My last post explained how reading your Bible regularly doesn’t make you a Christian – or even a good Christian – but it will give you hope, joy and peace, and teach you more about the God you worship.
I started using Everyday Devotions in January 2020, and that’s how I developed a daily Bible reading habit for the first time in my life.
So today I’m going to tell you a few things I learned about how to make Bible reading a regular part of your life. (And sorry about the clickbait headline.
1. Find a time that works
I read the devotions over breakfast because I found it easier to incorporate it into something I was already doing every day, rather than trying to find new time. Your time could be your commute, or over lunch, or watching the video while you’re washing up.
And although Everyday Devotions are now weekly, you can still engage with the Bible every day.
Try writing out – with pen and paper – a different verse from the passage every day. (Writing it out is one of my favourite ways to get closer to a verse.) Or you could use another daily Bible plan as well as the weekly devotion.
2. Keep it simple
It doesn’t need to be a long time. Don’t get me wrong: extended, deep, prayerful time with God, that shifts something in your soul, is an experience like nothing else. But I’m not doing that every day, and I bet you’re not either. (If you are, please get in touch and tell me your secrets.) Here’s what I do most days:
I read the devotional and the Bible passage, say the prayer, then look out of the window for a while, thanking God for the beauty of the trees outside, for the gift of sight, for my breakfast, for my sleep, for a warm, safe home. That’s pretty much it.
The thing is, you might not remember what you had for lunch last Tuesday, but it still fed your body at the time. You might not remember the Bible passage and the devotional every day, but it will still feed your soul.
3. There will be bad days
You might find that when you’re going through a hard time (hello pandemic), it feels impossible to read your Bible. Don’t beat yourself up.
Firstly, God knows how you feel.
Thirdly, if you’ve broken your Bible reading streak, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you might as well not bother. Get back on that horse as soon as you possibly can.
The words might seem pointless and shallow. Read them anyway. Then talk to your Life Group, or a trusted Christian friend. (P.S. If you don’t have trusted Christian friends, a good place to find them is in a Life Group.)
4. Take it further
Once I had that daily habit, I found I was talking to God more in general, feeling the nudges of the Holy Spirit more, and experiencing greater faith that my prayers would be answered. And the devotional I’d read that morning would be on my mind throughout the day.
I also started wanting to learn more about the Bible. Shout out to The Bible for Normal People podcast, which has taught me a lot.
One of the main ways God speaks to us is through the Bible. So listen, and expect him to speak!
‘My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.’ (John 10:27 NIV)
Two thousand years ago, on a lonely hill in first-century Palestine, a rabbi was executed as a criminal. He came back to life three days later, and the world changed forever – for you, for me and for everyone.
Reading the Bible with Everyday Devotions will help you to hear what that man Jesus Christ wants to say to you. Spoiler alert: it’s words of love, acceptance and joy.