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April 20, 2023 by

“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.  

I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (Psalm 119:15-16 ESV). 

Reading the Bible has become a sort of checklist task. It feels as if our Christian duties will not be completed for the day unless we read a few quick verses. Too often, our Bibles collect dust on our shelves because there are more pressing matters to be taken care of. “It can wait,” we say, “God will forgive me, and He will still be there when I’m ready, right?” It can be difficult to find joy in reading a book that can often cause us to be uncomfortable or confused. Maybe you know that it is necessary, but you just wish that it were easier. 

There is no magic shortcut to delighting in the Word of God; however, it is possible no matter your level of busyness! I am here to answer some common questions and to give you practical advice as to how you can take steps to truly enjoy your time with the Lord each day. This is applicable no matter your age or level of spiritual maturity and can be used as a tool to encourage other members of the Body toward vibrant faith and deep wisdom in Christ.  

As Cedarville students, we prioritize our personal growth and relationship with the Lord to internalize and solidify all that we take in here. It is not just up to the chapel messages and Bible minor to make us grow; we must be intentional about pursuing Christ on our own! With that said, let’s dive into some questions and application! 

Why Do I Need to Read My Bible?

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV). 

Once our lives are given over to Christ, we become new creations. We crucify the desires of our flesh and give ourselves wholly to the mission and vision of the Lord. Our lives are no longer our own, but they are now surrendered to the purposes of the Kingdom of God.  

Throughout the New Testament, we see a call for growth. This means that the Lord desires us to grow in our relationship with Him, in spiritual maturity, in our love for others, and in faithfulness and perseverance. Growth is not possible if we do not actively seek it. Allowing for complacency in our faith leads to a decrease in excitement, joy, and perseverance. It is also rejecting the opportunity to increase our wisdom and knowledge of the Lord. 

Reading your Bible every day sets your mind on the things of the Lord and gives you a correct vision for the day. Colossians 3 calls us to set our minds on the things that are above. We are not able to do this on our own merits, but through the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can draw nearer to God in seasons of doubt, hardship, pain, rejoicing, etc. 

The Bible also equips us to face persecution and spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6 calls us to put on the armor of God. This is not possible if we don’t understand what the truth is. The only way for us to be able to stand firm on the truth is to know it, and the best way to know it is through spending time daily in the Word. 

How Do I Prioritize Daily Bible Reading?

Something that I’ve learned over the years is that the more days I skip when reading the Bible, the easier it is to stop altogether. However, the more consistent I am, the more I delight in reading it. Now, there is no quick and easy answer to this question. The truth is that it takes effort and discipline. 

Start with baby steps. It is better to slowly read through five verses than to skim through five chapters. The purpose of reading your Bible is to know God, not to check a box off your list. Be gracious with yourself as you begin implementing this discipline in your life. 

Schedule it in your planner. Whether you use Google Calendar (a Cedarville favorite) or a paper planner (my personal preference), set aside time specifically for reading your Bible. This can be in the morning before going to class, in the afternoon before starting your homework, or at night before bed. Dr. White’s favorite phrase is “no Bible, no breakfast,” which I believe is very helpful advice. I would highly recommend reading your Bible in the morning to start off your day; however, don’t beat yourself up if you set aside intentional time in the afternoon because your brain will function better. The important thing is that you are spending time at the feet of Jesus every day and allowing Him to be the focus of your day. Don’t let Him become last on your priority list. 

Take advantage of your friends. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but I would encourage you to use your friends to keep you accountable in spiritual disciplines! Whether they are people living in your residence hall, your classmates, or friends from your church, ask them to keep you accountable with your quiet time. You can in turn do the same for them! It can be as simple as sending a quick text to ask how your time in the Word was or if you have taken time to read the Bible yet. There should be no shame, but gentle encouragement to push one another closer to Christ. Be honest and have humility! 

How Do I Get Through Difficult Passages?

