At the start of the year you may have begun a daily Bible reading campaign. I encourage you to not only read your Bible daily, but to read through the scriptures in a year’s time. That is a daunting but manageable task, but life is busy. Unexpected interruptions reliably toss obstacles in the way. Here at the front end of spring, it’s easy to look at our daily Bible reading schedule and be discouraged because we are so far behind. Don’t be discouraged or dissuaded from finishing the task. Keep after it. The going may be tough but the goal is worthy of your effort. Stay with the stuff!
Why? Because we read in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The faith spoken of is saving faith. No one is able to be saved unless the Gospel is proclaimed to them, and the Good News of Jesus Christ is only found in God’s Word. The faith spoken of is also sustaining faith. God’s Word not only contains the message of how one must be saved, but it teaches us how to joyfully live for Christ once we are saved! Jesus prayed to His Father, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” John 17:17.
The Bible is the only resource that is adequate to fuel our faith. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16. Therefore, we must learn and live God’s Word, and that will only happen if we saturate our hearts and minds with Scripture. How is that accomplished? By hearing, reading, studying, and memorizing the Word of God.
Some easy ways of hear God’s Word is by regularly attending your Sunday school class and church services. Faithfully place yourself under sound, Biblical teaching, and do not think that hearing the Word of God is merely passive listening. It is not! It is a discipline to be cultivated; a dialogue between the hearer and the Holy Spirit.
If you did not begin the year with a plan to read through the scriptures, or if you started off well but have fallen woefully behind, here are three practical suggestions for successful daily Bible reading. Just start right where you are and dig in to the treasure trove of God’s Word. He will never leave you disappointed.
- Find the time. This is primarily a matter of discipline and motivation.
- Find a Bible reading plan. We suggest a plan that will take you systematically through the scriptures. A good plan will include variety – daily reading from different sections of scripture. Many who want to read through the Bible become confused in Leviticus, discouraged in Numbers, and quit by Deuteronomy. It is easier to maintain momentum, and build it up, by reading in more than one place each day.
- Meditate on a word, phrase, verse, or section of what you read. This aids application. The more you apply the truth of scripture, the more you will become like Christ.
The late Jerry Bridges wrote in his book The
Practice of Godliness, “Reading gives us breadth, but study gives us depth.” The basic difference between reading and studying the Bible is simply a pen and a piece of paper. Use that pen and paper to write down questions and cross-references, make observations, and to logically organize your study. Do not be preoccupied with the calendar. Be intent on knowing God through His Word, and living accordingly!
Proverbs 2:1-5 teaches us five principles of Bible study.
- Teachability – “receive my words”
- Intent to obey – “hide my commandments with thee”
- Mental discipline – “apply thine heart to understanding”
- Prayerful dependence – “criest after knowledge…understanding”
- Diligent perseverance – “seekest as silver…searchest for as hid treasures”