Posted by: alisonwalley | 5 April 2009

10 suggestions on regular Bible reading

Let’s remind ourselves again why we read the Bible: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

So, what’s the best way to go about it and how to stick at it?

  1. Get a readable modern translation of the Bible. Try the New Living or Today’s New International translations. Or you could download an audio version to listen to on an MP3 player.
  2. Be realistic about what you can do. It’s better to do 10 minutes three or four times a week than aim for a one-hour daily marathon that you won’t be able to keep up.
  3. Find a plan which will give you passages to read rather than reading aimlessly. That way you cover more parts of the Bible and can break down your reading into manageable chunks. Otherwise you you’re likely to find yourself just reading the same passages again.
  4. PRAY! Ask God to reveal himself in his word through the Holy Spirit. I was taught the psalmist’s prayer “Lord, open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things in your word” (Psalm 119:18), and still use it regularly. Pray about what you’ve learned too.
  5. Find a convenient time and place. Try to keep to the same time and place each day. Early in the morning before going to work/college/school is best for a lot of people, but you may find last thing at night preferable (as long as you don’t fall asleep while reading!). Make sure there aren’t any distractions (turn off your phone/radio/TV).
  6. Use Bible reading notes that challenge you to think about the text and give you a bit of explanation as well.
  7. Make notes. Jot down what the passage says to you, any questions you have, anything you prayed for.
  8. Keep at it! If you plan to read your Bible every day don’t be discouraged if you miss one. Weekends often break the pattern. But stick at it for at least six to eight weeks (apparently this is the time it takes to create a habit).
  9. If you’re finding it hard, make an agreement with a friend to hold you to your determination to stick at it. Talk to them about what you’ve learned – maybe read the same passages so you can share from them.
  10. Don’t get discouraged. Sometimes it doesn’t seem as if you’re learning anything, especially if you’ve been reading the Bible for years (Catherine commented about this on last week’s blog). But it’s God’s word, it sometimes slips into our hearts and minds even without us noticing. All the time you are aligning your life with what the Bible says.

The psalmist said: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees” (Psalm 119:11-12). May that be our prayer too.

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