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10 Ways to Make Time for God's Word

  • Malinda Fuller Author
10 Ways to Make Time for God's Word

 

"Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do." Joshua 1:8 NLT

Everyone knows you're supposed to "read your Bible." But for some, it's easier said than done.

Perhaps you were the young adult who remembers being able to log a couple of hours a day studying the Bible. As an avid reader with much passion, you were able to breeze through reading plans, but then you "matured." Maybe after you were married, you hoped that you and your spouse, together, would continue the early morning ritual of one-hour quiet times, but over time you gave up that dream because you realized your spouse would rather consume magazines than study books and the Bible.

If you're a parent, then you've probably had to lay aside your expectations of the ideal quiet time when you entered the early years of child-rearing— those days of little sleep and even less time for personal passions. Gone is the season of leisurely reading or digging deep into a text. Maybe you've even wiped dust from your precious NIV Study Bible and wept. You just can't seem to find the time anymore and have actually wondered if it's possible to make Bible reading the priority it once was.

But the good news is that you can! It is possible; it will just look different than what you're used to. The time will be harder to fight for, but that much more rewarding.

You will walk away refreshed if you can learn to adjust your expectations and embrace some of these tips:

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1. Commit to quality over quantity

1. Commit to quality over quantity

Repeat this mantra: "some is better than none." Whether you're only able to sit in quietness for five minutes or crawl through the gospels at a three-verses-at-a-time pace, remember that some Bible is better than no Bible. Commit to focus on quality reading time instead of becoming overwhelmed by schedules that leave you struggling to keep up and always feeling like less. 

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2. Listen instead of read

2. Listen instead of read

Gone are the days of the giant family Bible that is as difficult to understand as it is to move.  With today's technology, there is no shortage of ways to absorb the word of God. Try these alternatives to reading: listen to the Bible on CD, download your favorite translation on Audible, or put in some earbuds at the gym to burn your calories while getting the word read to you. Instead of hearing disconnected fragments from Sunday's sermon, you'll be hearing an entire book at a time, which is how God's people first experienced the words of God. The Bible was meant to "be heard”— try it and be refreshed. 

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3. Embrace a new routine

3. Embrace a new routine

We humans are creatures of habit, so if something worked well in the past, we tend to shy away from trying new things. But when circumstances change, we must be willing to change. Instead of being the early riser who springs from bed at 5 a.m. to get in the Word, maybe you'll need to embrace something new. Perhaps you'll find that bedtime study, lunch hour readings, or midday Bible breaks will work well for your season of life. Be willing to embrace something different—  it could work even better than your previous routine. 

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4. Change the location

4. Change the location

Similar to the last point, maybe you need to find a different place to make your Bible reading happen. Perhaps you have felt that the Bible has become stale. A change of scenery might be just what you need for that fresh perspective. Try taking your Bible study out to a coffee shop, a park on your lunch break, or in the car while you're running errands. If you’d rather study at home, changing the location might be as simple as keeping your Bible in the nightstand and reaching for it first thing in the morning. Try getting out of your physical comfort zone, and see what new revelations you discover.

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5. Ask for accountability

5. Ask for accountability

Most things in life become attainable when we do them with someone else. Reading the Bible is no different than training or mastering a skill— it can be fun, but it won't always be easy. Even the most die-hard athletes have days or seasons when they don't want to do the hard things necessary to train, and that's why they have a team to encourage and push them. Find a friend, ask your spouse, or join a group that is committed to reading the Bible together. Make time to regularly check in and ask questions via text or over coffee once a week. You can even use your phone to set reminders and keep track of your progress. However you do it, commit to a plan. It can be a few chapters a day or one book a month. The quantity doesn't matter— the consistency does.  

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6. Make it a priority

6. Make it a priority

Rather than binge-watching episodes of your favorite Netflix show after the kids go to bed, enjoy one episode, then go to bed with your Bible. Or try keeping the TV off until after you’ve read your Bible for the day. If you're someone who's always wanted to get up and start your day with time in the Word, but you're struggling to peel your eyelids open in the pre-dawn light, then you need to rethink your goals. If you're not a morning person, find another time in the day. But if the early hours are the best time for you, then perhaps you should prioritize getting to bed at a decent time so you can wake up without having to hit the snooze button three times. 

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7. Make it portable

7. Make it portable

Why don't you see what happens if you keep your Bible with you at all times? This is easy if you have a smartphone or pocket-size Bible that you can tuck into your purse or leave in your car. Pull it out during downtimes throughout the day such as: sitting in the carpool line, your kids swim practice, your lunch break, before you head into the office for the day, or in the waiting room before an appointment. Rather than reaching for your phone to scroll mindlessly through social media, grab your Bible and pick up where you left off. You’ll be amazed at how much all those moments will add up. 

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8. Memorize it

8. Memorize it

Sometimes we are too concerned about speeding through the Bible that we don’t retain what we’re skimming over. We live in a world where our eyes consume a lot of material, but the information doesn't often reach our heart. If quality over quantity is your goal, here are some tips to memorize the Word: start with one verse, get well acquainted with it, read it in several translations, write it out and put it somewhere where you’ll see it often. Meditate on that portion of scripture until it becomes alive inside your heart. 

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9. Make it a family affair

9. Make it a family affair

If we want our children to grow up and desire to love the word, then we need to model it for them. Instead of slipping away or getting up earlier than everyone else, find a way to incorporate your Bible time into family time. You could discuss a Bible story together at breakfast or dinner. You could also read with your older children while your younger ones nap. Pick up a study that you can do with your older kids so that you're not only teaching them to make the Bible a priority, but also modeling how to examine it.

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10. Become an expert student

10. Become an expert student

Become an expert student by not shying away from difficult books of the Bible or overlooking those sections you've read a thousand times. Dig for the treasure within those pages. One verse can be transformative if our goal is to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, rather than to check something off our to-do list. Remember, it’s about how much you absorb the Word, not how many times you’ve read it. 

Father, teach us to love Your Word. Help us to make time for it, just as we do everything else in our lives that is a priority. May we hear Your voice every single time we open our Bibles— give us Your divine revelation and insight. Show us where we can carve out time, and surround us with others who are passionate about knowing Your Word so that we can dig deep and grow together. Help us to make changes where we can, and give us the courage to get out of our comfort zones and into a place where we can better connect with you. 

Malinda Fuller and her husband Alex have served at several churches and para-church organizations in the U.S. and Canada for over a decade. Malinda wields truth and grace through the words on her blog and has also contributed content for Relevant, Thrive Moms and The Influence Network. Malinda and Alex currently reside in Southern California, where they are homeschooling their daughters, working in ministry and trying to not complain about the continuous sunshine.

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