Do you struggle with reading the Bible daily? Do you wish there was a magic button you could press that would hold you accountable + help you study like a boss? Because let’s be honest: reading the Bible can feel like a hard and daunting task. But it shouldn’t! Read on to learn my tips for how to read your Bible daily, plus a little encouragement from yours truly.
For more Bible study, be sure to check out this post Who God is Can Be Found Boldly in Psalm 103.
Do you read your Bible?
When I started attending church for the first time back in November of 2020, I placed a lot of expectations on myself. And one that proved the hardest was reading my Bible. After all, I had never read the Bible before. And if I was going to start going to church, I figured I needed to get familiar with the text, instead of sitting in the pew looking dumbfounded because I didn’t know how to find 2 Chronicles.
As a newbie, I assumed every Christian read their Bible. Maybe not every day, but frequently, with gusto and plenty of highlighters. From the outside looking in, I figured that if you were talking the talk, you were walking the walk.
I was surprised to find out that the exact opposite is true.
Most Christians don’t read their Bible
Did you know that only 9% of self-identifying Christians hold a Biblical worldview?
Shockingly, a survey from 2021 shows than only 11% of Christians read their Bible daily.
But when I think about it, it all makes sense, actually. Life is complicated, schedules are hard to balance, and words…are hard. Finding time to read your Bible, while raising a family and working a full time job, can be very difficult.
But, just because it’s “hard” doesn’t mean we have to give up, or make excuses on why we can’t.
Because listen, reading your Bible is IMPORTANT (hence the capital letters). If we’re not reading the Bible, that means we’re too wrapped up in the physical world. It means we’ve put the world first, instead of God. And it means we’ve procrastinated with some pretty darn good excuses.
Trust me, I know excuses
And let me tell you that I know all about procrastination. Because instead of reading the good book, like I totally told myself I would in January of ’21, I fought with myself ALL YEAR trying to make any kind of progress.
Oh, I found plenty of excuses. And I made a million roadblocks. I also bought devotionals, journals, and printed out too many Pinterest monthly writing plans.
So when I tell you IT’S HARD BRO, I’m not just saying that. I know.
By the end of 2021, I felt very defeated. Because I realized that instead of doing what I was going to do, I’d BS’d my way through an entire year.
That was an entire year I could have been filling my mind and spirit with the word, instead of listening to lies. An entire year that I could’ve been building a real relationship with God, instead of saying “I’ll get to you soon Lord!”
Since that first year, I’ve made huge strides with my daily Bible reading, and I’m no longer a stranger to the text. Each day I feel blessed that I get to soak up the word and feel more connected to the holy spirit. I hope that you apply these tips to your own life, and then tell me how God has changed your life in the comments below.
1. Choose the right Bible
I must admit, choosing the right Bible was crucial for me when it came to reading daily. After all, if you’re going to be spending each day with your Bible, it needs to be the right one. It needs to feel good in your hands.
Maybe you like a giant Bible that’s floppy with large type (because you just can’t read that tiny little font), or perhaps you enjoy those itsy-bitsy compact Bibles.
Maybe you want a Bible you can take notes in, or has coloring pages that can help (not distract) you through your Bible time. Whatever it is, choosing should be a well thought out process. It’s not just buying a book off the shelf– it’s selecting your own little spiritual companion.
A note on translations
That being said, you can get a Bible with all the bells and whistles, but can you actually understand it?
Personally, I came into Christianity with the KJV (King James Version), and made intentions to loyally continue on this path. But struggling through all of 2021 trying to decipher my KJV, with some days feeling more like 9th grade literature class than actual reading, I had to admit that I was stuck.
I prayed about it a lot, because I wanted God to give me the wisdom and clear my mind so I could understand the message.
Then I started researching some of the newer translations and read more about the NIV (New International Version), which is easier to understand. Yet it still felt…wrong to me to switch my Bible translation. So I prayed about it more, asking God to please help me make the decision that was right for me.
Eventually, I found a parallel Bible that included both the KJV and NIV, side by side. This has been a real game-changer, because now I can spend each day reading the simplified version, while comparing it to the KJV. It feels more like a Bible study, because I can switch back and forth to see how things were translated differently. This helps me slow down and absorb what I’m reading, instead of checking boxes for things I don’t understand.
Most importantly, I get excited to pick up my Bible each day, and it connects me and inspires me to have a relationship with God.
