A Habit You Can Live With

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 4:11-13

Focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. 1 Timothy 4:13

UNDERSTANDING. Enjoyment. Satisfaction. Are those the words to describe how your heart pitter-patters when you put your nose in God’s Word? Maybe you know you should read the Bible. Maybe you even want to read it. But actually reading and enjoying it seems as possible as tying a rope to your family roadster and dragging it to church.

Getting into a habit of Bible study is like getting physically fit. Honestly, stretch­ing spiritual muscles isn’t any easier than motivating a backside that’s molded a comfortable spot in the couch. But like physical exercise, reading God’s Word regu­larly produces great results-results that show. And after a while you won’t like the sluggish feeling you get when you take a day or two off.

Ponder this: If you were to begin a habit of daily prayer and Bible study right now, what would you look like spiritually one year from today? What will you look like if you don’t spend time developing as a Christian? Take a few moments to pic­ture yourself as you can be, and ask God to fulfill that vision according to his will.

One huge reason people who want to read the Bible still find it so difficult is they’ve never learned these simple guidelines for personal study:

Spend 15-30 minutes a day in Bible study. If that sounds odious, start with 5 minutes. You’ll usually find you read more.

As you sit down to read, ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand. Look for a Bible translation that’s easy to read and that makes sense.

Start with the clear, basic parts. You don’t have to plow through the Old Testa­ment first. Start with the book of Mark, John, or Romans.

Keep a notebook and pencil close by. For each section you read, jot notes: What is the main point of this section? What does it teach me about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit? What does it tell me about myself? What am I going to do about what I learned?

Finish by thanking God for what you learned. Pray something like, “Father, I thank you that the Bible gives me patience and encouragement. Please help me not just hear your Word, but do it. Amen.”

REFLECT: What keeps you from getting into God’s Word daily?

PRAY: Ask God for the confidence and power you need to put his Word into action in your life.

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