Be Intentional About Spending Time in God’s Word Each Day
I read Scripture every day and have for most of my adult life. I’ve formed a Bible reading habit. It’s become an essential part of my life, just like eating and sleeping.
Reading God’s Word has become natural and normal for me. And I encourage everyone to develop a daily Bible reading habit too. Yet I understand this is a struggle for many. A friend recently asked for any suggestions I might have to help form a Bible reading habit.
Here are my seven Bible reading tips:
1. Select a Time
Pick what time of day will work best for you to read the Bible. For many people this is first thing in the morning, as a start to their day. Others like to end their day by reading Scripture. Or there may be another time that works best for you.
As you figure out what time each day you give to God to read Scripture, be sure to give him your best time slot. Don’t give him what’s leftover. Avoid trying to squeeze Bible reading between other aspects of your life. Just as God desires for you to make him a priority in your life, the same applies to when you read his Word.
The important thing is to decide on a time to read the Bible each day. Then do it.
2. Start Small
Don’t make a grandiose plan. Start small. Just as it would be foolish for a runner who only runs short distances sporadically to decide they’re going to run a marathon the next day, the same applies to Bible reading. Don’t commit to reading the entire Bible in one year if you scarcely read it at all now.
Set a low goal that will be easy for you to achieve. This will allow you to find quick success and encourage you to press forward.
If you’re just starting out, I suggest you commit to read one verse a day. Just one. It will only take a few seconds.
I recommend that you read from your favorite book in the Bible. Make it easy to do, keep it simple, and make sure it’s enjoyable.
3. Set a One-Month Goal
Read one verse every day for at least a month. This will establish a habit of regular Bible reading. Though one month is often enough to form a regular routine, it could take two or three months for a good habit to develop.
The goal is to get to a point where you automatically read your Bible at the time you picked each day. The intent is for Bible reading to become an essential part of your daily practices.
Just as we would never forget to eat a meal or skip sleep, reading the Bible deserves the same perspective.
4. Keep the Momentum Going
After one month, build upon your success and keep the momentum going.
If keeping a streak will help motivate you, make a chart to track each day you read your Bible. The goal is an unbroken chain of daily Bible reading. Keep your streak going.
Or if you can motivate yourself through rewards, set a small prize for yourself each week. Do this on a specific day. Pick an incentive that means something to you and will motivate you. Then choose a larger reward for the end of each month.
5. Expand Your Practice
Once you’ve established a habit of daily Bible reading, you can then consider reading more than one verse each day. You might want to move from one verse to one paragraph.
Later you might want to move from one paragraph to one section. Just as most Bibles put the text in paragraph form, they often group similar related paragraphs together in the section, often with a subheading.
6. Consider Setting an Annual Goal.
Once you’ve done this for a full year. You’ll have surely formed a regular Bible reading habit. It’s perfectly acceptable to continue what you been doing over the past year into the future.
Yet if you want to read more, consider reading a chapter a day. Here are some ideas to guide you in this, such as monthly reading options, reading the New Testament in one year, and reading the Old Testament in one year.
I encourage everyone to at some point read the entire Bible in one year. This is a commitment which will take 12 to 15 minutes every day, so don’t start with this right away.
It would be like trying to run a marathon before you trained, so build up your Bible reading skills, just as a runner would build up to a marathon.
7. Pursue Balance in Your Bible Reading
Regardless of how much of the Bible you decide to read each day, remember that it’s not about the number of verses you read (quantity) but the impact your reading has on you (quality).
May God bless you as you read his Word and form a Bible reading habit.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.