God, even if you tend to annoy the rest of us sometimes. But for us run-of-the-mill, lucky-to-read-our-Bibles-a-few-times-a-week-but-we-want-to-do-more people, I have hope.
Because, let’s be real, it’s hard to read the Bible every day. Reading the Bible isn’t like skimming through Facebook at breakfast and it isn’t like devouring the latest James Patterson thriller in a beach chair. It takes effort. Which is why it’s so easy to push it aside some days. But look at some of these verses from Psalm 119.
Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
Psalm 119:97 “O how love I thy Law! It is my meditation all the day."
Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
Just listen to the reverence the Psalmist has for the written Word of God. It is his meditation all day long? Really? Most of us are lucky to meditate on a single verse we scribble on an index card on our way out the door. But I have no doubt that the Psalmist is pouring his heart out here – he really does treasure God’s Word, he really does meditate on it throughout the day, and he really does see the Word as a lamp for his feet and a light on his path. How can we come to a place where we can truly say those things about God’s Word?
To begin with, cement this fact in your mind: it is not about my feelings. I fight this thought daily. Sometimes, I don’t feel like reading the Bible. But does that mean I shouldn’t? Of course not. The truths of God’s Word are not affected by my feelings. Neither are they affected by yours. So part of coming to a place where you love God’s Word is overcoming feelings. Don’t let your depression, or your anxiety, or even your anger, get in the way of reading the Bible. Go to it daily. Which leads into the next point.
To develop a love for God’s Word means we much engage in consistent reading of Scripture. We cannot develop a love for God’s Word unless we are reading it. Which means we need to work to develop the habit of reading his word. Below, I am going to suggest a few ways we can go from reading just a few days a week to opening God’s Word with consistency.
1. Use a Bible reading plan
The church I attend has a church-wide Bible reading plan that we use together. I jumped on board late this year, but just having a scheduled Bible reading routine has helped in my personal devotions this Summer.
2. Use a good translation
Find a translation that is easy for you to read – try a translation that you haven’t used before so the words will ring fresh in your memory. A quick Google search will give you hundreds of translations to choose from. Be sure to research your translation before you use it to see if it fits your needs.
3. Use an unmarked Bible
Oftentimes, using Bibles we have highlighted and scribbled notes in can be a bit of a distraction. Our eyes are immediately drawn to the things that have already stood out to us and it isn’t hard to pay more attention to those parts. Reading from an unmarked Bible can help eliminate this distraction and open our eyes to the entirety of the text.
I have only just recently been introduced to the world of audiobooks, but I have quickly fallen in love with them. The Bible on audio is no different. Sometimes if my eyes are tired in the morning, or I am just having a hard time focusing, I turn to a good reading of the Bible to assist me in my reading.
Sadly, this is probably my most overlooked Bible-reading help. We can’t learn to love God’s Word unless we ask Him to give us a love for His Word. John Calvin remarked in his Institutes that it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that people truly change. We must humbly seek God in prayer to change our hearts, renew our minds, and cause us to love His Word.
These are just a few things that have helped me in my daily Bible reading. I hope and pray that they help you as well. If you have any questions, or comments, or you’d just like to chat about God and His Word, email or Facebook message me!