Tips for Reading the Bible
Tips for Making Time to Read the Bible
Tips for Understanding what you Read in the Bible
- Adopt the motto, “No Bible - No food.” Don’t allow yourself to eat breakfast until you have first read at least a verse from the Bible.
- Take a small Bible with you to the gym…before you start your rigorous workout sit on a stationary bike, pedal lightly and read a few verses during your warm up.
- When your wife asks you to go shopping with her, instead of letting it ruin your day, slide a Bible into your back pocket and find a nice comfortable place to sit and read while she decides between the black pants or the white ones or maybe the red ones. Ladies can also adopt this tactic when asked to go to a gun show.
- Read a Bible verse during the commercials of your favorite show
- Keep a Bible in your purse or man-purse, waiting areas at the doctor’s office, principal’s office or at the mechanic are perfect times to get into God’s Word.
- Give up one T.V. show to read the Bible; you don’t have to watch Lost, 24, Heroes, Oprah and Man vs. Wild.
- Does your computer take a while in the morning to boot up? Nice time to read several verses.
- Keep a small Bible with you at work that will easily fit in your back pocket. I like this one: link
- Go to a place you like and look forward to each week and read your Bible there. For example, go to Starbucks every Monday afternoon, get a tall white chocolate mocha, and read a chapter of the Bible. Great for getting through those dreadful Mondays. Reward yourself with a treat and with God’s truth.
- Download an audio Bible to your iPod. I like this one: link
- Write a Bible verse on a 3×5 card and keep the card in your back pocket, occasionally pull it out during the day and memorize the verse.
- Be creative. We are all capable of carving out time to do things we value.
Tips for what to read in the Bible
- The Bible tells us one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to teach us the Word of God. Pray that the Spirit would help you see and live out what you read.
- Use a commentary to help you understand the Bible. A good commentator has spent a lifetime studying the Bible in depth. This does not replace your own personal study of the Bible and commentators can still be wrong, but using a commentary will help you to be aware of things you ordinarily might not have known. I like this site; it’s free and done by a good scholar link
- Over 1200 places are mentioned in the Bible…where are they…good question. This free online resource helps you to see each location in Google Maps (link).
- Give it time to soak. Meditation is an important aspect of Bible reading. Read over the same portion of Scripture many times during one sitting for deeper understanding.
- Many Bibles have a great deal of study notes built right into them (known as study Bibles). Only the actual verses are from God, so the notes could be wrong but they are generally very helpful.
- Find someone who seems to know and live out the Bible better than you do and then ask that person questions.
- Listen to sermons preached on the same Bible passage you’re studying. The website link has thousands of free sermons from many faithful teachers of the Bible.
Tips for Reading Through the Bible in a Year
- Read a proverb corresponding to the day of the month. There are 31 proverbs…so if it is October 12th, read Proverbs 12.
- Many people get burned out by starting at the very beginning of the Bible and trying to read straight through. This can be successful with the aid of a good one-year-Bible, but if you are fairly new to the Bible I would recommend not starting at the beginning. Feel free to read the book of Genesis, but then read some Psalms and Proverbs and then from there go to the New Testament and read the book of John. Over time you will be able to read it from cover to cover, but most people would recommend getting your feet wet in something like the book of John.
- A theology book can help guide you into the Bible. For instance, if you would like to read more about Angels, or the end times, or the Trinity a theology book can guide you through the verses which speak most specifically on these topics. I like the book Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem. Here’s the link: link
- If you are reading the Bible with a friend or with a spouse, talk about what you are each interested in right now. These topics can really help guide you into what portions of the Bible to read.
- At the end of many Bibles and almost all study Bibles is a subject index and a concordance. These are both very valuable and can really direct you to certain verses you may be interested in reading. In a concordance, for example, if you look up the word “grace” you will see over a dozen verses scattered throughout the Bible which contain the word “grace.” A concordance in the back of a study Bible is only a summary. The word “grace” may occur a thousand times but the concordance may only show you 25 places. An exhaustive concordance can be bought which will show you every single location in the Bible where a certain word occurs. link
- Christian book stores are filled with Bible study guides on a plethora of topics. Some of them are centered on certain topics while others walk you through studying a certain book of the Bible or a certain larger section of Scripture.
