9 Tips for Reading the Bible Daily in the New Year

iStock-4763356729 Tips for Reading the Bible Daily in the New Year

 

If you have been going to church for any amount of time, you’ve been told it is important to read the Bible.

You may have even made a resolution to read the Bible every day in the new year. This is a wonderful resolution to make!

Unfortunately, many people make this resolution at the start of a new year and then give up by February.

This may be because people don’t really know why or how to read the Bible. They aren’t engaged when they read God’s Word.

For example, Christianity Today reports, “From 2021 to 2022, Bible engagement—scored on frequency of use, spiritual impact, and moral importance in day-to-day life—fell 21 percent among American adult Bible users. It was the American Bible Society’s largest recorded one-year drop in its annual State of the Bible study. And almost 1 in 5 churchgoers said they never read the Bible.”

Rather than simply making a resolution to read your Bible every day, you need to make an effort to become engaged with Scripture in the new year.

Here are nine tips to make Bible reading more meaningful this year.

1. Know Your Why

While Christians know the importance of spending time with God, studying the Bible doesn’t seem to be a priority for many.

According to a study by Lifeway Research, “Nearly 2 in 3 Protestant churchgoers (65%) intentionally spend time alone with God at least daily, with 44% saying daily and 21% saying more than once a day. […] This time looks different for different churchgoers, but they are more likely to talk to God through prayer than to listen to Him through His Word. Churchgoers most often pray in their own words (83%), thank God (80%), praise God (62%) or confess sins (49%). Fewer than 2 in 5 read from the Bible or a devotional (39%).”

Why is it important for believers to spend time reading the Bible regularly?

The Bible is God’s Word. These are God’s words to us. The Bible is “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Got Questions explains, “It cannot be emphasized strongly enough just how important the Bible is to our lives. Studying the Bible can be compared to mining for gold. If we make little effort and merely ‘sift through the pebbles in a stream,’ we will only find a little gold dust. But the more we make an effort to really dig into it, the more reward we will gain for our effort.”

When you understand the reason why you should read the Bible, and not just because it is a resolution or on your to-do list, you’ll be more motivated to do so.

2. Find the Right Translation for You

There are many different Bible translations (King James Version, New King James Version, New International Version, English Standard Version, etc.) - some that are a little more challenging to read and others that are less challenging to read.

It’s important to understand that some translations are more recommended than others based on how and who translated the text.

With that being said, you will have an easier time keeping your Bible resolution if you choose a Bible translation that you feel comfortable reading.

3. Choose a Bible Reading Plan

I’m sure there are some people who can just sit down on January 1st and open the Bible to Genesis 1 and read it all the way through.

But this doesn’t work for everyone.

Instead, look for a reading plan that works for you.

For example, some people like reading an Old Testament chapter, a New Testament chapter, and a Psalm each day.

Other people like to find reading plans that are topical. There are also people who choose to follow chronological reading plans.

Look online, ask your pastor, or check out Bible apps for various reading plans.

4. Make Time in Your Schedule

When you make a resolution to read your Bible every day, you should go ahead and figure out when you are going to read your Bible each day.

For example, are you a morning person? Can you plan to wake up and read your Bible each morning? Or are you more of a night owl?

Do you have a lunch break that would work for private Bible reading?

5. Designate a Place

Along with choosing a time, you also want to designate a place where you plan to read your Bible.

Choose a place where you will have fewer distractions.

Is there a quiet space in your home?

Make it a habit to sit in the same place at the same time to read God’s Word.

6. Use Helpful Tools

There are many helpful tools to make Bible study more engaging.

Check out apps, such as the YouVersion app. YouVersion has reading plans, devotionals, different translations, audio readings, and can send you reminders or notifications to read your Bible.

In addition, there are a number of podcasts available that discuss the Bible.

7. Seek Accountability

Anytime you make a resolution, whether it is to exercise more or read your Bible daily, you should seek accountability.

When someone we trust and respect knows what we are striving to do, they can come along and encourage us and help us stay on track.

8. Keep Track of Your Progress

While you don’t want to turn your daily Bible reading into something that you just check off each day, you may benefit from keeping track of your progress.

If you are someone who is motivated by progress, use a tracking tool.

Some apps will keep track of how many days in a row you read. I’ve also seen people use bullet journaling to track their Bible reading.

9. Read Intentionally

Finally, make a point to read the Bible for quality, not quantity.

Don’t treat it as a must-do chore on your daily checklist.

It’s better to read a smaller section and really study it than it is to speed read several chapters and not understand what you read.