Everything You Should Know About Reading the Bible
Inside: Are you ready to learn how to read the bible? Reading the Bible is one of the best ways to get closer to God! Here are some ideas on how to include this spiritual discipline in your daily quiet time with God. Plus, tips about creating your own bible reading plan and reading through the entire bible!
Being in God’s Word is the MOST important spiritual discipline we can master!
Without knowledge of the WORD we will remain ineffective prayer warriors and weak Christians. The Bible is the primary way we have of getting to know God, His purpose and plan for us, and where we will find the tools we need to pray our way through trials.
Are you struggling to know what and how to pray? Read your Bible.
Are you struggling to know God’s will for your life? Read your Bible.
Are you unsure if God hears your prayers or if He wants to keep hearing from you? Read your Bible.
Why Reading the Bible is Important
If you are going to wage war on the enemy and find victory during your trial you MUST read your Bible.
When Jesus was in the wilderness, fasting and praying and preparing for ministry, Satan tried to tempt Him. The devil was defeated with three words: “It is written.” Jesus quoted scripture to the enemy and won that battle. How did Jesus know what verses to pull out and when? He’d read it. He’d studied and memorized the WORD.
Follow His example. Read the Word so you can tell the enemy, “It is written” when he tries to attack you. By knowing the Word you can stomp all over the devil and cause him to flee!
Making Bible Reading a Habit
If you want to be successful at reading the bible you’ll need to have a plan. A doable plan that works for you will help you build the habit of reading your bible daily. A few things to consider:
When you will read your Bible – choose a time that works based on your current season NOT based on what you’d like to see happen. There’s no point in deciding to read your bible at 4 am if you are up all night.
Where you will read your Bible – having a consistent location to read your bible will help eliminate decision fatigue. The less energy you spend trying to get started the more you’ll have for actual time in the Word.
How long you will read your Bible – keep it realistic! If you are just getting started 5-10 minutes is a good starting point. You can always build on that as you gain consistency.
What you will do during this time – what do you want to include in your quiet time routine? You can just read your bible or will you also add in prayer, journaling, and studying?
Tools for Reading the Bible
There isn’t a lot that you’ll need when you start reading through the bible. But if I had to suggest some favorite tools here’s the shortlist:
You will definitely need a bible and I always suggest a physical one. There’s nothing like holding scripture in your hand. You can use any type of bible or translation that works best for you. If you want some help thinking through that check out this post about finding the right bible for you.
Here are some books and resources that will help you as you start reading through scripture.
A concordance will come in handy as you’re reading scripture. Especially if you want to create your own reading plans (more on that later). Also a notebook or journal and some pretty pens or highlighters for taking notes and keeping track of what you’re learning.
3 Tips for Consistent and Successful Bible Reading
I know it can be hard to be consistent in your devotions and Bible reading. I get it! There is so much that needs to be done and only 24 hours each day. Can I suggest that this is the most important thing that needs to be done each day? Here are a few tips to get you started:
Find the time to read your bible
Pick a time and stick to it. Even 5 minutes a day is better than nothing at all. I like to do my Bible reading first thing in the morning. It helps start my day off on the right foot.
Find a focus
When you are reading the scriptures find one word, phrase, verse, or theme to meditate on during the day. Something that can become your anchor when the storms start to rage for the rest of the day.
Find a reading plan
Simply opening the Bible and starting to read can be overwhelming at times. Having a plan is a great way to stay consistent and be accountable. There are many plans available on the Internet and Bible reading apps.
Creating Your Own Bible Reading Plan
One thing that has really helped me be consistent with reading the scriptures is creating my own Bible reading plans. It’s pretty easy to do once you learn how. You can keep this plan in your prayer notebook or journal. It only takes me 30-45 minutes to create a plan for the month. Here’s how you can make your own:
Step 1: Choosing a topic
You’ll need a focus or theme for your bible reading plan. It can be anything you want to learn more about: money, anger, family, prayer, etc. You could even create a plan for an entire book of the bible or a character study.
Step 2: Grab your concordance
Sit down with your concordance and start making a list of scriptures for your topic/theme. When you first get started don’t try to edit or limit your list. Just write down any reference that you find.
Once your list is complete, take a few minutes to read it through and cross off anything that you know for sure you don’t want to include in your plan.
Step 3: Finalize your plan
The first thing you want to do is decide how long you want your plan to be – 30 days, 45 days, or even 6 weeks long works. Then put it into a format that you’ll be able to use as you complete the plan.
Step 4: Go deeper
As you start reading be sure to keep track of any questions and observations you have along the way. A journal or notebook is great for this. You could even use verse mapping along with your bible reading plan.
How to Read the Bible in a Year (or more)
When I committed to reading the Bible a few years ago, I knew that I needed to be prepared. What I did not expect was the amount of spiritual warfare that I encountered over the course of a few months. The devil does not want you or me to read the Word of God because he knows it will make us stronger. He knows that the scriptures hold the key to his destruction.
If you have committed to reading your Bible you need to be prepared for a fight! You can do it though, just keep at it and remember these tips:
Don’t forget to pray
Any time that you purpose to grow spiritually, you need to cover that decision and yourself in prayer. Prayer helps you to gain the strength and determination needed to make it through. Ask God to give you the strength and determination to read when you don’t want to, when you are too tired, and when it’s boring. Ask God to put up a hedge of protection as you dive into scripture.
Have a plan
If you are going to stay on track and not feel overwhelmed, you need to have a plan. It doesn’t have to be something fancy, but please find a reading plan to help you stay on track. You can check things off as you go along. Breaking down the readings into smaller chunks will help you succeed. There are even Bibles available to help you out.
Get some accountability
Don’t read alone! Having other people hold you accountable is a great way to be successful in reading the Bible. I invited a few ladies to join me on my journey through the Bible. We have a private Facebook group where we post that day’s reading and we encourage and check in with each other.
Don’t get overwhelmed
If you are trying to read the Bible in less than a year, this may not be the time to take on another big spiritual task. I wouldn’t join a new Beth Moore study or try to learn the inductive Bible study method. Just focus on reading the scripture.
No perfectionism or comparison
There will be days when you don’t read as much as you want to or when you don’t read at all. Give yourself grace. Read a little extra when you have time. When you fall behind, don’t give up. The ultimate goal is to read through the entire Bible. If it takes you a few extra days or weeks, that’s okay.
Take some notes
Be sure to take some notes or journal about what you’re learning as you read. You can use a simple notebook or blank journal or you could try one made for reading through the bible like these:
Reading the Bible Doesn’t Have to be Boring
If you find yourself feeling bored with your bible reading plan or routine you don’t have to stay stuck there. It’s always a good idea to have a way or two to mix things up a bit.
Make it pretty
If you are creative and artsy then include it in your bible reading. Decorate your reading plan, try bible journaling, or even decorate your study notes or notebook.
Listen to an audio bible
Some books of the bible are hard to get through — Leviticus, Numbers I’m looking at you! I like to listen to those books instead of or along with reading them. Helps me to stay focused and also helps with those hard-to-pronounce names and places.
Accountability and support
The best thing that I did when I was reading through the entire bible in 6 months was to form a group. We were able to encourage each other and hold each other accountable for sticking to the plan.
Get outside to read
Being outside always gives me energy. Taking my bible outside to read is an amazing experience. It doesn’t have to be outside, just a change of scenery from where you usually do your reading.
Switch up your bible translation
Sometimes reading a different bible translation can help break up the boredom. Reading the new phrases and words can help bring your focus and attention back to what you are studying. And you just might find a new favorite version of the bible to read.