All that to say, choosing a Bible translation is not something to take lightly, and it’s a very controversial subject. The NIV was a great place to start for me as a new Christian, but I’ll talk more about this on a future post.
2. Block out time
This second tip goes out to everyone who hates alarm clocks, myself included.
Because listen, no one wants to get up earlier than they have to, especially when it’s pitch dark outside. However, we need to create real, solid, sacred time for our Bible reading. And if that means that we need to rise early, we need to be obedient in that.
This isn’t to say that you need to rise at 4 am, and spend an entire hour reading and highlighting and cross referencing (unless that sounds appealing to you). What it does mean though, is that we set aside 15-30 minutes each morning to spend time in prayer and devoting our time to God.
Because here’s a sweet secret: when you put God first, and you get aligned in your mind and spirit, the rest of the day is surprisingly easier. I believe that’s because we are intentionally placing God and our relationship with him as top priority, causing everything else to be secondary.
As it says in Romans 8:31– If God is for us, who can be against us?
All things work together for good to those who love God.
3. Learn your way
When it comes to reading the Bible, one thing we don’t always take into consideration is our learning style. What’s that have to do with reading? Everything!
Because how you absorb information is critical to successful Bible learning. Knowing this can turn this time from dreaded task to pleasant fulfillment.
There are three common ways people learn: auditory (listening), visual (seeing), and tactile (hands on).
So if you’re an auditory learner, pop on an audio recording of the Bible instead. For visual, pull out those highlighters (more on that below) and light up the pages. And if you’re a hands-on type of person, doing a combo of both audio and visual strategies can help (for example, listen to the audio and follow a long with your book). Write down questions, look things up– you’ll never regret spending time with the word.
Light it up
As a visual learner, this is probably one of my favorite things about Bible reading and devotionals. Yes, I’m going to express my love for the highlighter.
Highlighting passages can add a lot to your Bible reading, and I’m not just talking about color. By highlighting scripture and lines that resonate with you, it’s causing you to go back and repeat that verse. Perhaps even marinate on it a little, which helps it rest in our hearts just a bit longer.
I can personally say that this has added a real layer to my reading in the mornings, and I enjoy highlighting my favorite verses as I read along.
Just be sure that you’re using a highlighter that is made for bible pages, so it does not bleed through.
4. Listen to devotionals
It’s very easy to fall out of a habit. We all know this, as no one wants to mention their new years resolutions come January 5th.
That being said, one of the ways I’m continuing to be encouraged to read scripture and spend devotional time is by tuning into Bible studies during the day, like when I’m cleaning up around the house, doing laundry or the dishes.
By listening to devotional podcasts, it reminds me that reading my Bible is important. It’s not about checking boxes or putting on a face at church. Reading your Bible is about establishing a relationship with our creator, and understanding the history and where we’ve come from.
5. Pray about it
Lastly, if you’re wanting to get serious about reading your Bible, I can’t stress this enough: PRAY ABOUT IT!
Prayer is our direct phone call to God, so why wouldn’t we pray that He change our hearts and get our minds right to spend time in the word? Pray that God helps you to rise early, clears your schedule and distractions (psst, put your phone away!), and strengthens you through His word.
A note on mental health and addiction
One more thing– if you’re struggling maintaining a healthy mindset right now (like feeling depressed, anxious, etc.), making the Bible #1 in your life is crucial.
Because let’s get real: when we’re stuck in our heads, or recovering from an addiction, this means that we’re hyper focused on ourselves. It’s so important that we get out of our heads and into the word. That is where we will find strength, hope, encouragement, and learn who God really is.
Don’t wait. Don’t be like me and procrastinate for a year. Get into the word today.
Reading the Bible daily can feel overwhelming, but it shouldn’t. Truly, getting into the word is something we Christians should look forward to each and every morning. It’s not about just checking a box– it’s a chance for renewal, to connect with God, and share our hearts with Him.
I hope these tips have helped encourage you to pick up your Bible (or get a fresh start on a new copy!). For more Bible study, please be sure to check out this post Who God is Can Be Found Boldly in Psalm 103.
I pray this blesses you.
Any mental health information contained within this post is for general purposes only. It is not in any way a substitute for specific medical advice. You must therefore obtain the relevant professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action based on the information in these webpages.
If you are in crisis or you think you may have an emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.