You may have had a few failed goes at your Bible reading last year and this year you really want to give it your best. Starting the year with a commitment to regularly read your Bible is great but too often we fall short of our spiritual goals. That’s why I want to share with you 11 tips to help boost your Bible reading in 2018.
I don’t pretend that any of these are secret keys to Bible reading success. However, I have found that if you implement even a few of the tips below you are more likely to stick to your Bible reading plan over the entire year.
So here are 11 ways to boost your Bible reading in 2018.
1. Find a Bible reading buddy
Accountability can help keep you on track, but more than that a friend with whom you will check in with can also encourage you and give you additional motivation to stay faithful in your Bible reading. Of course it goes both ways, you will also learn to encourage your friend spiritually and help them stay the course.
2. Journal it
Writing brings clarity to your thought, it also gives you a visual feedback from your Bible reading time. You can read your Bible for a whole year without journaling and it will still be great for you. However, after a year a journaling how valuable it is to look back over a whole year of your spiritual life. You’ll see how certain passages helped you, where you may have struggled and how God came through.
Journaling can also help you take that extra step to really meditate on what you have read, analyze your life in light of God’s Word and apply its truths to your soul.
I’m using this online journal.
3. Pick a high energy time
Reading the Bible when you’re half awake simply isn’t that great, believe me, I’ve tried it. Just because everyone else reads there Bible at a certain time of the day doesn’t mean you have to. I’ve found it helpful to analyze the time of day when I’m more energetic and use that for reading my Bible.
4. Get your rest
This may go without saying but I’m saying it anyway. Have you ever thought of how staying up that extra 30-60 mins to watch your favorite TV show may affect your Bible reading the next day? I have, and it’s terrible. Personally, I find that if I do miss my daily Bible reading it’s likely because I didn’t get to bed on time the night before. So get your rest and you’ll be ready to crack open your Bible the next day.
5. Focus on why you read
Too often we read our Bibles just because we know that’s what we’re supposed to do. I find it’s helpful to ask “why am I doing this?” and “What do I expect to gain from this?” Asking these questions not only gives me extra motivation but helps guide my reading. I’m not doing this so I can just check off another box, I’m doing it because I want to know God more, serve him better, and make my faith go deeper.
6. Don’t play the guilt game
Let’s be honest we can get very legalistic about Bible reading. Few things can be more harmful to our Bible reading and spiritual growth than legalism. There’s nothing worse than going to God’s Word with a heart loaded down with the weight of legalistic thinking.
Remember, it’s not a sin to miss a day. It happens to the best of us. Life isn’t completely in our control, so if you miss day just pick up where you left off. Don’t beat yourself up about, instead ask God for greater grace and find yourself in his Word as soon as you can.
7. Plan for it
When I say, “plan for it” I have two things in mind. You really should read with a plan. I suggest you choose one here.
The second aspect of planning is your daily schedule around your Bible reading. Plan your day so that you are preparing for your Bible reading the day before. Know what time you’ll be doing your Bible reading and know where you will be doing it. You might consider cleaning up that area and making sure your Bible is there and ready to go the day before.
8. Tell others about it
I find it especially helpful to tell my wife about my Bible reading. She is also my Bible reading buddy so we often discuss the readings together. Telling your spouse, your children, or your parents can be helpful as they will know what times you are focusing on your Bible reading and will be less likely to bother you then. It can also encourage them to pursue their own Bible reading.
9. Minimize distractions
Honestly, I have a hard time with this one. There are so many things vying for my attention. Make an effort to shut off phones and social media accounts during your Bible reading. Put aside your regular work items and focus on the task of listening to the Words of God from the pages of Scripture.
10. Keep it short and simple
There’s power in keeping this daily task simply and sweet. On occasion I’ve met a Christian who felt guilty if they didn’t spend an entire hour studying God’s Word every morning. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with that and if you have the time, then you should go for it! However, for many people that may prove very difficult. I find that about 25 mins is usually enough to read through my Bible in year texts, pray and even write out a few thoughts.
You shouldn’t really need anything more than a Bible and possibly a pad of paper and a pen. Keep it simple enough that you could easily do it anytime and anywhere.
If you don’t have 25 mins then you use what time you have. Even if you don’t get it all done, it’s still better than nothing.
11. Try audio Bible
Finally, I it helpful to listen to the Bible. If you want to listen with me you can try Daily Audio Bible. They follow the reading plan that does a section of the Old Testament, a section of the New Testament and a few verses in Psalms and Proverbs each day. I enjoy listening to the audio Bible reading while reading the text for myself. You can find the reading plan here.