Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Daily Bible Reading: Why It’s So Important and How to Build Up the Habit

If Jesus, as the perfect and sinless man, needed to live on His Father’s every word, how much more do we who are fallen, sinful human beings?!

Consider Jesus’ famous words in Matt. 4:4,

“Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.”

We may appreciate this word and may have even memorized it at one time, but unfortunately, we may not practically apply it to our own daily life. This may be partially due to a mistaken concept. Maybe we mistake knowledge for life.

So what does that mean? …

Recognize Reasons for Not Reading the Bible Daily

Here are some reasons we might have for not reading the Bible daily:

  1. “I don’t understand it.”
  2. “I already know what the Bible talks about….”
  3. “I don’t have time.”
  4. “I don’t get anything out of it.”
  5. “I can’t remember anything that I read.”

…and you can add to the list.

All of the above are in the realm of knowledge and miss a vital point.  Whether you understand your food or don’t understand it, you still have to eat in order to live.

Even if your time is pressed, you’re still going to eat something.

And whether or not you can remember the food you eat, you’re still going to eat to live.

Realize that the Bible is a book of life

When we say that the Bible is a book of life we mean that it is the necessary food for our inner man. That’s because it contains Christ, who is God’s living Word (John 1:1; 1 John 1:1). But sadly, our concept of knowledge has cheated us too long.

For now, drop your concept of knowledge and simply come to the Bible to “inhale, drink, and eat” Christ, who is the life element in God’s Word (John 14:6; 6:63).

This thought of the Bible being a book of life is confirmed by Paul’s word in  2 Tim. 3:16,

“All Scripture is God-breathed…”

Consider, whenever we speak, we exhale, we breathe out our essence.  It’s the same with God. The Bible, as God’s living Word, contains and conveys His essence—His Spirit of Life—into us.

So if we’re going to get life out of God’s Word, we need to come to the One who is the Life. We’ve got to come to Christ as God’s living Word in God’s written Word (John 1:1; 5:39-40).

For example, whenever we open to a page of the Bible, we need to open to the Lord from the depth of our being—our spirit—and utter a few words like,

 “Lord Jesus, as I come to the Bible, I’m coming to You. I turn my heart fully to You. Cleanse me with Your precious blood. I open my spirit to touch You and receive You as my real spiritual food in the Word. I open to breathe in what You breathe out.” 

Receive Help to Build Up a Bible-Reading Habit

 Although our focus in coming to the Bible should be mainly to receive spiritual food, there are still some practical tips that can help us overcome the things that keep us from reading our Bible.:

  • “Don’t have time” – Simply read shorter passages and more frequently—how about  5-10 min. 2-3 times per day for starters. You can do it on your handheld with a free Bible Study App from BiblesforAmerica.org.
  • “Don’t understand it”— Get a quality study Bible with footnotes. I recommend the Recovery Version. I use the electronic version of the Recovery Version for iSilo. You can find it on the lsm.org website.
  • “Don’t get anything out of it”— Pray before, during, and after your reading so that you open to God, the source of the Scriptures, come to Christ, the content of the Scriptures, and touch the Spirit, the essence of the Scriptures.
  • “Falling behind and can never catch up”— Create your own schedule on ReadHisWord.com at a pace that you can maintain. If you get too far behind, mark you progress to date and then reset the schedule to make today your current date. If you need to, stretch your schedule out 6 more months. To read slower is better than stopping entirely.

Respond Now

I hope that you also will be inspired by this post to:

  • Realize your personal need to read the Bible every day.
  • Obtain an accurate and readable study Bible (The Recovery Version is my favorite.)
  • Make a definite plan for your daily Bible-reading, considering the time or number of pages each day that you can commit to reading. For example, you might decide to read through the entire New Testament from Matthew to Revelation in 1 or 2 years. (I highly recommend using an online Bible-reading scheduler like ReadHisWord.com to keep you on track.)
  • Then schedule your life to include your daily Bible-reading—what time each day and for how long you plan to read. For example, you may schedule to read for 10 minutes before you start work in the morning and 10 minutes before you go to bed at night.
  • Don’t wait! Begin your new Bible-reading habit today!

I hope that you’ll find the points in this post as helpful as I have. If you have received benefit from the points I’ve presented, I also hope that you’ll take a moment to share a confirming comment. Or, if you have found a way to read your Bible that might help others, please share with the other readers by leaving a comment below.

Further References:

 Photo Credit:  TheCulinaryGeek (Creative Commons)

 

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

11 Replies

  1. Vern

    One thing I’d add that really helps to get through the Bible is a book mark. That ribbon in your Bible is useful. If you always place it where you stopped last, eventually you will get through the Bible. Just move it a little bit each time and you will reach the end. Then you can start again. Reading the Bible through again and again will really help the reader in understanding it. The Bible interprets the Bible. If we are ignorant of the Bible, we will have difficulty interpreting it. Of course we need the Spirit to reveal the Lord’s mind to us, but the Spirit uses the Word.

