Starting out with any Bible reading plan is challenging. A 30-day reading plan seems difficult enough, let alone one that lasts all year. How can anyone with a busy schedule have the time to take on this extra task? And perhaps the bigger question is, how to read the Bible and get the most out of it?
We understand that concern. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help with this reading journey, however short or long it may be. These techniques and strategies work based on our own experience. So if you are wondering how to read the Bible, these should help you accomplish that task.
How to Read the Bible Effectively
Follow these five strategies as a starting point when learning how to read the Bible:
Have the Right Mindset
Before you start reading at all, you need to have the right mindset. To be beneficial, a Bible reading program can’t simply be about checking off each day’s reading. It shouldn’t be reduced to a task to complete every day.
Rather, the purpose of reading the Bible is to get to know God. You want to see how He has worked in history and understand how He is currently working in your life. It’s about drawing closer to Him so that He can work through you on a day-to-day basis.
Begin every day’s reading with that thought in mind. Ask God to reveal himself to you each day, even if it’s in a small way.
Understanding Context is Important
Secondly, it will help to understand the flow and structure of the Bible. Some of the reading is hard to understand, especially if you don’t know the context of when a particular book was written, who it was for and what the main messages and themes are.
For example, if you don’t know the background of why Leviticus, Job, Isaiah or Revelation was written, when those days of reading come, you might want to quit because the content seems confusing or irrelevant to your daily life.
So before you begin reading, perhaps it would be good to look at our overview of the books of the Bible. This will be especially important if you are a new follower of Jesus or are skeptical about the faith. The background information will help you piece together the content of certain books.
Develop Time and Routines
The reason most often given for why people can’t read the Bible is that they can’t find the time in their daily schedule. It’s true – we live very busy lives. Time easily slips away from us.
That’s why routines are so important. Nothing will help more if you are looking to read through the Bible in a year.
Decide ahead of time when and where you are going to read. By doing so, you will intentionally make time for reading. Stay at it day after day and reading will become a routine, one that you will look forward to.
You might be asking, “When is the best time of day to read?” It varies from person to person, so it is totally up to you. Many love reading in the morning before they get started with the day’s tasks. You can do this before getting out of bed, during breakfast or in that quiet space at work before emails are opened.
However, another great time to read is the last moments of the day before going to bed. That’s the quietest time of the day for many, when their mind is winding down and the kids are asleep.
Whatever works for you will be fine. Just as long as it stays a fairly consistent routine. Winging it each day and getting to the reading whenever you can won’t work. Other things will always interrupt your day and you will forget about your Bible reading.
Missing a Day
A word of warning about being on a Bible reading plan – you will miss a day. It’s inevitable because life is unpredictable. Your normal routine will be disrupted by the sick kid, the dog who needs attention, the car that won’t start or a hundred other things. You’ll get pulled away from reading eventually through no fault of your own.
For some people, that will be no big deal. For others, it will drive them crazy with frustration. You may even feel like a failure.
Don’t be mad at yourself when this happens. Instead, stay encouraged that you are at least trying something worthwhile. God will not think worse of you. It is not beneficial to beat yourself up for “failing” to read every day.
So what should you do if you miss a day?
For one, you can just pick up with the next day’s reading and keep moving forward. Don’t worry at all about what you missed.
Another alternative is to read the day you missed, plus the current day you are on.
If for some reason you miss a week, don’t worry about trying to catch up all in one day. You can set aside a big block of time to catch up. However, that may be difficult to read that much content in one sitting and get much out of it.
A better alternative might be to read one of your missed days plus the current day. Do that until all the missed days are accounted for. This will help you stay on track with the current day of the year as you get caught up on what you missed.
Share the Experience
Sharing the Bible reading experience can be a powerful motivator. It can also be a way to connect with others, be accountable to them and share what you are learning. In fact, that scenario is the origin story of how this site came into existence.
We would highly encourage you to find a friend or family member and read together. When you know others will be asking you about your reading, it will focus you to stay with it.
We have even made it super easy for you to invite people to share this journey with you. Click to this page to spread the word about this site and invite others to read with you.
How to Read the Bible Benefits
Reading the Bible is the best way for you to get connected with and learn about God. When you grow in your knowledge of Him, you begin to understand what He wants for your life and how you can best serve Him. You’ll understand how He works in this world and always have someone to turn to in your time of need.
Whether or not you read the whole Bible in a year ultimately doesn’t matter. Whatever you do though, dedicate time consistently to being in the Word. It will make your life better and you will become better at doing life.
Start one of our Bible reading plans today!
Leave a Comment or Answer a Question Below: What is the best routine in your daily life? How have others helped you with a challenge or problem? Have you ever read the Bible through in a year before? What other tips could you share that might help someone looking to take up this Bible reading challenge?