Reading the Bible

by 8:20 AM 1 comments
The No. 1 challenge I hear among my Christian friends, regardless of how long they have walked with Jesus, is about reading the bible.  Among the most familiar are I don't do it as often as I should, I don't have the time, or the one that I think is the most honest is I don't know how.  Why is it so hard to read the bible?  Because how you read the bible won't be as effective as how I read the bible; this is something as individual as we are.  Honestly, finding what works is a trial and error process, which is incredibly frustrating and probably the reason most people just give up.  I cannot sit here and say I read my bible consistently every day.  I do try but I often fail; and that's OK because Jesus is doing work in me.  He's changing my heart which is generating a desire to dig into his word so here are some of the methods I've found recently for getting started; I hope one of these will work for you too! 

KR recently told me about how difficult it is for her to read a bible.  The video/facilitator lead small group studies are great for her, but trying to read her bible on her own is incredibly difficult.  Even with a million different translations, she doesn't understand what she's reading or how to apply it to her life.  How many of us, if we were honest, could say the same thing?  She and I began seeking out video bible studies to watch online together.  Even a video a day gets us into God's word and helps provide insight and application we may not have on our own!  We are fortunate to have access to a number of resources through Right Now Media which has a full library of digital bible studies and lessons, but even a simple internet search can help you find a bible study on a number of topics.  KR and I are currently doing a study by Jimmy Evans called The Hurt Pocket.

A few weeks ago, my friend invited me to participate in a bible study for Mothers who've gone through miscarriage and infant loss.  Through that bible study I have met some wonderful women!  One of them recently wrote about how she got started reading the bible and has even challenged friends and family to join her in a 31 day Scripture challenge!   I found her practical approach to reading the bible inspiring.  My own Mother journals during her bible study time so this method is incredibly familiar to me.  I can picture years of notebooks my Mother has filled with scripture and prayers to our Lord and Savior! Can you imagine being able to pick up a notebook from a few months (or years) ago and see the work God has done in your life since then?  Or for your children to be able to look back on those things after the Lord has called you home?  What an incredible treasure for us to have. 

Another popular way to read your bible is using a book-based bible study.  There are so many options it can be overwhelming.  I love Amazon because quite often I can flip through sample pages and read reviews on the study.  Yes, that's a pic of real books/studies I have propped against the ONLY plant I've every kept alive. Designing a Woman's Life is actually a workbook and book combo - which I have found over the years I like a whole lot.  You read through scriptures and answer questions related to it to help get you thinking.  It's particularly helpful if you are just getting started and don't always know how to relate to things or if your "quiet time" isn't necessarily when your brain functions at it's finest. 

I was introduced to Facebook-based bible studies last summer and I have found I love them!  The ones I have been a part of generally have a designated facilitator who posts readings/materials for the week and lead some kind of activity or discussion.  Sometimes it is just comments/likes on questions and replies.  Others have a designated chat session with all the group members at a specific date or time.  If you are someone who is on the go a lot or can't get away for a face-to-face meeting, these bible studies may be for you!  One study I did by Titus2Women focused on the Song of Solomon.  Each week they posted the materials which included the scripture readings, worksheet, questions, and activity!  It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it - despite working two jobs at the time I was able to follow along and participate!

I think the majority of us have found it simpler and easier to have our bible on our smart phone.  One of the most popular bible applications (and my personal favorite) is from YouVersion - available from both Google Play and iTunes.  It is a well maintained app full of rich features and options.  Among my top two features are the options for reading plans - and there are many!  YouVersion makes it easy to keep you on track - you can set up alerts on your phone as well as email reminders to make sure you read.  In fact, if you don't log into the app for along time, it will pop up a general reminder to get into God's word!  I love the variety of reading plans available - specific topics, holiday related, reading through the bible in specific time frames, the list goes on.  YouVersion  has a great website where you can search through the various plans you can even look at their reading plans blog

One more and then I'm done.  Whenever someone says I want to read more, I always give the same bit of advice and it applies to bible reading too!  Keep a copy of your bible in the bathroom, or let's be honest, you probably take your phone in there with you anyway so open your bible app and get to reading!  Unless you are one of the unfortunate souls who aren't able to go to the bathroom alone, this gives you quiet time to read God's word.  Weird?  Maybe for you but why is this weirder than playing Candy Crush or reading email??  Use the time that you already have in your day to do what needs to be done.  Want to read more?  Put whatever you want to read in the bathroom and spend that time reading.  It adds up - I promise you!

Wow, you're still here.  You should get a medal for sticking it out this long!  I hope you find something that helps you.  If you know of another bible reading strategy that you have found works for you please feel free to share it! 

Jodi @ God Still Speaks

Head Writer

Boy mom of three. Married to the same man since 2002. Former working mom turned stay-at-home mom. I love my faith, family, and coffee.

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests to made known to God. — Philippians 4:6