    1. Tom Smith

      Vern, I appreciate the simplicity of your method–a ribbon in the Bible reminds you where to pick up and keeps moving you along. I would misplace the ribbon and forget where I was. So I started writing the date in the bottom corner. Kind of messy but it works. However, that didn’t help with the feeling of getting behind and losing momentum. That’s where ReadHisWord.com has been a help to me, because it tells me where to pick up and how much I need to read to reach my goal.

      Yes, it’s not a matter of speed but of consistency. Just get as much as you can each time and then start again. It’s the long term benefit that really matters. Like you said, such reading gradually helps with understanding the Bible and interpreting the Bible. To me the footnotes and outlines in the Recovery Version have been a tremendous help to increase my understanding. Then we must must depend on the Spirit’s guiding us into the reality by matching our reading with much prayer.

      Thanks again for adding your helpful insights.

  2. I fully agree with the importance an necessity of reading the Bible, and with the fact that we shouldn’t just “set a schedule and read” but rather also involve the Lord in all these matters, PLUS read the explanatory footnotes in the Recovery Version! This version has been a blessing to my life and experience.

    One more thing I would add, for those more tech-savy, is getting a bunch of believers together and creating a group on http://www.lettheword.com – you can daily post your reading there, and you can see how your group-mates are doing, etc. It will help you with the consistency and the diligence. I practice this, I have a group there, with some of the students, and I am encouraged to see the others also reading the Bible + being reminded by them via text or facebook when I forget to post my reading there! 🙂

    PS. I was just writing something of my enjoyment in my Bible reading in Ezra via my personal blog at, http://www.stefanmisaras.com/the-struggle-for-the-rebuilding-of-gods-house-ezra/

    1. Tom Smith

      Brother, this is another very encouraging way to strengthen our Bible-reading habit—companions! The encouragement of spiritual companions can do what no schedule-paper, electronic or otherwise can do—especially for young believers endeavoring to build up proper spiritual life practices. I’ll have to take a look at http://www.lettheword.com and tell others about it also.

      This also reminds me of Paul’s word to his young co-worker Timothy in 2 Tim 2:22, But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” Companions can become a real support to building up a habit of reading the Word and prayer. Thanks for this helpful comment.

  3. Bonnie

    I have found that setting a timer helps me to maintain a regular habit of Bible-reading. I set aside a certain amount of time rather than a certain amount of text to read. This way, I can take more time on a verse that is heavily foot-noted and not be so concerned to “get through” a certain amount of text. I use the ribbon that Vern mentioned and a pencil to mark the spot where I left off. Then I can come back to the same spot, erase the pencil mark, and continue. Any way that we can read the Word is profitable!

    1. Tom Smith

      Very good suggestions! Maybe more of us need to try this way–to simply set a certain amount of time, so that we don’t find ourselves rushing through passages and miss some of the rich spiritual nourishment God has intended for us in His Word. Actually, the most motivating thing to stay in the Word is the taste we have from the previous times. I’m reminded of one simple but helpful prayer that Brother Witness Lee taught us to pray when we come to the Bible, “Lord, grant me a sweet taste of You in Your Word today.” I agree, any way that we can read the Word is profitable. Thanks for the strengthening comment.

  4. 李 菲 麗

    Amen! Brother, thank you so much for this very encouraging word. I thank the Lord for giving me ‘today’ and for having this FB link with audio to supplement my bible reading by listening. Praise the Lord, I got no excuses (have some visual impairment), but to redeem this God-ordained time. Praise Him, ALL Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable!

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=151161041705600&id=549741691704336#!/pages/Bible-Reading/549741691704336

    1. Tom Smith

      God’s word is such a blessing to us in whatever form that we can receive it! I’m reminded of Rev 1:3 which says, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy and keep the things written in it, for the time is near.” So not only reading God’s word, but even hearing God’s word, is a tremendous blessing. Yes, all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable! Let us keep daily reading, receiving, eating, digesting and assimilating God’s life-giving words so He can fulfill His plan in us.

      1. 李 菲 麗

        Praise the Lord! what an all-inclusive, all extensive blessing! Thank you, brother!

        1. Tom Smith

          Yes, what a blessing! I remember a word of ministry that said that God’s two greatest gifts to us are the Holy Bible without and the Holy Spirit within. May we not neglect these two great blessings, but employ them by reading the Word and praying. In this way we will be full of the word and full of the Spirit so that we can be one with God for His move.

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