By: Michael Simmelink
How many Christians have you met that are satisfied with the time they spend reading the Bible? My guess is a miniscule percentage. Perhaps it’s even zero. It’s a tough thing to get into the Word on a daily basis, but there aren’t enough excuses in the world to make us think it isn’t necessary to healthy spiritual growth. My goal here is not to suggest what plan to follow as you read through the Bible. There’s plenty of resources out there for that. You can follow the link here and also here to check out the various ways to explore all of God’s Word. That means even Numbers and Song of Songs for all you who think the Old Testament isn’t important – you best be checking yourself.
1. Print out a plan and follow it
“But I think God speaks to me better when I just open my Bible to a random page and start reading!” Yes, sometimes God chooses to speak to people by popping out certain parts of Scripture, i.e., Martin Luther and Saint Augustine. However, it’s much more likely that you’ll stick with something if it’s written out and planned ahead. It will let you know when you’re on schedule and inevitably fall behind. Most good plans have a grace days spaced out.
2. Get accountable
It seems like everyone wants you to have an accountability partner for everything. Someone to keep you accountable for working out. Someone to keep you accountable with lust. Homework, swearing, drinking in moderation, the list can grow and grow. But it’s entirely true that these things are easier when you’re not doing it alone, so don’t make it harder than it already is. Find a friend and start on the same reading plan. Text each other questions to see if the reading has been done.
3. Set a time
Saying you’ll find time to read the Bible will not last. It just doesn’t. Set aside time in your schedule to make sure you can open the Good Book. It doesn’t have to be daily at 5 a.m., but force yourself to make the time in your schedule. After practice on Monday. In between class and lunch on Thursday. Before work on Saturday. Let your accountability partner know so they can text you at the appropriate times.
4. Have a reason to think as you read
Give yourself some questions to think about as you read each day. Steve Addison writes in “What Jesus Started” about a friend who always asked four questions of any section of Scripture: What does this teach us about God? What does this teach us about humanity? Is there a command to obey? Is there an example to follow? Simple, general, but thought-provoking and action-based questions like these give you something to think about and take away.
What consistent Scripture reading comes down to is a commitment as an individual. No one can make you be disciplined, but hopefully these tips increase your eyes’ time between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21.