Life is crazy. Life is busy. No matter what stage of life you are in, there is always something vying for your time. For me, those contenders are cleaning, homework, writing, working,… Things end up getting smooshed into a few hurried seconds, or else are completely forgotten.
That includes my time in God’s Word. Unfortunately, Bible reading has too often been a smooshed or forgotten contender in my life when papers are due or when the apartment is a disaster.
The question is, does it really make a difference if I miss a day or two?
Well, reading the Bible is important. 1 Timothy 3:16-17 tell us that God’s Word was breathed out, or inspired, by God Himself. He has designed it to be “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Every day we make mistakes that need correcting, every day we need to be equipped for what God may have for us that day.
Also, the Bible often describes God’s Word as something that needs to continually be on our minds and in our thoughts. Psalm 1:1-2 tell us that a man is blessed who doesn’t take advice from the ungodly. It says that this man’s “delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.”
Joshua, a leader of the Israelites after Moses, was told by God, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it” (Joshua 1:8).
We need to be in God’s Word all the time because we need to be tuning our lives to His designs, to be connected with Him. There’s no legalistic idea of ‘you will be hit by a bolt of lightning if you don’t read every single day,’ but we need to keep God and God’s commandments a priority in our lives. Hearing from Him often is the only way we can really do that.
So, how do we find the time? Here are some suggestions that have helped me:
1. Set a specific time and vow to keep that time no matter what. Make it an official part of your schedule.
2. Choose a time that is less often busy. You’re less likely to push it to the side or to rush if you don’t have a hundred other things happening at the same time. Waking up earlier in the morning is a great way to secure that kind of time.
3. Ask someone to help keep you accountable for your time with God. Find a friend who can ask you if you have read today or with whom you can chat about what you have each learned from your Bible that day.
4. Move yourself to a quiet space. If you are surrounded by people or sitting right next to a to-do list, you are much more likely to get distracted and push time in the Bible to the back burner.
5. Give yourself goals. Don’t just pick verses at random to read every day. Choose a Bible study book to go through, or pick a book of the Bible to really get in depth with. Building on something day by day will help excite you to open the pages again and again.
6. Make it a priority. Sometimes you have to say no to other opportunities in order to spend quality time with God. Remember how much more important building a relationship with God is than anything else you could be doing.
7. Ask God for help. Pray that He will remind you to read, will guide you in choosing activities to say no to, and will help you make the decision to sit down and study.
8. Just do it. This one may not seem helpful, but it really is the basis for all the rest. You make time for whatever is important to you, including time in prayer and Bible reading. Don’t just expect the time to magically come to you. Make an effort.
I hope these suggestions will help and I pray that you will find the real beauty in God’s Word and a hunger for reading it. What a privilege it is that we can read the entire story, that we have the fully revealed Word of God, and that through it God is still guiding us day by day.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.