This post originally published on a previously-owned blog and was imported here to simplify my life. Please excuse any confusion due to this merge. I hope you enjoy the content!
Hey, I knew you’d come back! Monday’s post shared the first four components of what I believe to be my vital list for effective Bible reading time. Do you consider yourself strong in the habit of reading the Bible? All I know is, my Quiet Time dramatically improved when I took into account these powerful tips.
Check them out:
7 Things You Should Do When Reading the Bible (Part 2 of 2)
5. Pen or Pencil?
Electronic Bibles and resources are phenomenal tools our generation has today. With a few clicks, you can find any passage on any topic, you can send verse encouragements directly to social media accounts, you can read comments on Bible verses from others around the world, you can look up Greek meanings, you can read commentaries, and so much more.
So why do I still like paper?
I love my physical Bible for many reasons. Here are some:
- There are no distractions, such as pop-up phone notifications.
- I can flip back and forth between passages a whole lot easier and quicker.
- It somehow gives me a deeper sense of awe and respect for God’s Word.
- I can immediately pop my eyes down to notes below the passages as opposed to doing more scrolling and clicking.
- I can set an example to my children, who I hope are able to grow up without staring at screens all day.
- I’m more likely to access my notes or comments because they’re right there in the margins as opposed to organized into another note-taking app or even buried in the Bible app itself.
Believe me, I LOVE my smart phone. There are apps for every aspect of your life! Concerning Bible verses, I certainly love being able to pop back and forth between translations and also listen to audio versions of it. But if any of the above things are issues for you, too, then I’d encourage you to place your phone on silent (and upside down, under a pillow, in another room, whatever it takes) and dust off your real Bible.
Additionally, have you thought about writing down your prayers? In Too Busy Not to Pray, Bill Hybels talks about the surprising effectiveness of hand-writing out his prayers every day. Sounds tedious? I’d encourage you to check out his book and see how he does it.
6. Remove Distractions
To start with, this one means I need to set the appointment (see #1 in Monday’s post) at a time that will have the least amount of distractions. Besides not having other items on my desk/table (i.e. piles of kids’ toys or even tax paperwork) lest my eyes wander to them, this also means noise. When is the quietest time of day at your house? Oh, it’s definitely early in the morning for me. Even if I stay up at night and the rest of the family is in bed, there’s traffic noise, neighbor noise and even nature noise.
But this also has a mental component. As I did on Monday, I am compelled to quote Henry H. Halley, who writes about this so clearly:
“In Bible reading, we need to watch ourselves very closely, lest our thoughts wander, and our reading becomes perfunctory and meaningless. We must determine resolutely to keep our minds on what we are reading, doing our best to form an intelligent conception of it, and being on the lookout for lessons for ourselves.”
7. Memorize more than just verses
How many of you can say you know all 66 books of the Bible? Start there! The more you familiarize yourself with the Bible, the more it will change your life. Memorize more than just verses.
After you’ve learned the names of all the books, why not start memorizing where stories are? Do you know what book tells the story of David & Goliath? Or Samson? How about the one with the talking donkey? Memorize more than just verses.
Are you a history buff? Find some Biblical timeline studies that can paint you a brighter picture of events in Scripture and how they correspond to other world events. Practice retelling some things you’ve learned to your spouse or family to solidify it in your mind.
As each of us has our own unique past, so do we have passages that speak to the deepest parts of our heart. Find your verses that you want to always be able to draw from — perhaps ones on hope? Or not dwelling on the past? Or of God’s grace? So many ideas…
Memorize more than just verses!
Additional reading: How to Maintain Memorized Bible Verses
Be sure to check out Part 1 of this list that has the first four elements I believe to be wholly necessary in our Quiet Time with God. And let me know what you think! Are there any other techniques that help you dive into the Word?