Shock & Awe: The Year of the Bible - Feeding Your Bible Habit 15 Ways
We intend to… but then we fall into old habits and don’t follow through. Most of us believe that the life of the Christian should be characterized by a love for, commitment to, passion to read, study, meditate on the Bible. We start that Bible reading program on January 1 but then by the 5th, or the 17th we become sporadic readers and before we know it a week or two have gone by and we are back to the occasional pick up the Bible, let it fall open, read a few verses for inspiration, and on to the next task. Here are 15 ways to avoid the pitfall of good intentions, but poor execution. And may the Word of God dwell in you richly throughout the coming year!!
1. Pick up a new translation for your reading. The ESV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, are all excellent.
2. Get the reading plan – pick one up from the back table on Sunday. Do the plan. An app is available. The app has a daily reminder. Use it!
3. Make an appointment to read; reading may not happen happily by happenstance. Read in the same place, same time every day. Find your corner and discipline yourself. Turn off the TV. Turn off the phone. Turn off the computer. Turn off the kids. Pray that you will not be distracted. Be disciplined, 2 Timothy 4:7-8.
4. Get resources. ESV Study Bible. Online links at TaftAvenue.org. Watch the videos – more than once at TheBibleProject.com.
5. Read to understand God, John 5:39; Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:1-5. Pray first and then read until you taste the sweetness of His thunder; read until you feel the sweetness and awe of God, Job 37:1-5; Psalm 119.
6. Read the book introductions from a good Study Bible. Context is essential. Remember the category of literature: poetry, narrative, figurative, prophecies of the future. Let the easier parts inform the harder parts.
7. It is ok to read and not understand everything; every time you read you will understand more.
8. Join a Life Group, Sunday school class, and come to worship regularly. Tuesday morning men’s group has already started. We discuss what we have read. Ask questions!
9. Mark your Bible, highlight it, and make notes.
10. Keep a note pad close to keep a list of the things that need to be done that are distracting you from reading your Bible.
11. Actively read: pray, read, worship, give thanks, read, pray, confess, repent, trust, obey, John 14:21.
12. Read and remember the story and contemplate, Ephesians 3:4; 2 Timothy 2:7; 2 Corinthians 1:13.
13. Listen to the audio Bible (You Version or the ESV Study Bible app). Listen and follow along in your Bible.
14. Read the Bible with others, Nehemiah 8.
15. Watch your life change. Attitude. Grades. Purpose. Satisfaction. Love for Jesus. Love for your spouse. The Bible will revive your soul, refresh your bones, make you wise, sweeter than honey, Psalm 19; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 10:5.