Starting out on any Bible reading plan can be 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 to get the most out of it?
We understand that concern. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help you on this journey, however short or long it may be. We have seen these techniques and strategies work in our own experience. So if you are wondering how to read the Bible, these should be helpful to you.
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 the day’s reading. It shouldn’t be reduced to a task to complete each 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 is currently working in your life. It’s about drawing closer to Him. Begin your reading each day with that thought in mind. Ask him 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 messages were.
For example, if you don’t know the background of why Leviticus or Jeremiah or Revelation was written, When that happens you will want to quit reading because the content seems 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 why certain books sound like they do.
Develop Time and Routines
The reason we hear most often 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 can easily slip away from us. That’s why we can’t overemphasize the importance of routines. Nothing has helped us more as we’ve 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? We have found it varies from person to person. We love reading in the morning before we get started with the day’s tasks – before getting out of bed, during breakfast or in that quiet space at work before emails are opened.
However, we know many people who read the last thing before they go to bed. That’s the quietest time of the day for them, when their mind is winding down and their 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 interrupt your day and you will put off 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. 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 with yourself when this happens. Be encouraged that you are trying. 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, we have found that 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, it 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.
Leave a Comment Below: What is the best routine in your daily life? How have others helped you with a challenge or problem?