Establishing the Discipline of Daily Bible Reading
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I am ADHD central. If you check out my sidebar, you’ll see I’m reading several books at once. I’ll read a few pages in one book then read a few pages in another before jumping to another book. It takes me a long time to finish books this way but it satisfies the variety of information my attention span craves. (I suppose that says I have little to no attention span.)
So I’m not up for reading particularly long Bible passages on most days. In fact, I’m usually averse to it. (The Bible can be so dry and dull in some areas!) But what I do each day—and any Christian can do this—is read one Bible verse. A full sentence. I use YouVersion’s Top Verses to Memorize reading schedule plan for this. Or you can flip open to any book in the Bible. Or go chronologically. Your choice.
I usually find that I’ll read a few more verses to get a proper context and then be done. Some chapters are very long and that often discourages me. But one Bible verse, one simple nugget from God’s word counts as Bible reading and don’t let anyone tell you any different.
If people can read five chapters in a day or the Bible in a year, good for them. Maybe you’re like me—you’re lucky to even crack the holy book open. But just one verse can do it.
But don’t do it mindlessly either. Make that verse count. Read it and think about it. If it’s an odd verse about dashing your enemy in pieces or so-and-so begat so-and-so that doesn’t resonate with you, flip to another verse that makes sense to you. (The Psalms and Proverbs are always good for this.)
When you read about the heavens declaring the glory of God (Ps. 19:1), think about how awe-inspiring it is to see the heavens from the cabin of an airplane. Or the rays of sun floating above the clouds at 40,000 feet above ground. When you read Jonah, see if you find yourself needlessly angry (as he did) or neglectful of any duties you’ve been assigned to. The Bible isn’t mindless and a brief reading of it doesn’t need to be either.
One way I’ve been able to get Biblical truth is by reading books based on Scriptural truth. It’s nice and it’s helpful, but it’s not the Bible. Reading snippets of Charlie Sheen’s recent crazy quotes are comical and (yes, even) awesome, but when you watch the context those snippets came from, the quotes are actually sad. Original context changes everything so one really needs to go straight to the source instead of relying on quotes elsewhere that have the potential to change the meaning.
Just one verse a day: available on BibleGateway.com, Bible.com, Christianity.com, and a whole host of other Bible-based sites. Make a conscious effort to get into the daily habit of reading one verse. You may read more but read at least one verse actively and meditate on it afterwards.
Just like savoring a really delicious, decadent dessert can be more satisfying than scarfing down a burger and fries on the fly, understanding one Bible verse is better than mindlessly flying through the Bible in a year.
Again, to belabor my point:
- read one verse,
- meditate on it,
- then digest it (allow it to affect your life somehow).