This week we looked together at how reading the Bible requires focus, commitment and stickability. Like with any habit, it takes time and effort to build into our lives but the rewards of engaging with the Bible on a daily basis are worth the effort!
Here are five practical things to help us make engaging with the Bible a life giving habit:
(1) Get A Bible
Let’s start in the obvious place. If you haven’t got one, then get one. The Bible is available in so many different versions and languages, if old English is your thing – well there’s one for you. But if you want one written in everyday language that you would use then there’s a wealth of options. You can find some suggestions here.
(2) Make A Plan
I know that if I want to build new habits into my life, then the only way I will do that is to make a plan of action. A great place to start is by using a YouVersion reading plan. There are plans for every season of life, whether you want to read what the Bible has to say about love, anxiety, dealing with anger or fear for example. Or they might be plans to take you through different characters or books of the Bible.
(3) Don’t Treat It Like A Relic
The Bible is full of living power, it’s sharp, and it cuts deep [paraphrase of Hebrews 4:12], it isn’t an ancient book to be stored in a display case gathering dust. One of the best things I did when I was younger was to get some different coloured highlighters and a pen for when I was reading my Bible. And then highlighting things that spoke to me, or underlining parts that encouraged me, putting question marks next to bits that confused me. And then writing dates next to verses that spoke to me at specific times about certain situations.
(4) You’re Not Alone
A great way to make reading your Bible a regular habit is to do it in community. That can look like so many different ways, you could read it with your spouse, with your children, with friends, in a Connect Group. The best book club you could be a part of is a Connect Group where you have the opportunity to talk through parts of the Bible, and to chew on it together. You can join one of our Connect Groups today by signing up here. On you can set up reading plans with friends on YouVersion, and then whenever you read it you can leave comments for your friends to see.
Just remember you’re not alone, and when we engage with the Bible together it can really help us to grow in the habit.
(5) Keep It Fresh
Seasons are important in life. What works today might not work tomorrow. If you’re feeling stuck in reading your Bible then you can really quickly lose interest, but it’s not the Bible that’s lost life, it’s the way that you’re doing it that has. So try something else, mix it up.
For me, about a year ago I found myself in a stale season, so I just started to listen to it for a while using the Dwell app and that just helped to freshen things up. I read it a lot more now, but I still like to mix it up. Sometimes I will use the daily story feature on YouVersion rather than my paper Bible. No one way is the right way! But you won’t regret making it a regular habit in your life.
Get a Bible. Make a plan. Don’t treat it like a relic. Remember you’re not alone. And keep it fresh.