- All of God’s Word is equally important. If that wasn’t the case He would have left out certain parts. It may take a while to appreciate certain parts of the Bible, but all-in-all it is the most timeless and engaging book ever put together. Change things up and maybe switch to a different area for a little while.
Tips for Memorizing Parts of the Bible
- Get a Bible designed to walk you through reading it in a year. I like this one, it has a good introduction for each day: link
- Do it online…I like this one: link
- Have the Bible read to you for a few minutes every day while you work. I like this one: link
- Make sure the plan you are following is based on specific dates instead of saying something like “Day 143″. I have found most people need the specific dates to stay motivated. If it is August 22nd and you haven’t read your Bible since August 19th, you need to see that you’re three days behind schedule. This shouldn’t become legalistic but hopefully the dates will help.
- Keep it fresh. Shake things up, spend a day doing your reading at a park instead of at your kitchen table.
- Reward yourself. Set up milestones along the way; once you reach them do something that you would really like. For example, I’ll get my wife to agree that once I read through the first ten books of the Bible we’re going to go to Cold Stone Creamery for our favorite ice cream concoction. Then, once I read through the Old Testament I’ll get a $20 gift card to blow at Starbucks. Once I’m finished with the entire Bible I can spend $50 at amazon.com guilt-free. This isn’t meant to diminish the holiness of the Word of God nor my reverence for it, but just to recognize that I desire so deeply to be in the Word but my flesh rebels against this frequently so these rewards may encourage me to overcome my fleshly desires.
- Set up a consistent time every day to read the Bible. If you try to read through the Bible every year without a consistent time it just won’t happen. If you shoot for nothing you’ll hit it every time.
- Occasionally review verses which speak of the importance of having the Word of God flowing through your veins. This will be a great encouragement. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Tips for Studying the Bible with other People
- Dr. Andrew Davis has a nice technique for memorizing books of the Bible. The 11-page pdf is available online: link
- Get together with a friend or spouse every week to pray together and memorize scripture. This will probably end up becoming the best friend you have. Here are some recommended verses: link. Make sure both of you memorize the same verse each week and recite it to each other when you get together. It might be good to have penalties if you don’t stick with it, perhaps you have to give your friend $5 if you don’t have the verse memorized that week. Motivation is good.
- Have a place or time when you recite the verses you’re memorizing. Perhaps the first 5 minutes of your commute is devoted to reciting verses with the radio off, or maybe when you get in the shower you spend that time renewing your mind with God’s Word.
- If you have children, reward them for memorizing Scripture. Their excitement will encourage you to memorize the Bible as well. Storing God’s truth in your children at a young age will bless them later on in life. I have heard an internationally known pastor talk about his mother encouraging him to memorize the Bible. She told them that for each chapter they memorized she would memorize a book of the Bible. He has said that one time when two women tried to get him to have an affair, it was a verse his mother had him memorize which came to his mind and kept him on the path of righteousness.
- Repetition is the mother of all learning. Repeating a Bible verse over and over again will eventually tattoo it on your brain.
- Be creative. Practice ways to get God’s Word to stick. Post comments below letting us all know what works for you.
Taken From: helives.com (modified version)
- Get together with a friend(s) once-a-week to be in a Bible reading group. This requires no leadership or preparation, just get together at a place like Starbucks and spend 30 minutes individually reading your Bible.
- Get connected with a local church in your area having a Bible study. This is a great way to learn the Word of God and to also get to know people who may become life-long friends.
- Read the Bible with your spouse after dinner. My wife and I have recently started reading a couple chapters before going to bed…we’ve enjoyed having the Bible as our last thought before going to sleep.