Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”
— Charles Spurgeon
Each year, hundreds of American children are enrolled in piano lessons. Most parents who pay for these lessons each week aren’t trying to raise the next Mozart or even to demand that their children love playing piano. It is to teach that small habits over time make a significant impact in how we learn and grow in every area of our life.
- Likewise, consistent Bible reading helps to deepen our faith, widen our perspective, and serve as a guidepost during difficult seasons of life.
- When our world turns upside down, peace can be found more quickly when we hide Scripture in our hearts. (see Psalm 119:11)
- Growing in contentment and wisdom for everyday life comes more easily when we engage daily with Scripture. (see Proverbs 8:34)
- Regular Bible reading expands our faith so that as the pressures of the world come flying at us, we’ll have a Biblical framework to think through. (see Psalm 119:105)
Creating or renewing a daily Bible reading habit can be hard as we juggle the demands of a busy work schedule, family obligations, running a house, and hopefully mixing in a good night of sleep. But it is possible—and worth it—if we can learn how to make a daily Bible reading habit that will stick. Here are six practical ways to help you make Scripture reading a regular rhythm in your life.
- Create a reminder of your “why”. Reading, understanding, and applying God’s Word helps us to learn more about His character. True transformation comes as we submit ourselves to God. And transformation happens more quickly the more that we understand how great He is. Our hope in a redeemed life can expand as we engage with stories of his redemption spanning across 2,000 years and the pages of the Bible.
- Action Item: Spend a few moments writing out a sentence or two as to why you are making this commitment, then keep that reminder in an obvious place. Laminate this note as a bookmark in your Bible, put a sticky note at the front of your prayer journal, or add a simple label to the alarm on your phone.
- Find a routine that works for you. God wired us all differently and gives us different seasons of life, so your Bible reading routine will vary over time.
- If you love consistency, find a regular time of day to read the Bible. This could look like setting aside an early morning with a cup of coffee, doing your devotional right after school drop off, or ending your day by reading your Bible plan.
- If you find yourself in the car for school drop off, commuting to work, or the endless kid sports loop, swap out your regular podcast to listen to Scripture either through the Dwell or YouVersion Bible app.
- If your season is unpredictable like caring for family or a sporadic work schedule, keep your Bible with you to read on the go.
- Find a group. We are hardwired for community and studying the Bible in the context of a small group can have more benefits than simply learning about Scripture. You can grab a few friends, find a Bible Study through your local church, or even find a group online. Reading the Bible in the context of a group will help to hold you accountable and will also help you to understand more clearly what you are reading.
- Action Item: Text one friend to tell them that you are starting a regular Bible study routine. You’ll find that a small amount of accountability can be the help you need to stick to your plan.
- Start small (and be realistic). Raise your hand if you started a Saturday with a list of chores, tasks, or projects that in the back of your mind you know you couldn’t get done in a month. Somewhere between working-out and dropping off the dry cleaning, you find yourself on the couch scrolling on social media. As you start a Bible reading habit, start with short term goals. Consider reading one chapter of Proverbs each day for a month, memorizing one small passage, or reading one of Paul’s epistles. Aim for consistency even if means you only get to read a verse or two of your passage. Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life Church has said “Successful people do consistently what normal people do occasionally.”
- Action Item: Figure out what Bible study plan works best for you. (Not sure where to start? Check out our list of suggestions.)
- Make your habit easy and accessible. Home gyms have risen in popularity because it is much easier to drag yourself to the basement for a 30-minute sweat session than to pack a change of clothes and drive to the gym at 6 AM. Leaving your Bible and Bible study (and even pen!) on your bedside table or by your favorite chair can be a visual que reminding you of your Bible reading. If you are at home with young kids, leave your Bible open on your kitchen counter to read a verse or two as you wash the dishes. If you work sporadic hours, keep a small Bible with your work things to pull out between meetings or on your lunch break.
- Long Term Gains. It’s easy to see that a single day of piano practice isn’t what makes the difference in a child’s ability to play jingle bells or hammer out the Star Wars theme. Consistent, steady, and often slow learning and implementing of new information over time leads to lasting change. In his New York Times best-selling book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell suggests that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become expert at something. As you start your daily Bible reading habit, you may not see an instant change—but you will gain wisdom and insight over time that will transform your mind and renew your heart.
The Bible is a grand story of redemption that reveals a God who cares deeply about what you are going through. Life will get busy and there will be days that all you can do is mutter a short prayer as your head hits the pillow. Give yourself grace for the days when nothing seems to go right.
Despite the challenges you face, reading God’s Word will deepen your love for God and grow your faith.