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Ideas to Improve Your Bible Reading in 2023

Ideas to Improve Your Bible Reading in 2023
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

All Christians know its power.

We've seen it change lives.

We call it the Bible, but it goes by several terms, including God's Word.

If you're reading a blog post about the Bible, it's probably safe to assume it has changed your life, but maybe, like many others, you struggle to develop a consistent daily habit of reading it.

This lack of consistency eats at you.

The pastor reminds you weekly of its importance, and you set out with good intentions–but still no consistency.

Part of the reason for the struggle isn't your fault. Our adversary, Satan, is fully aware of the importance of God's Word in the life of a Christian. In the spiritual world invisible to human eyes, a battle is waged each time we read or plan to read.

Satan's goal in the battle is to distract or discourage you and thereby hinder the effect of God's Word on your life.

I'll give you a quick strategy at the end for these spiritual attacks, but first, I want to look at four ideas you can adopt to help you stay consistent in your Bible reading and understanding in 2023.

Find the best time that allows YOU to be consistent.

At first, this seems obvious. Of course, we pick a time that works for us–but we don't. Instead, we pattern our time with God after those we want to be like.

We hear preachers we admire or famous authors talk about getting up at 5:00 a.m. to read and pray, so even though we hate mornings, we try to get up at 5:00 a.m.

Before long, we dread devotions instead of delighting in them. We're dozing off midway through the first chapter and wonder why we don't enjoy this "quiet time with God."

Find YOUR time. What works for you?

If you're a morning person–get up early and read your heart out.

If you dread mornings, can you get free on your lunch hour? Maybe shorten TV time by thirty minutes and end the night in God's Word.

Find a time that gives you the best chance to succeed and go all in!

Have a plan

Again, this seems obvious, but it's not. Many sit down to read their Bible with little to no plan.

Others have a bold plan to read through the Bible in a year but find it more difficult than they thought. They successfully navigate through Genesis and the first half of Exodus but then reach a screeching halt.

While you can read the Bible from beginning to end like an ordinary book, it isn't required. The Bible is made up of 66 individual books.

You can pick a book, study the context (more on this coming in another blog post), and read.

Here are some reading plans I've done over the years.

  • Read through the Bible in a year. This is a good plan, but maybe not for beginners. If you do, I'd suggest adding a few Psalms or a Proverb a day once you get to those difficult passages late in Exodus - Deuteronomy.  
  • Read through the New Testament in 90 or 120 days.
  • Reading a different section of the Bible each day: I've enjoyed this plan in the past. It allows me to read through the Bible in a year but get a different section of the Bible each day.
  • Get the YouVersion app and find different studies to meet your specific needs.

You can find more plans here.

Get a Journal

In 2022, this point alone has had the most impact on my personal time with God.

It doesn't have to be well thought out. Get a journal and write a thought from what you read that day.

Knowing you are writing "nuggets" daily encourages you to focus on your reading instead of daydreaming.

Writing down the thought helps seal the truth in your heart and enables you to meditate on it throughout the day and later in the week or year.

I recently looked over my journal and was encouraged again by thoughts I wrote six months ago.  

Here's what I'm using for a  journal in 2023.

Find Tools to Help You

I have a Master's degree in Bible. I pastored for over twelve years, and still, I use tools to help me understand verses weekly.  

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Your greatest help is the Holy Spirit, who indwells you. Part of His role in your life is to guide you, and He will. A full blog post could be written on this truth, but for now, just know the Holy Spirit is present with you and helping you as you read.

What are some tools?

  1. A Study Bible - a study Bible gives you short notes for different verses or sections of the Bible.
  2. Apps - Apps or online programs like Esword or PocketSword give you free commentaries, and you can also look up Greek and Hebrew Words. You may need guidance on which commentaries to use, but I highly recommend Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary. It's free on almost any app.
  3. Warren Wiersbe Commentaries - If you want to go a little deeper or spend some money, I love the Warren Wiersbe commentaries. Used as an aid to help the Bible come alive in your personal study, this set is excellent.

What are some cautions?

What I've listed above are just tools to help. Tools written by men. That means they aren't perfect, and my listing of them isn't an endorsement of everything they teach, but they are extremely helpful and answer many questions.

It's Worth It

Joshua was a fearful young leader when God gave him this promise that still applies to us today.

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)

The Psalmist gave us insight into the genuinely blessed person:

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalms 1:1-3)

The Bible is too important to our spiritual growth to coast into 2023 without a strategy.

These four ideas have helped me over the years, and I think they can also help you.

Remember to begin each reading with prayer. Ask God to keep Satan from distracting you. Remember, when you pray, you are talking to your Heavenly Father. He loves you. He wants you to know Him through His Word.  

As you make next year your best year ever in God's Word–consider this prayer from the Psalmist.

“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalms 119:18)

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