We know how important personal Bible reading is in our lives as Christians. It is not just a routine or a mere part of our to-do list, but it is our daily bread and a means for us to grow in our relationship with God. Jesus says in Matthew 4:4 that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Knowing what Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 should cause us to prioritize our devotion or quiet time in our lives. As time goes by, we have been blessed to have many different tools and ways to study God’s word at our fingertips, yet many of us are still struggling to be fruitful in our Bible reading. There are seasons when we feel like we are distracted, or quiet times have become just part of our daily routine. Some also struggle to begin a quiet time because they feel overwhelmed by the Bible itself. And sadly for others, their joy of reading the Bible is gone.
This quick guide is meant to help encourage you to find some ways to make the most of reading God’s Word and applying it to your life.
Tips to get the most out of your Bible reading:
1. Find a good translation
As stated above, we have been blessed by a lot of resources today which includes a variety of Bible translations to choose from. Many of the modern translations we have today have been examined and tested by Bible scholars to make sure that they are reliable and stick to the original message of the Bible.
Find a good translation or read from different ones so you can get a better understanding of what you are reading. The goal of different translations is to make the Bible more understandable in our current time, so make the most of what there is to offer. (For more information about Bible translations, click here)
2. Interact with the Word
Sometimes, we don’t enjoy Bible reading because we read it like we’re going through a checklist to complete the entire BIble, checking off chapter after chapter. There are many ways to read the Bible and finding what keeps you most engaged is important. Perhaps you will get the most out of reading it chronologically, or by topic, but whatever you do, go through it slowly, observe the text, ask questions, and take notes as you go while relying on the Holy Spirit to teach you what it says.
This way of meditating on God’s Word and slowly taking it in will help you be more focused. Also, stop to pray before and while reading your Bible. Ask the Lord to show you what He has for you that day or in your season. He is faithful to teach us through His Word and prayer!
3. Find a time that works for you
Some people say that the best time to do devotions is in the morning while some say it should be in the evening. But the truth is, you can do it any time that works for you. We all work on different schedules and have different responsibilities, so find the time that suits your schedule. The time that works for singles might not work for moms and the time that works for morning people might not work for night owls.
So whether it’s in the evening, morning, afternoon, or during your break time, remember that the most important thing is not the time you do your devotions, but that you make the time to do it.
4. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to read God’s word
Being in a community of people who love studying and delighting in God’s word can be very helpful to keep you encouraged. Whether it’s people in your church or an online community, it’s really important to be with the people who help you grow in your relationship with God and grow in His word.
Make it a goal to find an online or in-person study group to help inspire you to read God’s Word and apply it to your life.
5. Don’t be pressured, just read at your own pace.
Bible-reading plans are very helpful especially when we struggle to stay consistent and disciplined in our Bible studies. But for some, they can become a restriction rather than a guide. When we commit so strictly to a Bible plan that we don’t take time to ponder and meditate on God’s Word, it can be more hurtful than helpful.
Take the time to freely enjoy and soak in your time reading the Bible. This may even mean reading the same verse or passage several days in a row. In doing this we are able to absorb and appreciate God’s Word even more.
We hope that you find these tips helpful and that you grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Remember that His word should be enjoyed and delighted in.
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103)