Life is loaded. Add up the ingredients of a routine day: getting kids ready for school, packing lunches, getting ready for work, traffic, co-workers, projects, meetings, helping with homework, kids extracurricular activities, exercise, church functions, and more. And this recipe alone doesn’t make it difficult to regularly read the Bible.
These full days also get bits of eggshell in the batter. Days can spin out of our routine with stress at work, car problems, sick kids, a spouse traveling for work, or a rough night of sleep. Our days can be unpredictable, and that’s why our Bible intake often is too.
Through my own ups and downs of trying to consistently read the Bible, I’ve put five things in place to help me. Two rejections. Three reading practices.
Reject Needing the Instagramable Scenario
While it’d be great to have thirty minutes alone in the morning with a fresh cup of single-origin coffee from Kenya—you can’t rely on the setting to read the Scriptures. If you get the 6 am dream setting, fantastic. Enjoy. But don’t hitch your reading of the Holy Bible to that sketchy schedule.
Your kids might wake up as you shuffle down the hall to grab your Bible. Peace and quiet deactivated. You might oversleep and have to rush out the door. It happens. But that doesn’t mean your Bible reading can’t.
The serene scene we seek for Scripture reading isn’t required. You don’t need the idyllic Instragramable scenario. Read when you can, where you can, while you can.Tweet
Waiting for your oil to be changed in your car? Read. You don’t need spacey music, a candle, and your Bible pen. Just read. At your kid’s soccer practice for an hour? Bring your Bible. David meditated on God’s word while hiding in caves. The dentist’s office is a-okay
Reject the Checkbox
Jesus isn’t checking your homework. It’s okay if you get behind by a day or more. Just read. Don’t rush to catch up. Go at your pace. Don’t be lazy; you know what you can handle. Work out your own salvation. Do your best, but don’t be beholden to that box begging for an X.
If you become obsessed with checking the boxes and not enjoying Christ, following Christ, and exalting Christ—you missed it.
Check yourself before you check the box, wrecking yourself and your reading.
Read on Your Phone
There are no rules that your reading plan must be done in the same Bible. Use your phone. It’s okay. Trust me.
I know it’d be nice to have that Bible with you—with the markings, highlights, notes, etc.—but reading the Bible is better than not reading it. Utilize your phone.
The other night, my kids were piled on my lap, watching some Star Wars something on TV. I watched a little with them, but then quickly lost interest. I hadn’t done my reading for the day and thought now would be a good time. Rather than getting up and retreating to my study, I read the Bible on my phone, highlighted a few verses, and then went back to watching what was happening with the Jedi.
Download YouVersion or the app of your choice, get your Bible translation, save your reading plan on your phone, and take advantage of technology. Nothing wrong with listening—actually listening—to the Bible either.
Instead of flipping through your various feeds at empty moments in your day, flip to your reading plan.
Read without Study Speed Bumps
If you chase everything that sticks out to you, you’ll never finish. You’ll get behind if you chase down cross-references, study notes, and rabbit trails.
Stick to reading. Find time elsewhere to do a word study. Make a note that you want to look up x, y, and z cross-references. Stick to reading the reading plan and not turning it into a research plan.
Reading plans are marathons. Study later. Read now.Tweet
You don’t have time to stop and smell Mark’s repetition of immediately. If it helps, maybe put the pen down as you read.
Read in Community
Teamwork makes the dream work.
Start a reading plan group at your church, small group, or friends. Encourage one another with what you are reading and what God is showing you in the word. Ask questions. Do research for one another. Community helps us achieve the goals we set. It helps knowing people are cheering you on, and looking to you for help, answers, and prayers.
You can read more of the Bible than you thought. Try these tiny tweaks, and I bet you will.