Twenty minutes I spend each morning at my kitchen table impact my life more than anything else I do. I enjoy my first cup of coffee and read God’s Word in the quiet. I don’t read the Bible just to cross it off my to-do list because that’s what Christian women are supposed to do. I read it because I need to hear God’s voice.
Nothing encourages me, gives me hope, and renews my perspective like reading and meditating on Scripture. When Sunday church service is long forgotten, nothing keeps me going through the week like reading the Word every day. I don’t want to just read it. I want to remember it and hopefully live it.
That’s why I never read the entire Bible in a year. (It’s true confessions time.) I admire people who do. I’m sure it’s a valuable pursuit that helps them understand God’s word and get it into their minds, but I can’t imagine reading 3 or 4 chapters a day. Just thinking about it makes my ADHD brain and eyes glaze over. I know I’d just read and read and not remember a thing.
Instead, I need to start smaller. I need a baby step plan to make the connection between God’s word and my life.
This simple method keeps me engaged and focused on hearing God’s voice:
Start with a short passage.
Choose a book, and work through it reading one or two sections each day. Rather than a whole chapter, focus on 10-15 verses, usually one or two sections, recognizable by subtitles like “Jesus Comforts His Disciples” and “Jesus, the Way to the Father” in John 14.
Ask God to speak to you.
Start by asking God to make Himself present to you. Pray whatever comes to mind: repentance, praise, or thanksgiving. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through His Word.
Read the passage slowly.
Read it several times, and underline or high light verses that stand out to you. Ask, “How could my life be different today as I respond to what I’m readaing?” (Navigator’s 5 x 5 Bible Reading Plan)
Choose one verse to copy.
What is the verse that you most want remember throughout the day? Do you see anything that encourages you or something you want to put into action? Copy that verse onto a card or into a journal.
I illustrate my verse in my journal by marking it up with a red pencil. I use boxes, circles, underlining, arrows and shading to help me see repeated words, God’s attributes, promises, or whatever else stands out to me.
Pray in response.
Spend a few minutes talking to God about what you read. I sometimes write a one sentence prayer based on my verse for the day.
This simple discipline helps me to stay engaged when I read God’s Word. What helps you to make connections between the Bible and your life?