Here’s another question from a RevTrev reader. I may use this to answer a bit more fully in a podcast.
I would like to get suggestions on how to develop better habits of bible study.
How do you recommend a person get into a routine of digging deeper into scripture so that it has a greater influence on/in their life?
Thanks for the question. It’s one I often get and I find a lot depends on the person and season of life.
Recently I told a busy mom to download a copy of a vocal Bible so she could listen to it as she fell asleep – with five young kids she’s run off her feet and feeling guilty she can’t stay awake.
I’ve personally used a Bible Reading Plan to stay on target for a goal. I want my kids to read the Bible regularly but I don’t want to be dogmatic on it, so I’m thinking of creating a Bible reading plan for them that won’t be too much, but give them enough so they can learn to listen to God while reading.
Here are some tips I’ve picked up on my own journey.
1. Decide to do it ahead of time. The old “If I wake up with my early set alarm I’ll get up” rarely works unless God REALLY has something to say to me. I need to decide the night before, “I’m getting up at ______, so I can spend time with God”.
2. Create a time and space to meet with God. For me it’s almost always in the morning. Sure I like reading the Bible in the evening and I’m praying throughout the day, but having that time set apart in the morning helps the rest of the day to flow naturally towards thoughts of God. My space is my garage. It’s holy ground for me…and I’m in no way technically inclined.
3. Be open before God. Often I find myself not wanting to spend time with God when I haven’t done it in a while. It’s like I’m afraid to hear what my Dad has to say because I know something isn’t right. It’s foolish right? God knows everything. I’m not hiding anything from him. One tool I’ve found useful is to pray the psalms…that is, read them to I find one that has the same feeling I feel and then pray it out to God. I’m amazed 3,000 years ago people had the same problems I have. Sure, they probably didn’t have to spiritualize “my enemies attack me”, but the feeling is the same.
4. Have grace for yourself. I often have more grace for other people than I do for myself. “I should know better…” But God’s not interested in a relationship based on rigid rules. He’d rather have us lavishly love. There are going to be times you don’t meet with God. Keep them short and strive to be conscience of Him at all times.
5. Embrace God’s grace for you. It’s easy for me to go into awe at the thought of God. The One who spoke the 100,000,000 stars into being, invites me – through the blood His Son shed – to be overwhelmed with glimpses of Him. It’s humbling when you consider it.
I hope that helps. I have Bible Reading Plan that allows you to read through the Bible in one year. I use it at times to read through in 3 months – just read 4 days worth every day. I’ve attached a copy for you. Enjoy.
Thanks so much. I do think I need to write more about this. I’m really interested in getting more into Bible memorization. I’m testing out a few tools now.