Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.Joshua 1:8
Does Bible reading ever feel like a religious task? I mean, we’ve all experienced the “have to” feeling with Bible reading. I want to encourage us that, even though it sometimes feels like a religious duty, it’s essential to know what the word says despite how we feel. The Bible is one of the best ways for us to get to know God, ourselves, and others. When we read it consistently, we grow spiritually!
For the longest time, I struggled with feeling guilty for skipping a day or two or even a week. I felt like I had to make up time by doubling up in my reading, even when I realistically didn’t have time! Thankfully, the Holy Spirit helped me realize this isn’t right. It isn’t about how much or how often we read, it’s about what happens through reading it. When we read through the Bible, there are certain books that can get tedious, boring, confusing, and even offensive. Yet, it’s still in our best interest to read it in the best of our ability for ultimate spiritual growth.
There are tools and resources available to us that can make our Bible reading more interesting. Not only so, but also more understandable and, in tedious books like Leviticus, more insightful. There is much to discover! With the help of the Holy Spirit and prayer, we can unearth revelations that will ground us deeper in Christ!
I want to share four quick tips for going through the Bible. No matter how I feel about Bible reading in any season, I’ve applied these four ways to help make my Bible reading more effective, interesting, and memorable, and I hope they serve as an encouragement to you for your Bible reading!
1. Use study tools & resources
- Blue Letter Bible
- Hebrew & Greek Lexicons,
- Jewish Translations and Commentaries,
- Strong’s Concordance, etc.
- Google search
Along with the Bible and the Holy Spirit, study tools and resources can help deepen our Bible study and widen our understanding of historical timelines, cultures, geography, concepts, and contexts. Sometimes, it’s best to read through parts of the Bible with no resources at all, but that’s for us to discern and discuss with the Lord.
Use study tools and resources you’re comfortable with. Don’t overwhelm yourself, and if you can’t find something you like, keep reading. Certain Bibles include cross-references and notes which are immensely helpful, too!
2. Find or Create a Bible Reading Plan
Finding or creating a Bible reading plan makes going through the Bible simpler. Not only do I recommend making it interesting for ourselves but also realistic and doable. We must not lose sight of the purpose of consistent Bible reading. When we do, we will get caught up in checking off the box instead of reading to learn and grow.
I don’t always keep a plan, but when I do, I am more consistent in reading. You can read through the Bible in a year or change it up on a weekly basis. This tip will help you go through the Bible in an organized way. Otherwise, keep reading 🙂
See my recommended “create your own” reading plan at the end of this post.
3. Journal while you read
The third tip is to journal while you read. Write your questions, comments, and connections of scriptures in a notebook or in your Bible, and then revisit your notes in a few days, weeks, or with a friend. This is helpful for your memory and digestion of the Word. You can doodle and draw things out to better understand a verse or chapter.
Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible. This will help you remember the locations of specific verses!
4. Talk about it
Finally, talk with others about what you’re reading through the Bible. Share your thoughts, revelations, and questions. Keep it open for discussion and stay in learning mode. When debates spark up, lean into the Holy Spirit. Talk less and listen more. Discern the spiritual aspects being said and ask God to lead you into truth.
This will challenge you to really know the truth and stand firm in what you believe. And trust the Holy Spirit to guide you!
Remember, it isn’t about how much or how often we read, it’s about what happens through reading the Bible. When we feel ourselves getting religious with it and only checking off the box, let’s remind ourselves what the purpose is: to get to know God, ourselves, and others. When we get to know God, we get to know His will and how to seek His Kingdom (Matthew 6:33). When we get to know ourselves, we get to know how we are being transformed and renewed to reflect Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18, Colossians 3:10, Ephesians 4:24). And when we get to know others through the Bible, we learn what people are out in the world. Despite any rights or wrongs, we learn how to love everyone with the love of Jesus, and let the power of the Holy Spirit flow through us to transform and impact the lives of others.
Create Your Own Bible Reading Plan:
- Old Testament: 1-2 chapters per week.
- Poetry books: 1-2 chapters every other day.
- Proverbs: One chapter every day per month. (Easy to track!)
- New Testament: 1-2 chapters per week.
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