For Jesus and His twelve disciples, reading the Bible daily would have been their norm, though of course they would have studied the Torah rather than the whole book as we know it today. The same goes for most of our biblical heroes. In fact, we can see how well inspirational men like Daniel and David knew the Bible by how often and how accurately they quote it. At times of real stress and pressure we can see both Daniel and David turning to scripture to see them through. Jesus also quoted verses from the Old Testament and even explained some of His decisions by referencing a piece of scripture found in the Old Testament.
In Matthew 4: 1-11, when Jesus is led into the desert and then tempted by Satan, He quotes the Old Testament, using the truths of scripture as His defence against the enemy.
“And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.”
Is reading the Bible daily possible for modern day Christians?
For most modern day Christians, an in-depth knowledge of scripture just isn’t the norm. We may remember some memory verses from Sunday school or have a favorite Psalm but everyday Bible reading can seem unrealistic or even impossible.
We know that spending time reading the Bible everyday can help us to connect with God and provide comfort, encouragement and direction, too. But, how do you start reading the Bible daily when it can be hard to find the time to even make it through a novel?
Here are three ways to help make reading your Bible a joyful part of your every day:
Embrace a new way of reading the Bible
In Psalm 1:1-3 we read: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, whatever they do prospers.”
Those first few verses of Psalm 1 contain a beautiful promise, that someone who delights in the word of the Lord is “like a tree planted by steams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither”. It also gives us a brilliant starting point in how to make daily Bible reading a habit, it encourages us to mediate on the word, day and night. Trying to mediate on, rather than just reading, scripture can change the way we approach our daily Bible reading. Instead of focusing on how much we’ve read or on analysing the words, instead let yourself simply wonder and ponder as you read. It doesn’t matter if you just choose one verse and meditate on its words or how it makes you feel for the entirety of your prayer time.
By taking the pressure off your Bible reading you can transform your time spent reading the Bible, from a studious session to a thoughtful, meditative process, bringing fresh richness into your experience of scripture.
Pick up a new Bible translation
You might have picked a favorite Bible translation when you were younger and stuck to it, or perhaps you change every time your Bible needs replacing. Either way, trying a new translation is a brilliant way of encouraging daily Bible reading.
You don’t need to forgo your old Bible altogether, simply adding in a new translation once in a while can bring a fresh approach to your study time and help engage you in a new way. Translations like The Message, The Passion Translation or The New Testament for Everyone, for example, all read very differently from most of the popular translations you know. Picking up a new translation can inspire you with a new perspective and different way of approaching the Word.
A simple exercise, such as reading your favorite verse in two different translations, doesn’t have to take longer than a few minutes but can be a brilliant way of reconnecting with scripture.
To use an earlier example, here’s Psalm 1:1-3, in The Message translation: “How well God must like you, you don’t walk in the ruts of those blind-as-bats, you don’t stand with the good-for-nothings, you don’t take your seat among the know-it-alls. Instead you thrill to God’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.”
Use technology as an aid
Technology can be a help, rather than an hindrance, when it comes to reading the Bible daily. While the endless buzzing of WhatsApp can be an unhelpful distraction, the ability to access the whole Bible on your phone is a real blessing.
Apps like Glorify can be an integral part of your daily Bible reading, too. With inspiring daily devotionals and insightful blogs all at your fingertips, it’s easy to find fresh reading material that encourages you to dive into scripture again. With writers based all around the world, all with their unique relationship with God, you also get to reap the riches of a multitude of different experiences with God.
You can also use your phone to listen to the Bible out loud, whether online or through an audio book. This is a brilliant tip for those of you who juggling so much day to day that a sit down Bible session just doesn’t happen! Try listening to scripture as you cook or make your way through some household chores, it can turn a monotonous task in a moment of divine inspiration.