I have read the whole Bible a good two or three times. I’ve read the New Testament many more times and then individual books in both the Old and New Testaments more than I have read others.
Bare with me, I am not trying to brag, all I am trying to say is that for someone who has read so much of the Bible I can testify and say that it isn’t the easiest book to read.
I am not all-wise and when it comes to spiritual matters I feel like I still have a lot of ground to cover, however, from all my years in Christianity I managed to pick up a few things.
I want to share with you five ways that can help you read your Bible consistently:
1: Make room for it
It doesn’t matter how hard you try, if you’re too busy you’re never going to read the Bible consistently. For some weird reason that book is a lot different from all the other books in the world. I don’t mean to be all spiritual but honestly, I can read Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” while I do something else. I can read a few lines, focus on another thing and come back to it again. With the Bible, I don’t know, that doesn’t seem to work. God’s Word appears to demand an exclusive audience. The concepts in it are simple but so deep that you need to get into the right frame of mind to really get the most out of it.
I am not saying you can’t multi-task while reading the Bible, you can, but you won’t get much out of it, if anything at all.
Waking up super early in the morning does the trick for me. I’ve stopped bothering myself trying to read God’s Word at any other time. You see, my mind is so busy all the time. From the moment I wake up, up until I sleep. Whenever I tried to read the Bible when my mind was all over the place I never really benefited from my reading. It felt like a waste of time which then leads to discouragement which then leads to no Bible reading.
This is an important point. Earlier in my life I could read my Bible in the morning, afternoon and in the night. It is how I covered so much of it. I mean I started reading my Bible the moment I learned how to read I think. But I am growing up.
In order to make time for the Bible you first need to be honest about where you are in life and how much time you really have in a day and then prioritize. Know how you work. God wants your time, He deserves it but to Him quality is more important than quantity.
All the best, it took me about 26 years to figure this out!
2: Read for quality not quantity
Like I briefly mentioned earlier, God is not interested in quantity more than He is interested in quality. The Bible says that He is looking for people who will worship Him in “spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
Unless you are doing those “Read The Whole Bible In a Year” plans I do not recommend reading anything in the Bible just for the sake of it. The Word of God is very practical and relevant and the truth is if you read it blindly you will get to some scripture that seems to have nothing to do with you at the present time. This will kill your reading stimulation and before you know it you aren’t interested in reading the Bible anymore.
Again, it took me about 26 years to get this but I’m glad I did.
Bad religion will teach you to “read your Bible and pray everyday” but will leave you to figure out what this all means all on your own.
I am at that point in my life where I read topically. If I am going through a period of procrastination then I read on that. If I am heartbroken I read on that. I would either Google these topics and find reputable websites or YouTube videos that help or I would pick a devotion on my favorite Bible app. Another thing I do is, because I know quite a bit of what content each book in the Bible has, I choose to read a book that addresses my particular issue at that time. For example, I am trying to learn what it means to be unfiltered with God, for that I will read the book of Psalms.
So, read topically, research the Bible as you would an academic assignment.
3: Start simple
I feel sorry for those folks who start in the deep end of the Bible. They start reading books like Revelation, Daniel, Ezekiel and Romans and when they get messed up, they lose interest and then you know the rest right- they stop being consistent and then they aren’t reading the bible anymore.
It isn’t their fault though, I blame the system.
Look, I do believe you can start there if you’re guided by God’s Spirit but really, you need to start simple. Start by getting to know who Jesus is. He is the express image of the Father (Hebrews 1:3), the clearer image of who God is. Start in a book like John or Matthew. Any of the synoptic gospels really. I would recommend reading them all.
From there, I would venture into the book of Psalms and read it slowly focusing on how David and the other writers interacted with God. I would then get into Proverbs for an idea of how God thinks and from there start in Genesis to see how it all began. You can let the Holy Spirit guide the rest of the journey.
It took me until fairly recently to realize all this. You don’t need to make the same mistakes I did.
4: Turn what you read into a reality
Just like all the academic stuff you read, put the stuff you discover in the Bible to practical use.
I was once at a point where I couldn’t read the Bible anymore. I would pray and ask God that I see in my life all the Bible told me about, that I would realize its wisdom in my life and that I would be able to test it all out.
Whenever I just read the Bible it felt like every other book. It felt pointless.
I’ve recently started reading for quality and I am slowly learning to meditate on everything I read in God’s word and apply it in real life. This is the most difficult part but it is such a great motivator to read more of the Bible. It’s just like when you’re cooking a meal using ingredients from a cook book. If you fail, you go back to the cook book and see if you missed anything and then you try again. The Bible kind of works like that.
5: Walk your own path
All I’ve said up until now will mean nothing if you’re not walking your own path.
It took me years to discover all this stuff, all my life up until now actually, and I am still learning. There is no exclusively right or wrong way. All that is important to know is that you need to read that book as much as you can.
I cannot recommend times and days but the moment you start to have a personal relationship with God what you need to do will become as clear as the day.
Just don’t let anyone put you into some kind of devotional stencil. Work out your own salvation with all earnestness (Philippians 2:12).
I really do hope that the little I’ve shared helps you get into the enriching experience of reading the Bible consistently. It won’t be easy but it is certainly possible once you get into rhythm. Even after that there is the never ending battle of maintain that rhythm. All this is possible in a lifetimes work.
If you’re really struggling maybe start by reading a book by C.S Lewis entitled “Mere Christianity“. Believe me, it will be the best thing you’ve ever done (well, at least I hope)!