In Bible college, I had to read the Bible. What a shocker, right? I guess I didn’t realize that fully until I sat in my freshman level classes and I saw that all of them required the Bible as a textbook- even math.
In several classes they wouldn’t count reading required for other classes- so, for instance, if I had to read the entire New Testament in one class, and the book of Matthew in another, I read Matthew twice.
Along with “regular” textbooks.
Talk about syllabus shock.
I wondered… obviously reading the Bible is important to these professors… but why is it that God wants us to read the Bible? What is it that He wants from us through this endeavor? Why does this seem so foundational to my professors?
From reading this post, you will learn practical tips to get the Word of God into your heart. And why it’s the most important part of your day.
So. You have a lot to do every day. I agree. I do too. So… Biblical and personal, I made a list of why you should be reading the Bible.
Why You Should Get the Word of God into your heart:
The Bible is:
- God-breathed, meaning that God wrote the Bible through men, just as the prophets in the Old Testament spoke prophecy on God’s behalf.
- Useful to teach us what is true
- Useful to teach us what is wrong
- Teaches us to do what is right
(All of those points are from 2 Timothy 3:16- my second favorite ‘3:16’ verse after John 3:16.)
God uses the Bible to prepare and equip His people to do good things for His name. (Also a 2 Timothy 3:16 reference)
Some more reasons to read the Bible from my personal experience:
When you read the Bible you
- have a conversation with God the rest of the day
- are ready to take on your day, full of hope
- feel closer to God, even in your low times.
Are you ready for the HOW?
Without further ado, here are some tips I have learned over the years on how to get the Word of God into your heart.
Has it been a while? Maybe you want to read the Bible but are intimidated and unsure.
Are you in a place of complete dryness? Pray this short, six-word prayer: “God, Help me read your Word.” He will say “YES, my daughter!” This is one of those prayers that He delights to answer.
Read Psalm 119 as a Bible Study 101 introduction.
It’s literally poetry. This passage is perfect for someone who is learning to love God’s Word. Why? Because this Psalm was taught to Jewish schoolboys for centuries. It was how young Jewish boys learned their alphabet; each section is named after each letter of the Hebrew alphabet – each sentence begins with that letter. And each and every one of those verses is about learning God’s Word. I find that thought riveting. Makes me want to create an English alphabet just like it.
Check out this resource I made for you- a printable Psalm 119 graphic- verses 10 and 11.
1 Thessalonians 5 says that giving thanks is one of the ways you can feel close to God. Doesn’t that make sense? Don’t you feel close to your husband after you compliment him? Give thanks to God and you’ll feel a closeness to Him.
Thank Him for the Bible- an always-ready resource on God’s will– ready for you to open and dive in.
Get artsy with it- Bible Journaling
I LOVE seeing how artsy my fellow Christians are! They have taken meditation of God’s Word and their own creativity and really made some beautiful creations. I especially love Bible Journaling in those Bibles that have the wide margins. I’m personally not a huge fan of Bible Journaling that covers the actual words of God. But God wants us to be creative. Why? Because we are made in His image and He created us. So it makes sense to create things to His glory in His Word. Can’t get much better than that!
For more on being creative with your Bible study time- check out my friend and fellow Pastor’s wife, Lillian at Embracing the Lovely.
Meet with a local friend
Even icky business meetings are better over coffee and sweet treats. Replace business meeting with reading about and talking about Biblical themes with a friend… sounds super sweet. If you’re a social person (like my husband!), this is a perfect way to get excited about reading the word of God.
Clear your mind
If you ever struggle with anxious thoughts, try making a prayer journal- a place to write down all of your worries and concerns and lift them up to God. Then when they are given to God, spend some time filling your mind with the best things God has to offer to you! Or if journals aren’t your thing- try a to-do list, or post-it-notes, or try writing in your planner. When your mind is clear from worry, go to God’s word to fill it up with His love.
If you’ve tried several times to create a habit of Bible Study in your life but keep falling flat- try an accountability partner. Have your accountability partner ask you every day how you’re doing. If you need help finding someone to keep you accountable- try asking a pastor at your local church for help. It’s almost a promise that your pastor knows someone who loves God’s Word and can help you learn to do the same.
Make the routine enjoyable!
Do you have a corner of your home that you read the Bible in? If you are a mom, this is especially important. Even if you just are doing your Bible reading in bed, make it a welcoming location. Bring a cup of coffee or tea. I know you have a lot to do during those toddler naptimes (I certainly do…), but set aside the first 15 minutes for God’s Word. You won’t be disappointed.
Choose a book of the Bible and read a chapter a month every day.
The book of Proverbs is perfect for this because it’s 31 chapters long. If you choose shorter books, like James, you will have read the whole book 6 times! It will transform your heart.
YouVersion App is great for many reasons.
If you are an auditory learner like me, listen to the Bible! The YouVersion app has the whole audio Bible for free in several translations. Kind of a life-saver. I also really enjoy the community there- lots of comments on (probably) every verse in the Bible.
Rewrite the Bible verses that you are reading.
It can be in a fancy journal or it can be on a napkin. The more you write it, the more it will stick in your heart. (OH THAT’S why they had us write sentences in Elementary school!)
Try the Message Bible.
I read out of the ESV and I occasionally read out of the Message. The ESV is a great middle-of-the-road translation, right between word-for-word and thought-for-thought. The Message is thought-for-thought. For more on why I use the Message- check out this article.
Pray a deeper prayer:
…that God would give you a desire for more knowledge of the Bible. Again- He will ALWAYS answer YES to this kind of prayer.
Before you open your Bible, say: “God, give me the understanding to know You more. Give my heart the softness that You need to shape me into someone who looks like Christ!“
If you’re a musical person- try music based on Scripture.
Your kids might resent it at first, but try happy, easy-to-memorize Scripture CDs in your car for kids like this one. And for yourself, this one says it’s a baby lullaby CD, but tons of people say it helps them with worry/ anxiety, it’s all Scripture in a soothing presentation. Maybe it would help you fall asleep?! Sounds perfect to me.
No matter how many times you have failed at creating this habit, or how many times your mind wanders during prayer- remember that Jesus called God OUR Father. Repeatedly Jesus makes this known through parables and through His example of how we should pray. He makes it clear that our relationship to God is like our relationship to an earthly father-figure.
Keep going back and apologizing even if you keep messing up.
If you have a kid, you know the feeling. Your child has been blocking you out or has broken one of the family rules, BUT, then your child comes to you and attempts to mend the relationship.
That feeling. Oh. It’s wonderful. My son is only 18 months old. He’s capable of doing naughty things. But he’s also capable of apologizing in his wordless way. He can really tug my heartstrings. He doesn’t apologize perfectly, but I know his limitations and I MORE THAN accept his apology. I love him with all my heart.
Imagine that times a thousand. I think that’s how God experiences us in our broken attempts to get to know Him. He so badly wants a relationship with you. He so badly wants you to reach out to Him.
“If you, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” -Jesus (Matthew 7:11)
Use the Bible as a textbook for your life.
Use the Bible as a bridge to get to know your Father who knows how to give you great gifts. He invites you into His presence. He says you can know Him through the reading of His word (check Psalm 119).
Take a childlike step into His direction and wait for His Daddy-Abba-Father hug around His child. Both in this life and the next.
It will be worth it.
(If you aren’t sure you’re a child of God- check out this link )