I recently started a Facebook message thread with about 15 of our church members, and thought their input was so practical and helpful that I had to share it! I reorganized their thoughts into 9 questions/segments, and asked their permission to share. Thankfully they said yes.
It’s neat not only to see some great ideas here, but also how some of this comes down to the individual person. What’s best for getting into the Word may be different for each person, but the point is that we get into the Word!
Hopefully this is as helpful for you as it was for me.
Why Get Into the Word?
- Cindy: Being in God’s word is Bread for our spiritual life! It tastes SO good!
- Curt: I recognize that even just reading the Word changes me, and the more I think about it, the more positive change that occurs.
How much should I read?
- Curt: I don’t get hung up on quantity. Some times I devour large portions. Other times it is only a verse, or even a phrase. But it is all the Word of God, and Hebrews 4:12 applies to all of it.
- Stephen: I choose a book of the Bible to study intensively and comprehensively for about 4-6 months so that I get the width and depth of the book I read.
Should I have a set time & place?
- Joy: I think it’s important to choose a place! I also get up early to have time with the Lord! However that doesn’t work for everyone!
- Cindy: I love to read, so I had to discipline myself by reading my Bible first, and would not allow myself to ready anything else before it. Once this habit was acquired, it became my JOY each day and I now look forward to it as my ‘talk’ with God…
- Diane: I have found that I just have to stay flexible. When I was a teen, I loved spending time in the Word and prayer at night before I went to bed. As a mom with babies/toddlers, I found that I was too tired by then so their nap time became my time with the Lord. When my kids were in elementary, nap time was gone, so now my time in the Word/prayer was back at night when the kids were finally in bed. Now that I have teens and our family is going through significant loss and our life is met frequently with emergencies and urgencies, I’ve had to be more flexible and creative than ever.
- Christy: I think about a marriage relationship. I talk to Shane many times throughout the day; I send him texts, or an article I have read that I think he will like. He’s never far from my mind. That said, I do spend time in the word, it’s just not a set time each day. It may be multiple times a day or I might hear something or read something I want to explore further.
- Edith: For me, I used to every day since I was a teenager get up early and spend an hour reading and journaling my prayers. Since having Zoe especially it has been difficult to do that- something I really really miss. I am rarely awake without my kids being awake and she still wakes up multiple times a night. Like others have said, I have found ways to stay grounded to the Word throughout the day.
Should I journal?
- Stephen: I journal my thoughts and prayers.
- Joy: Use a journal and prayer notebook! Prayer notebook requests and answers!
- Christy: I am also a journal lover and write my prayers…I find writing helps me tune out the noises around me. I can stop and start if necessary. Writing also helps me refocus if I get distracted
- Diane: I like just jotting down things I want to look into later. I love this “method” of Bible study too. What better way to learn about something than to just stop and dig in deeper to something that has caught your interest throughout the day/week.
How Can I Make It a Habit to Read Throughout the Day?
- Diane: Now I use the bible on my phone and have to find times to sneak away throughout the day…..while in car line…..while waiting at dr’s appointments…..once I hit my bed and the door is shut…..and on nights when the girls don’t need to talk, I still have a bible study book (Ezekiel for now) that I work through at my desk. I’ve had to give up the “all or none” way of thinking about bible study time and prayer time and just try to weave it in and out throughout the day.
- Diane: We always enjoy listening to KLove or Air1 when we are driving around. Yes, some of the songs stink theologically (sorry pet peeve of mine is people dogging on Christian music), but some of the songs are so great about bringing our hearts to worship and reminding us of solid biblical truths. Since we’re in the car a LOT, we get to listen to lots of Christian music
- Christy: On extremely busy days, I’ll recite Scriptures I’ve committed to memory over the years as I’m going about my day. And pray the same way.
- Christy: From the beginning of my Christian walk I have also put notecards by my bathroom mirror with Scriptures I wanted to focus on/or memorize.
- Joy: Also music is part of time in the word! Use hymn book sometimes and contemporary words!
- Drew: Like others have said, I have found ways to stay grounded to the Word throughout the day and rely a lot in what I memorized in the past. I have scripture written in different places of the house.
