We have surely asked it a few times ourself, and heard it plenty,”How do I read my Bible?”
Y’all, I feel clueless more often than I would like to admit when it comes to navigating my Bible, and I have been a Christian literally for as long as I can remember. Plus… I am a pastor’s wife… aren’t I supposed to have it all together and be that person who always has it together and wants nothing more in life than to read the Bible? (haha) Y’all… believe it or not, nobody is always like that, and I will be the first to say that ain’t me. Sure, I wish… but no.
Rest easy, feel normal, and let’s dive into this together.
Let’s face it. The book is pretty dang big, it covers thousands of years of information, and it’s super important but also slightly intimidating. Can I get an amen?
I wanted to share a few tips today to help you as you sit down to read your Bible for quiet time, whenever that is for you! I am not here to say “You must be up at 5 AM reading your Bible before work.. or else you fail at life”, because though I think there is benefit to starting your day off like that (not particularly the 5 AM part), I know that for so many, quiet time is simply whatever part of the day they get to sit and be still. That can be lunch, after work, before bed…whatever works for you, do it.
I have been through a roller coaster of seasons over the years in regards to reading my Bible. Seasons where I cannot do anything until I read my Bible to seasons where I can go days without a single scripture and not care. *gasp* As you can imagine, though, the latter seasons lead to incredibly dry and thirsty ones. Our souls are meant to receive scripture like food, and when it is lacking our soul responds accordingly. We are “hangry” if you will, and it shows in the way we speak to our spouse, our energy we have to pour into others, our work ethic, our self-talk (those conversations you have with yourself about others and yourself, which can be a dangerous space)… it effects everything is what I am getting at. I am here today to encourage you in your journey, wherever you’re at, to say you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be at right this moment. And, in 3 months, you’re going to likely be at a completely different spot and that’s PERFECT. I pray you’re always seeking, growing, changing, and learning.
So how have I learned to easily navigate my Bible and incorporate it into my routine? Glad you asked. 😉
Kiss Intimidation Goodbye
This is the first key step. Opening your Bible will neither instantly make you feel on top of the world nor will you be instantly condemned and smited for flipping back the pages. All are welcome- remember that. Just give it a little look-see, I promise it won’t hurt. But in all seriousness y’all, the intimidation factor of reading the Bible varies with every person. Perhaps you fear guilt, shame, not being able to understand what it’s saying, the size… we can come up with all kinds of reasons that can make us fear reading it. Do I just start in Genesis and read through to Revelation? You can! It can feel overwhelming, filled with so much rich history and life giving messages to grasp, but bottom line, it’s not scary. Once you’ve made your mind up that the Bible is a story you get to read and be part of, it changes the way you view it. It’s not rules, it’s not guidelines to live by or just a story about a man that is good inspiration to live by that we can never live up to. In fact, that’s actually THE WHOLE POINT. We cannot live up to perfection, but Jesus can and did, and we get to be encouraged by that truth every time we open our bible. The entire book from start to finish is the foretelling of his coming (we are talking THOUSANDS of years before he EVER came), to his life on Earth, to his and resurrection, then the effect his followers had on the entire world after he left, and his return.
It’s a living and breathing story that hasn’t ended, and we are invited in to play. But, it certainly isn’t scary.
Find A Plan or Study
The best thing you can do for your quiet time is have a little structure. Find a good plan that you can follow or a devotional to go through. I am currently doing the She Reads Truth 365 day plan. I LOVE IT. I have never actually read the entire Bible on a plan before, and I am so excited to do it. I am a history junkie, and my greatest affirmation to faith is seeing the timeline of history pre and post Jesus. You cannot deny this guy lived and did what prophets thousands of years before said he would do. Everything recorded pointed to Jesus’ coming, death, and resurrection. This study with She Reads Truth gives me two Old Testament chapters and then a New Testament reading alongside it. This means I am reading the earliest years of mankind, which I find fascinating, followed by the fulfillment of the prophecies I just read. It’s an app on my phone, and I read in the morning right when I wake up right on my phone! Then, when I complete the reading for the day I check off that day and it shows me what percentage I have completed of the entire plan. I am currently 3% through it… haha.
Last year I read Shauna Niequist’s Savor, and then would read She Reads Truth daily entry. They go through studies they’ve written and have guest writers do entries every single day. It’s great!
Shauna Niequist also just released a bible study for her book, Present Over Perfect (which was AMAZING), and you can find it here.
Prayer and Meditation
Prayer life is the best life. That’s so cheesy and sounds like it should be on a tee shirt in a Lifeway Store… but it’s so true. When you live a life that is consumed by continuous conversation with God, you do things a little differently. I find myself saying “Help me Jesus” without even thinking all the time, but it’s my way of recognizing throughout my day I cannot do this on my own. Likewise, when you sit down to read, pray before. Be silent before diving in. There is something in store for you, and quieting your mind is essential to hearing and seeing what it is. Prayer and meditation before and after gives your mind time to wind down and focus before just “checking off” your to-do list, and it allows you time to soak in what you just read.
Hopefully this helps you out a little in navigating your Bible. Seriously, read Shauna’s books. Cold Tangerines is another great one that’s perfect for the summer! I read it poolside this time last year, and it’s so good.
Love you guys! We are chomping at the bit to share a project/crazy story we have been working on since… last July. Soon enough we will share the whole thing. There will be new items coming to The Cake Shop soon, too, but don’t miss out on the current pieces. They’re my favorite, and I literally wear one of them on the daily. I am currently sitting in my Gilmore Time Tee and I rocked my Red Velvet Tee yesterday. They’re perfect for casual summer days with denim cutoffs! Don’t miss out!
I was looking at your cute shirts and stumbled upon this blog post! Its so good and beautifully said, girl. Thanks for taking the time to put this subject into perspective and to share your heart on it. Very encouraging! i am not a big reader in general, so unfortunately my bible reading suffers quite a bit from that, but it is exactly what you described, food and water for our souls. Its so rewarding when we can set aside that time and just be with Jesus. Something I am working on daily <3