There are many passages in the Bible that can be hard to swallow for several reasons. They could be confusing or convicting, leaving you wondering what to do next and possibly feeling slightly uncomfortable. It is important to always approach Bible reading with an open heart. Remind yourself that the Lord inspired the writing of Scripture intentionally for the growth and encouragement of His people. It is also the special revelation of His character to us.  


A Bible and notebook set up on a white bed comforter, with notes and colorful highlights in the Bible and notebook.

Confusing Passages 

1 Corinthians 1 tells us that no one can understand the Word of God without the divine intervention of the Holy Spirit. It will just seem like foolishness to us. So, when you come across a passage in the Old Testament that confuses you, do not skim past it. Use this opportunity as a chance to rely on the Lord and to approach Him humbly in prayer. Ask that He would open your eyes to the truth and give your heart the patience to wrestle through this passage. 

There are several valuable tools that I like to use when I come across a passage I don’t understand. The first is the Moody Bible Commentary. I have been using this book for several years and it has improved my knowledge and understanding of the Bible deeply! This commentary includes a detailed introduction to each book including information about the author, time period, purpose, etc. It then goes verse by verse through each book explaining what the author’s meant and how we can understand every book as believers under the New Covenant. Secondly is the Blue Letter Bible website. This website looks at the original Hebrew of the Old Testament and the original Greek of the New Testament. There are some words that are not translated as well in English, so it is very helpful to get a better understanding of what the author wrote in the original language. 

Convicting Passages

These passages are the ones that step on our toes. They can seem harsh at times and leave us questioning what the will of God is and why He would do things that we cannot understand. This is a beautiful opportunity for us to realize our true dependency on the Lord. We are not able to fully comprehend His character and His purposes, but we must trust that He is who He says He is and that He is faithful to His Word. 

Approach these passages with a heart that is willing to learn. Romans 12 tells us that we are to conform to the image of Christ. This means that we must seek to become more like Him and less like the world. Just because a passage makes us uncomfortable does not mean that it is wrong or that God is not good. Take time to pray and let the Lord soften your heart towards His truth. Use the resources I mentioned above to dive deeper into the passage and the author’s intent in writing it. Seek counsel from godly men and women in your life and allow them to encourage you and speak truth into your life. 

Pursue repentance and humility. Know that the Bible is not a book that will puff you up and make you feel good about yourself. It is meant to point to Jesus Christ and glorify Him alone. We are worthy because He is worthy. We are loved and redeemed not because of anything we have done, but because the Father loves us unconditionally and is faithful to His Word. 

A Bible and notebook open on a table, with a window in the background.
What now?

It has taken me several years to settle into a daily Bible reading routine, and even then, it varies from year to year. I would encourage you by setting up a plan for yourself and creating monthly goals that you will stick to. The first year that I was consistent in reading every day I chose to read through the New Testament in a year. I read about a chapter a day and kept track in my journal of my progress. By setting goals for myself, I was incentivized to be disciplined in my reading. Sometimes it did feel like a checklist task, however over the years as I have continued in having a reading plan, I have seen how my love for the Word has grown significantly. The more you read, the more you will delight in the truth of the Word of God! 

Here are a few final tips on how to improve your time in the Word: 

  • Don’t rush it. Take your time to meditate on the passage and to pray through it 
  • Use a journal to further your study and to think through practical application inspired from the passage 
  • Color code your highlighters! Categories can include; promises of God, biblical womanhood/manhood, Christian living principles, Messianic prophecies spoken and fulfilled, prophetic words, covenant promises, warning of sin, the character of God, etc. 
  • Spend time in prayer before and after reading 
  • Use a Bible commentary 
  • Join or start a Bible study with your friends 
  • Take advantage of accountability 

I hope this can encourage you and give you ideas as to how you can grow in your love for the Word of God! Pursue diligence and faithfulness to the call of the Lord to grow in your love for Him and for His truth. Your Father who loves you deeply longs for you to know Him, and we have the privilege to have the Bible easily accessible to us. I promise you; it is more than worth it. 

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