If you are a Christian, you know you should read your Bible every day! Your Pastor tells you this. Your Bible Study Leader tells you this. You have started the practice countless times only to drop off, feel guilty, and then quit altogether. But what if I gave you easy steps to getting started again and keeping at it?
It is not difficult to develop a daily habit of Bible Reading. Just follow these easy steps…
- Confess to the Lord that you have not made a priority of his Word. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Drifting from God’s Word is to drift from God. When we confess our sins we are acknowledging the drift and drawling near to his grace. We are making a return to him and displaying a commitment to hear and obey his commands. This can be the beginning of your personal revival.
- Let go of guilt over past failures. It may sound strange for me to tell you to confess your sin and then follow that by telling you to let go of your guilt. But it is not strange. There is forgiveness in the blood of Christ. He died to pay for all sins. When we confess our sins, he forgives us and we need not live in that shame any longer. Maybe you have failed in your daily Bible reading habits in the past. Be forgiven and leave those failures in the past. Neglect in your past need not define your future. Whatever you do, don’t start a new Bible reading habit out of guilt. God wants you free from guilt. That is why he gave us Jesus. Be free and stop beating yourself up over the times you didn’t follow through.
- Shift your motive from legalism to one of love. One sure fire way to sabotage your effort is to pursue Bible reading just so you can say you did, or just so you can somehow fulfill your religious checklist for God. Why should you read the Bible? Because through the Scriptures you come to know God more deeply. You learn of his love for you. You are inspired to grow in your love for him. Set love as your motive, love for God. Love for the God who loves you beyond any measure your mind can comprehend. When I approach the Scriptures to know God I am drawn to the pages with a reverence and awe.
- Stop believing that you can’t understand the Scriptures. Sure, lots of parts of the Bible are challenging. Usually this is due to our ignorance about some cultural or historical reality of the ancient world. But the truth be told the Bible tends to be rather plain in its’ meaning. If you are stumped by something, seek the answer. Then you will know more than you did before.
- Find a plan that works for you. Perhaps you could choose to read a chapter of a book of the Bible each day. For instance, read one chapter of the Gospel of John until you are done. Then you could read a book in the Old Testament, such as Genesis. Others want to read the Bible in a year. The One Year Bible Plan is a great way to do it. For more information on that plan, check out my other website, www.disciplecast.org.
- Change the plan when you want. There is nothing that says you have to stick with the plan you started with. If you start with the read through the bible in a year strategy, but then determine that is too much for you, then change your course. Read just one chapter a day out of a book, or use a devotion guide to help you through various passages of Scripture. It is ok to change your path.
- Think of ways the Bible relates to your life and world every day. Get in the habit of thinking about what you read throughout the day. Today I read a parable of Jesus and have been looking for ways it applies to my life and the lives of others throughout my day. This makes God’s Word come alive.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Seriously, so you miss a day once in awhile. Let me tell you a secret. Sometimes I do too. Beating yourself up about that only makes it harder to get back on track. Just start where you left off and get back on track without tormenting over it. You are much more likely to keep at it if you are good to yourself along the way.
- Let the Scriptures shape your prayers. When you read God’s Word let what you learn set the direction of your prayers to the Lord. God often speaks to me most powerfully when I let the subject of his Word shape the substance of my petitions to him.
- Share want you learn with others. This is when you really see God’s Word work in power. You were never meant to keep all of these treasures to yourself. Look for opportunities when you can encourage another with the Words of God that encouraged you.
Challenge: Start working these steps and get yourself in the habit of daily meditating on God’s Word.
Question: Do you have any other helpful hints to developing consistent Bible reading habits? Share them with us. You can leave a comment by clicking here.