Have you ever started reading the Bible on your own, only to give up?
It’s got to rank up there with daily exercise and dieting as the most-started, most-abandoned New Year’s resolution. It’s also as important. Because what those things are to your body, God’s word is to your spirit: food and strength!
Let me help you build a habit of Bible reading.
Like that daily jog, it’s not hard, it feels good, and it gets easier with practice. And all it takes is three easy steps. Read about them below, then download a form to get started on your Personal Reading Plan. (Email it to me all filled in, and I’ll pray for you as you do it.)
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THREE STEPS TO DAILY BIBLE READING
1. GET READY Set the time and place
2. GET SET Set your personal goal and plan
3. GO! Get started and track your progress
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1. GET READY – Set the time and place
The single-most effective way to build Bible reading into your life is to make it a habit, which means setting aside a time to read and a place to do it in.
WHEN: Choose a time when you can consistently find time and when you’re not likely to be bothered. For most people, it’s first thing in the morning or before bed.
WHERE: Find a place that is usually quiet and free from distractions. (The kitchen would be a bad place for me – I’d be getting up to cook or clean or do the laundry!)
NEED HELP? Piggy-back onto an existing routine. Add Scripture to your nightly prayers; bring your Bible early to mass or adoration or on the train to work. Begin with an achievable time-goal: the coming month, for example, or the eight weeks of Lent.
Enter this daily “appointment” with God on your calendar.
2. GET SET – Set your personal goal and plan
Decide what to read and how. Write it down.
WHAT: Where you start in the Bible doesn’t really matter, but it will be easier if you choose one book to read from start to finish. Start small if you’re not sure of yourself.
HOW: Start at the beginning and read it to the end. How long should it take? As long as it takes! Here’s how to do it:
- Pray. Put yourself in God’s presence and ask him to be with you.
- Read. How much is up to you. Sometimes I read just a few verses, other times many pages.
- Repeat: go back to something that struck you, and read it again. And again if you like, or need to. Let it sink in.
- Reflect on what you’ve read. Be conscious of the Lord’s presence. Write down what you learn about God; about life; about you – whatever strikes your heart.
- Listen. What is God saying to you? Respond to him in prayer.
NEED HELP? Find more ideas in A New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep. Then explore my blog and website to Take Scripture to Heart.
3: GO! – Get started and track your progress
Writing down what you plan to do and keeping track will keep you going and help you meet your plan.
YOU’LL NEED: A Bible and a notebook.
If you don’t have a Bible already, get one that feels comfortable to you. I have big, heavy study Bibles on my shelf that I would never curl up with on the couch. For reading I have a smaller one that sits by my bed and packs into a suitcase or my purse.
Get a Catholic Bible: the New American will “sound” familiar because it’s the translation used in the liturgy. The Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition) is a more literal translation that’s quoted in the Catechism; it’s also great for study. The New Jerusalem is less literal, and some find it easier to read. Find a Bible you like, and don’t stress over which version it is. Just read it.
Start with a small notebook. You’ll feel great when it’s filled! Write your goal in the front, add a checklist of chapters you plan to read, and then keep the rest as a journal as you go.
Commit to completing your plan. Download My Personal Reading Plan to get started.
Need support? Email me your plan and I’ll pray for you.
“Exercise your mind, feed it daily with Holy Scripture” – St. Jerome
Sam Winston says
A child asks for candy, games and free time. Her parents give her vegetables, a good book and hard work. Even though we are evil, we know how to give good gifts to our children.
Jesus, you hear my request for junk food and give me your flesh to eat. From my foolish requests you help me desire your will. You free me from appetite to hunger and thirst for righteousness. You take this dog from her vomit and say, ““Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” Thank you Lord, AMEN!