So…what is that? 0 for 4? Yeah, it was pretty much a disaster. And while I still have my issues and continue to work on growing in this area, I have found some tips that have been very helpful. Some have come from my pastor through sermons and such. Others have come from tips from other spiritual mentors. And there are some that I have learned from experience. So please take the following tips just as they are, tips from someone that has benefitted from them.
1. Version – Choose a version of the Bible that you can understand. If you are a “King James only” type of person and you have real trouble understanding it, you may want to explore a more modern translation. Or maybe you have tried several translations and just never found a version that speaks to you.
Luckily, modern technology provides us with several ways to find a compatible version without buying 30 Bibles. Check out Bible Gateway and browse through their translations to see which one you might like. Then purchase a paper Bible in that translation. I know some folks are getting into exclusively using electronic versions, but I am still a big fan of having a sword you can highlight, write in, and tote around with you without worrying about a gadget failure.
2. Consistency – If something is not a part of your daily routine or schedule, it will more than likely not happen on a regular basis. Even if you have to write it into your calendar or set reminders on your phone, find a way to have a consistent reading time each day. We are creatures of habit, and we get to choose whether to establish good habits or bad habits. Daily Bible reading is one of the best habits you can have.
The very best time to do this is right after you brush your teeth. The sooner you start soaking in the word, the more God-filled the rest of your day will be. So find some time in the morning, during breakfast or your morning cup of coffee, to spend some time in God’s Word. Then be amazed at how much easier your day is.
3. Pace – Retaining information is difficult for most people, especially when we try to take in too much at once. Reading the Bible is not a race. There is too much great stuff in there for you to speed through. For some, even a chapter can be too much to really soak in each day. So start out with a paragraph or two. You may be able to do more later, or you may not. Regardless, reading a paragraph each day is much better than reading a chapter every two months. Pace yourself.
4. Pray – Each time you sit down to read, pray that God will speak to you. Pray after you read that God will allow what you read to soak in. Also pray that you will be able to take the scripture and apply it to your walk with Him. Pray a lot. That’s actually a good rule of thumb for all situations.
5. Repeat – Don’t be afraid to repeat a passage. If you pray over your reading and take in a paragraph that you just don’t get, pray over it and read again. Then pray and read again. Rinse and repeat. If you are just reading a small section, then you will have time to read a passage an extra time or two. It is more important that you are able to experience God through your reading than it is to get through the Bible in a set amount of time.
6. Discuss – If you have a question after reading a particular passage or if something just blows you away, talk to somebody about it. God wants us to utilize each other to come closer to Him. Ask questions. Share your experiences. Praise God through discussing his Word.
Like I said, these are a few tips that have helped me greatly as I continue to work on my practice of daily Bible reading. Hopefully one or two of these will help you as well. If you have any other tips that have helped you, please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear some new ways to improve my reading experience.