Encouragement On Reading Your Bible
It is usually this time of year that people think about starting new and fresh. New Year’s brings about a feeling of starting over. Whether it is life goals, getting healthier or working on your relationships, people use January 1st as a reset. Christians are no different. It is very common for this time of year for christians to start anew with various things in their walk with God. Whether it is praying, serving, giving, attending church, taking your faith more seriously or reading the Bible. Christians too use this time of year as a revitalization of their faith. The most popular new year's resolution is Bible reading. Christians will run to start new bible reading plans, just as the world runs to get a gym membership. But also like the world, Christians falter in their bible reading plans before they get to February. Just like your coworker giving up on the gym after two visits. With this in mind I want to give you some tips and encouragement to motivate you to keep reading your Bible. Spiritual health is more important than physical health and we have to keep persevering forward.
- Have a plan. If you don't have a plan of what you are going to read, then it will be harder to stick with it. Do not just plop down on your chair and randomly read a verse. Or turn to your favorite passage for the 74th time this month. Get a plan and stick to it. This will also help you from losing context in what you are reading. It can be dangerous to randomly flip through the bible. As the story goes…man whose devotional reading consisted of cracking his Bible at random and reading the first verse his finger touched. One morning this was his verse for the day: “And Judas went out and hanged himself.” That can’t be it, he thought. So he tried again. “Go thou and do likewise” was his second hit. Chagrined, he thought, The third time's a charm! It wasn’t. It read: “What thou doest, do quickly!”
- You're gonna fail. No one wants to say this or even think it…but there will be days that you fail to read. Don't give up. Just because you missed a day or two or three, just pick it up TODAY.
- Don’t play catch up. The reason so many give up on their bible reading is because they have a plan, they miss a day or two, then they try to make up what they missed. So now you are trying to read 3 days worth of material in one day. It ends up being too much and you get discouraged and then give up. Instead of reading all the days that you missed, just read what today’s reading is.
- It is not gonna be easy. You're gonna be tired, you're gonna be busy, there will be other things that seem more interesting than your bible. What it boils down to is that your flesh will not want to read the bible. You will have to fight against it. This is what discipline is. If we always did what we wanted to, then it would be sinful. We have to sometimes just sit down and read our bibles even when we don't want to. Part of being a mature christian is doing what you need to, not what you want to.
- Meditate. Don't just breeze through it. Take your time and focus on what you are reading. Then pick a verse or phrase from your reading and meditate on it. Remember it, recite it, write it and think about it all day long. Walking past a fire doesn't make you warm. Staying put and sitting next to it does. Don't run through the verses. Instead settle down into a verse or two and let it warm your heart.
- Have something to write with. Writing helps you focus and concentrate. Have a pen and a blank piece of paper. Then just write down whatever comes to your mind. What you have learned, what you don't understand, what you are going to meditate on, whatever!
- Be patient. Growing your faith is slow. Change is subtle and takes time. While you may think that nothing is happening when you read, it is. The Holy Spirit is working on you heart through the power of the word. It will take months and years, but change does happen. You may even be the last person to notice. But change will happen, just trust God.
No matter what day it is, today is the day to pick up your bible and read it. And do not merely read it and deceive your heart, but do what it says!