When God said let there be light, there was light. He simply said the words, and it happened.
His word set planets in motion; His very breath brought a man into being.
The days I begin by putting God first are my best days as a person, wife, mom and friend. I’ve noticed reading the word:
- Prepares my heart to deal with negativity
- Convicts me of what needs confession
- Guides me toward a better way, a more loving approach
- Empowers me to step out in faith and keep going
- Reminds me who He is, what He does and the power of His word
And yet I struggle to make reading the Bible a daily routine.
I want to do it and realize the good fruit of it, but… “I’m not a morning person.” “I’m so busy during the day.” “I have to get this other thing done first.”
I’ll plan to read the next day, but that time doesn’t happen. In the meantime, the living words with the power to overcome evil (Luke 10:19), accomplish their purpose (Isaiah 55:11) and provide for all our needs (2 Timothy 3:16-17) sit open and untouched on the kitchen table.
But I want that time with God. I want to know His word. I desire it, and if you’ve read this far, I believe you do too.
It’s time to rededicate ourselves Christians, and that starts with a plan. How will we do it? Where will we
find make the time? Because as Jesus said in rebuttal to Satan, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”(Matthew 4:4)
Here are 21 ideas for staying in the word daily. Scroll the list and see what speaks to you.
If Morning Is a Good Time to Get in the Word:
- Wake Up an Hour Early and Read the Bible. This challenges me, but I’m ready to try again. Having a Bible I can understand helps. What version is most readable for you? My friend told me she used Old King James because that’s what she had at her house, even though she couldn’t understand it well. I like using the ESV (English Standard Version) and NIV (New International Version) among others.
- Devotional and a Coffee. Spending time in ‘devotion’ can be praying, reading the Bible or reading Christian literature. A friend of ours biked to the local coffee shop before work every day to have his morning coffee and devotional. He encouraged some friends to meet him for their own reading and accountability. Exercise, God’s word, coffee and fellowship first thing in the morning. Awesome way to start the day.
- What Happens in the Morning at a Church Near You? When we lived in San Francisco, I loved taking brisk morning walks before getting ready for work. One day I walked to Grace Cathedral. It was early, but I tried the doors and they were open, so I walked into this huge amazing place that sat so quiet I could hear my footsteps padding around inside. Some mornings I would light a candle and pray; others I’d wander around, reading what was on the walls or in old Bible pages turned open. It was a quiet place where I could hear God’s voice. Some churches have breakfast days, prayer time, group meetings, Bible studies.
- Hit the Gym with God. If you think morning is a good time but you go to the gym or enjoy a morning jog, why not bring your earbuds and listen to a sermon, podcast or an audio version of the Bible? If that’s your one time of the day to get closer to God, why not use it? “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance.” (1 Tim 4:7-9)
- The Highly Encouraging Drive. Turn your traffic time into a spiritual refreshing routine. I’ll never forget the day many years ago when I flipped through the radio stations, frustrated with commercials and stuck in traffic on my drive to work. Somehow I hit AM and a booming voice caught my attention. He was speaking God’s word and it was speaking to me. From that point on I wanted to start the morning that way, getting refreshed by the Word on my drive to work. Some current Christian radio stations include Straight from the Heart with Pastor Joe Focht and Family Life Radio. I’d love to hear more suggestions.
Maybe During the Day is Best:
- National Daytime Studies (Or Local Ones). If you’re between jobs, home with the kids, retired, not sure what to do next or have a certain day off every week, a daytime study could be a great way to meet other local Christians and stay in the word. It could be at your congregation or with a nation-wide non-denominational study gathering such as Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) or Community Bible Study (CBS). The goal is to break into groups and study the Bible together.
- Christian Social Groups for Moms. It made such a difference in my life to join my church’s Mom-and-Me ministry. We met at playgrounds weekly and had a monthly mom’s night out together. We encouraged each other in our spiritual walk as mothers (and women), and these ladies encouraged me to “stay in the word.” They also became some of my closest and dearest friends. Other groups such as MOPs (Moms of Preschoolers) bring moms and kids together and also have Christian teachings and fellowship. (Note: There are of course other niche Christian groups for men, singles, addiction, etc., but I just listed this one since it was my direct experience. Finding your “niche group” is part of the fun.)
- Break Time Refresh with a Bible App. Is there a time in your day when you can break away for 15 minutes? Some people might hit the vending machines, grab a tea, have a smoke. You might use that time to read your Bible app (there are so many). Have any good recommends?
