10 Tips to Help You Get in the Word
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Joshua 1:6 NLT
This article originally appeared here.
Everyone knows you’re supposed to “read your Bible.” But for some, its easier said than done.
Perhaps you were the young adult, who remembers being able to log a couple of hours a day studying the Bible. As an avid reader with much passion, you were able to breeze through those One-Year reading plans, but then you “matured.” Maybe after you were married, you hoped that you and your spouse, together, would continue the early morning ritual of one-hour quiet times, but over time you gave up that dream because you realized they would choose to consume magazines rather than study books and the Bible.
If you’re a parent, then you’ve probably had to lay aside your expectations of the ideal quiet time when you entered the early years of child-rearing— those days of little sleep and even less time for personal passions. Gone is the season of leisurely reading, or digging deep into a text— you’ve wiped dust from your precious NIV Study Bible and wept. You just can’t seem to find the time anymore and have wondered if it’s even possible to make Bible reading the priority it once was.
But the good news is that you can! It is possible; it will just look different than what you’re used to. The time will be harder to fight for, but that much more rewarding. You will walk away refreshed if you can learn to adjust your expectations and embrace some of these tips:
1. Quality over quantity
Repeat this mantra, “some is better than none.” Whether you’re only able to sit in quiet for 5 minutes, or you’ll crawling through the gospels at a 3-verses-at-a-time pace, remember that some Bible is better than no Bible. Commit to focus on quality reading time, instead of becoming overwhelmed by schedules that leave you struggling to keep up, and always feeling like less.
2. Listen instead of read
Gone are the days of the giant family Bible that is as difficult to understand as it is to move. With today’s technology, there is no shortage of the ways to get the word of God inside of you. If you spend hours in your car, get the Bible on CD, or download your favorite translation on audible. Put in earbuds and burn your calories at the gym while getting the word read over you. Instead of hearing disconnected fragments from Sunday’s sermon, you’ll be hearing an entire book at a time, which is how God’s people first experienced the words of God. The Bible was meant to “be heard”— try it and see what happens.
3. Change up the routine
Part of our problem is that we humans are creatures of habit— so if something worked well one time, or if they excelled at something in the past, they tend to shy away from trying new things. But when circumstances change, we must be willing to change. So, instead of being the early riser who springs from bed at 5 AM to get in the word, maybe you’ll need to embrace something new. Perhaps you’ll find that bed-time study, lunch hour readings, or mid-day bible breaks will work well for your season of life. Be willing to embrace something different— it could work even better than your previous routine.
4. Change the location
Similar to the last point, maybe you need to find a different place to make your Bible reading happen. Perhaps you have felt that the Bible has become stale (regardless of whether you’re tackling a new passage, or you’ve “read it all before”). A change of scenery might be just what you need for that fresh perspective. Try taking your Bible study to the coffee shop, to a park on your lunch break, or in the car while you’re running errands. Changing the location might be as simple as keeping your bible on the nightstand and reading for it first thing in the morning before getting out of bed if you’ve ground complacent in your current reading habit. Try getting out of your physical comfort zone, and see what new revelations you discover.
Click here to read the read the rest of my tips on how to get in the Word.