I try every day to spend some time in the Word.
Typing that sentence makes me feel like a lame believer, a lazy Christian.
Why would one of God’s elect have to “try to spend some time in the Word” everyday? Why isn’t that priority number one?
Because we are busy. We are pulled in many different directions at once by people and situations.
We are distracted. Books, newspapers, television shows, newsfeeds, etc. are all vying for our attention.
We have legitimate obligations like going to work and taking care of our kids.
We are caught up in the trivial. Today I absolutely must do A, B, and C. Tomorrow I will read my Bible.
We follow the course of least resistance. It is easier to do a thousand other things than it is to sit down with a Bible. Studying the Word requires our minds to engage. It is intentional. We won’t stumble into reading Scripture the way we stumble into a casual phone conversation.
We know the goal, daily Bible study, and we know the hinderances to achieving that goal.
We’ve done the head work needed to reach our goal. We need now to do the legwork.
The legwork for me looks like this.
- I choose my study materials.
- I select a place to do my study.
- I dedicate time to spend in the study.
I know myself well and have been at this Bible study thing long enough to know what doesn’t work for me.
Dutifully reading one chapter of the Bible per day does not work for me (Acts, chapter one today; Acts, chapter two tomorrow, etc.). There is little continuity of thought from one day to the next. I read that chapter mostly because I feel that as a Christian, it is my duty.
“Read through the Bible in one year” programs do not work for me. Like determining to read one chapter of the Bible each night before going to bed, reading the assigned passages each day becomes just one more thing on my to-do list.
Attacking a portion of Scripture as if I am writing a doctoral thesis on it also does not work. I have begun Bible studies equipped with several different versions of the Word, a concordance, a Bible dictionary, several commentaries, and a determination to complete a world-class study worthy of the topic at hand. But I soon wear out and wish I had not been quite so ambitious.
Currently, I read each day from a book of devotions. Each devotion includes a passage of Scripture. It focuses upon that scripture and is one-page long. Every devotion is well written and encouraging. This is what I call my “light” reading.
I read one selection from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest. If you are familiar with this scholar, you already know his writings are anything but light. Chambers’ pieces are Scripture-based and challenging.
I then write in a notebook one thought from my day’s reading. Somehow, I don’t feel I’ve really studied if I don’t write anything down.
Is this the best way to spend time in the Word each day? Probably not. Could I do more? Probably.
But this study is doable, and it helps me in my daily walk.
Do you want to develop a daily Bible study habit?
You can accomplish that goal. Design a plan that works for you and then make it happen.
Thank you to Jan Thompson for buying this devotional book for me. Consider buying something similar for you and one for a friend.
P.S. It is okay to begin reading mid-year.