- A Default Browser Set to Bible Devotional. The browser page on my computer automatically opens to Our Daily Bread—which is a devotional site with short and insightful reflections. This is one way I’m guaranteed to read what’s on the screen at least once a day.
- Start a Dedicated Facebook Page or Group Message. I have multiple group messages with Christian friends, usually for Bible study updates, but these threads also get used for prayer requests and recommended reading. You could start one to share Bible verses, encouraging blog posts, prayer requests or however you feel led.
- Christian Music, KLove Challenge. Christian music was not always my favorite, but one day I took the KLove Challenge. The challenge is listening to Christian music for 30 days. I realized it affected me for the better when I started singing to myself at work, and the words I sang were Bible verses about God’s love. About how I have been made new. I never realized how much music affected me until I noticed the words floating through my mind when I wasn’t even aware. And the bonus came the day I heard my 3-year-old singing the words to a song in the back of the car. If we catch ourselves singing throughout the day, what words are we singing? What words are floating through our minds and hearts all day and night?
- Are you feeling called toward a ministry? Maybe you’ve served in children’s ministry because you have kids who go to the church, but your heart is really longing to be a greeter or security staff. Why not make that call today, during your next break, and ask where you can help? I’ve been wanting to get more involved in women’s ministry at our church, but I have put it off for various lame reasons. One day I drove past the church and decide to stop in. There were people in the church office where I could ask questions and see how things worked. Becoming part of a ministry ties you back in with God’s word and learning it to minister to others.
- Find an Online Bible Study. Some people can’t physically get to church, and for others it’s a time thing. But an online study is a great way to get into the Word from the comfort of home while still having the accountability and connection of a community. There’s an online women’s study at Proverbs31Ministry.
- Grab Hold of Commentaries. When you don’t understand passages of the Bible clearly, check out commentaries from trusted theologians, which offer more explanations and interpretations. Some sources I use regularly are BlueLetterBible.com and BibleStudyTools.com. You can do a search for “commentaries on [bible verse]” and browse the results. Reading commentaries on Bible passages not only help us understand context and meaning, but can be used by God to help us understand His word more deeply.
If Night Time is the Right Time:
- Find an Evening Bible Study. My understanding of Scripture really began to flourish when studying the Bible in small groups. Here you can listen, ask questions and meet other Christians growing in Christ. Find out what ministries local Bible-teaching churches offer; sometimes there is a weeknight study.
- Watch an online sermon. There are many I’d recommend, and a simple google search of “online sermon on [insert topic]” is really all you need. It goes without saying to use discernment when finding your results. DesiringGod and Cornerstone Church San Francisco are two of my faves.
- Join or Start a Christian Fellowship. A “fellowship” is just another way of saying friendly association, especially around a shared interest. Our church has a Married Couples fellowship on a night of the week that doesn’t work for us, so we decided to start one with local Christian couples we know. We have it at our house every other month, everyone brings a dish, we chip in for a babysitter and have a great time together around discussion about marriage from Scripture.
- Check out What’s New in Christian Lit For the last few years while having babies there wasn’t too much time to read, but I started again and I’m loving what I find. Currently reading: Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. Christian books aren’t the Bible and by no means replace it, but if you find yourself up for reading a book, why not check out writers whose work directs back to Christ. Could even spark some ideas for book clubs.
- Christian Movies are Getting Better I wasn’t a huge fan of Christian movies in the past because while I loved the message, I didn’t feel the quality was as good, but they are getting better and better… and I’m starting to really love them. A few years ago our church had a movie night and showed “Courageous.” The Song was one of my favorites to date—great acting, great quality. Loved. Again, not that it replaces reading the Bible, but the Biblical message directs us back to the Bible, motivating us in that direction.
- Go on a Prayer Walk. This could be any time of day, but for me it was at night. I felt led to walk my neighborhood and pray for 40 nights. I wasn’t sure how to go about doing this, so I did what I felt led to do, which was open the Bible, reading where I opened and then reflecting on the passage and praying for neighbors. I felt God’s presence night after night. He gave me things to pray for people that I had no knowledge of and may never understand.
- Kids Devotionals before Bed. Grandma got the kids the Jesus Storybook Bible years ago and we still read it. They get it. We get it. The reason I include it on this list is because just when you think you’re reading something to your children, it ends up impacting you as well. Reading and discussing a “children’s Bible” with your kids encourages us to know the Word we’re explaining to them.
There’s no one way to do this. If you’re in a season where you can’t sit down with the Bible daily, do what you can today, this week, this month. Maybe next month will be something different, but for now, you had the courage and grit to start.
Matthew 24:35 says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Speak to us Lord, we need you.