Work, family, kids, social media, hobbies . . . When it comes to making time for God’s Word, our world offers plenty of distractions to snatch away our attention!
Why is it important to prioritize spending time in the Word? Why do we need to read the Bible on a regular basis?
Because we can't survive spiritually without it. Hiding the Word of God in our heart strengthens our mind, spirit, and conscience, and it helps us fight against sin. It teaches us who God is -- and to know Him is to love Him.
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:9-11 KJV).
Knowing the Bible gives us wisdom so that we can have salvation! Scripture “trains” us so that we can be women of God, fully equipped for His calling (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
When the Word of God is in our hearts and we meditate on it throughout our daily life, we set ourselves up for success and wholeness (Psalm 1:1-3).
So why would we want to risk missing out on wisdom, salvation, success, and wholeness? If you don't already have a strong Bible-reading routine going, it's time to start!
First, make a commitment for the long term.
It’s crucially important that you commit to spending time in the Word daily. The more days that go by without the Word, the more chance for sin, distraction, or the enemy to get a foothold in your life. Don’t let missing one day be the slippery slope that gets you out of the habit of reading your Bible!
Sure, life happens. One day you’ll oversleep, or one morning an unexpected emergency will come up. Maybe you have young kids or you’re sick, and you struggle to regain your routine.
When these times inevitably come, pick yourself up the next day and do everything in your power to keep your commitment alive.
Commit to a time and stick to it as much as you can.
We tend to thrive on routines. Make Bible-reading as sure a part of your day as taking a shower and brushing your teeth!
Different seasons of life may call for different Bible study routines. Someone who works 8 to 5 will probably find waking up early for reading ideal, while a new mom who spends half the night up with the baby may be able to focus best in the afternoon.
If you can read the Bible first thing in the morning, that's ideal! Putting prayer and Bible study first is usually the only guarantee that distractions and life’s pressures won’t sneak in and end up monopolizing your day. So make a point to connect with God BEFORE social media, email, the news, and everything else. It’s just easier to stay focused on Him that way.
I have a friend who recommends writing yourself a reminder on a sticky note where you'll see it first thing in the morning: Word before world. Or, you can place your Bible on top of your phone at night so when you wake up, your Bible is the first thing you grab.
Reading and praying in the morning is much like giving God a tithe of the firstfruits of your day. However, if you’re struggling with focus in the early morning -- or again, if your season of life just makes early morning reading nearly impossible -- it’s much better to read the Bible later in the day or before you go to bed than not at all.
Commit to a certain place for Bible-reading.
Unless you’re using the internet for study helps, your Bible-reading time should happen AWAY from cell phones, computers, and other distractions.
If you prefer reading your Bible from an app, that’s fine -- UNLESS you can’t ignore all the distractions that come in via calls, texts, emails, and social media notifications.
Protect your time with God; don’t fall prey to the enemy's distractions; don't let him cheapen this commitment you’ve made!
Your best place for reading may be different from everyone else’s. Your ideal place may be a bedroom, an office, a kitchen table early in the morning with a cup of coffee, your favorite recliner, a quiet place on your back porch, or maybe even the solitude of a locked car. Regardless of where it is, find a place where you consistently get the best focus and stick with that routine.
Commit to a reading goal.
First, define your goal. Is it to read through the Bible in a year? To grasp one nugget of truth from God’s Word every day? To spend at least 15 minutes reading? To read a chapter a day?
Let God speak to you about what the best goal for you is.
One tip: Usually, your goal shouldn’t be so much about time (“I’m going to spend 30 minutes reading the Bible every day.”) or quantity (“I’m going to read 5 chapters a day.”) as much as it is about connecting with the Word in such a way that you consistently apply what you read to your daily life.
Reading the Bible through in 6 months or a year is great -- unless you get to the end of that year and you can’t recall anything you’ve read. Or you can’t think of a way God’s been dealing with your heart through His Word. Or you look back at yourself a year ago and realize that over time, the Word of God hasn’t changed you at all.
Your end goal should involve you hearing from God and applying His Word to your daily life.
That may mean you read one chapter every day. That may mean you read the same book of the Bible over and over again for a month until its truths are embedded deep in your heart. That may mean reading just a few verses every day and spending time deeply pondering their meaning.
Or maybe you’ve been reading the Bible faithfully for years, and you know God is drawing you into more serious study; maybe He wants you to take out one hour every Saturday to spend solely in the Word of God -- in addition to your daily Bible-reading throughout the week.
Whatever it is, ask God for direction about what your Bible-study goals should be in this season of your life.
Stick to your commitments to that goal!
No matter what you may learn, study, and master in your lifetime, none will reap as rich rewards as will falling in love with the truths in your Bible.
Do you have favorite Bible study routines, tips, or habits? Join the conversation on social media @daintyjewellsblog, and let us know!