- Karen: I was staying at a friends home at one point and they incorporated scripture into much of their household décor. Kind of like Deuteronomy…”write it on your doorposts”, etc. Just about every room had one or two verses displayed as part of the decorations. It was pretty much impossible not to be reminded of God’s character and presence as I walked from room to room. I remember as kids posting verses for memorization in the bathroom…a great time for meditation.
- Drew/Edith: It’s a struggle at times. I try to listen to a sermon on my commute and pray. I try to read a small portion at work (I have a really small Bible I read over lunch or I just look it up online.)
Reading with Your Family
- Drew/Edith: With the girls we try to read at supper. Aletheia is learning to read so she often wants to do it. I find if we don’t do it at supper or soon after it doesn’t happen. It also helps me if right after the girls go to bed, I read or pray to focus my mind.
- Kathy: We read and pray in the morning after breakfast. If we miss one, we just pick up the next day.
- Edith: Aletheia finally is reading so her reading practice daily for school is to read from the Bible. When we’re doing therapy for Zoe I like to either play Christian music or have them listen to Christian stories or Audio Bible or if we watch something I like it to be something that will teach them more about God’s character and His Word. That often gets us talking about different topics and we can talk about it on a deeper level. I am memorizing the same verses that I’m having my kids memorize.
- Reba Cerra: When my children were young, we had short devotions, used Christian music and prayer with them. They loved music! It was always so rewarding to see them start having their own times of devotion as they grew.
Saying NO to Legalism
- Stephen: I first have to not be a legalist and put my shame and guilt at the feet of Jesus when I mess up and remember that He loves me no less or no more because of my performance
- Drew/Edith: When I fail, I don’t want that to stop me from doing what I can do to read the Word. It will almost never be perfect.
- Christy: I’ve also become more aware of not wanting my quiet time to be something I check off a list and more of a lifestyle.
- Curt: I remind myself that my time in the Word is not what determines my standing with God – either loving or disappointed. Rather, the time I spend will have an affect on how well I am able to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16) much like the amount I exercise will have an affect on my overall health. I try to view time reading the Word like I do brushing my teeth – it’s just something I do every day. When I miss, I make it up as soon as I am able. I don’t accept guilt for missing, but recognize that I am better for the time I spend.
Would a prayer/reading format help? Or using a Resource?
- Joy: I also use SPECK: Sins to forsake, Promises to claim, Examples to follow, Command to obey, Knowledge of God, and then how does it apply to my day!
- Joy: Also for prayer A—adoration, C—confession, T—thanksgiving, S–supplication! This is what works for me but not for everyone!
- Cindy: Each year I read through the Bible in a ‘different’ way…either by picking an acceptable translation that I’ve never read before or by reading a study Bible version (John MacArthurs is my favorite study Bible) or a different chart on the order of reading through…chronologically, front to back, a different section each day…etc…
- Nancy: I have been using the One Year books. Last year was Finding Jesus in the Old Testament. This year the One Year Book of Hope. Both of these are by Nancy Guthrie. I find these daily readings keep me on track. With the daily readings there is also scriptures to dig deeper. I also add scripture memory to this.
- Diane: : I love what Cindy said about reading the Bible in different ways, as I noticed that this helps me see things I’ve never noticed before. I think reading the bible through Chronologically a few times has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for a better understanding of how scripture works together.
- Reba: It helps me to have some indepth Bible studies, I really like having a read the Bible in a year plan. It works best if I do like Cindy and don’t allow myself to read other things first.
- Cindy: JIm reminded me that I also have read through a devotional book or two about hymns, which has been VERY encouraging…”101 Hymns and Their stories” and “101 More Hymns and their stories.”
- Matt: A couple years ago, I started listening to the Bible on my drive to work using the YouVersion app. By setting it to 1.5x the speed, it kept a good pace and I could “read” the whole Bible a couple times a year and the NT in just a month. To add variety, I’ve tried many different versions. It actually makes it easier since I don’t need to pronounce the difficult names and places.
- Cindy: Some days do become a hurried read-through, but after doing this for over a decade, there is SO much I gain each time I read through the Word! Just DO it!