By Marva T. Smith
As a believer, I have found that reading the Bible is essential to growing in my faith and staying connected to God. However, I also know that it can be challenging to stay committed and consistent in this practice.
Through my own journey of Bible reading, I have discovered three essential elements that have helped me stay on track:
- and personal conviction.
God's Word Bears Fruit
Before I begin, I want you to know that I wasn’t always committed to reading the Bible. It might sound shocking but perhaps if you knew a bit more of my story you might understand or even relate.
Even though I grew up going to church, I spent very little time reading the Bible on my own. As a young girl, my time in the Word consisted mostly of memorizing Bible verses for Sunday school class.
By the time I moved away to college, the Bible, church and God were all relegated to the backseat of my life. I was busy pursuing my own plans while secretly expecting God to bless them.
Within a month after graduating from college, I began pursuing my next degree at an illustrious Ivy League school. Yet, all the trappings of my success could not cushion the blow that was coming.
On the outside, I looked like a focused and determined young woman on a mission, but inside the walls were crumbling. After a particularly tumultuous series of painful events, I finally hit rock bottom.
Without a shadow of a doubt, that was one of the darkest periods of my life. It still amazes me how God can let us feel the consequences of our sin while simultaneously cushioning our fall.
Amid my heartache and grief, I found myself returning to the Scriptures I had memorized so long ago in Sunday School. In a very tangible way, God used His Word, to remind me that He still loved and treasured me.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ~ Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
That experience was the turning point I needed. I finally let down my defenses, admitted my need for a Savior and decided to hand over the reins of my life to God. That summer, nearly 30 years ago, I declared Jesus Lord of my life and haven’t looked back.
Through my personal journey with God's Word, I have discovered that reading the Bible is more than just a necessary duty; it is a spiritual discipline that leads me to experience God's love firsthand.
However, while this may sound appealing, it takes commitment, consistency, and a personal conviction to truly make Bible reading a regular part of your life. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips to develop your own spiritual discipline of reading the Bible.
By committing to a regular time for Bible reading, you intentionally set aside time to connect with God and His Word. This commitment shows God that you value your relationship with Him and prioritize spending time with Him.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” ~ James 4:8 NIV
To grow in your commitment:
- Set aside a specific time and place for Bible reading each day.
- Make it a priority and don't let anything else interfere with this time.
- Remind yourself of the importance of Bible reading in your life and your relationship with God.
- Pray and ask God to give you a desire for His Word and to reveal Himself in new and fresh ways.
Consistently reading the Bible helps to reinforce God's truths in your heart and mind. By making it a habit, you can more easily remember and apply the lessons and teachings you learn from the Bible. This can help you stay grounded in your faith and live out your beliefs in your daily life.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” ~ Psalm 119:105 NIV
To help you be more consistent, try these tips:
- Establish a routine or a plan for reading the Bible regularly.
- Use a devotional app, Bible study or devotional book to take the guesswork out of what to read each day.
- Find a method that works for you, such as reading one chapter per day or following a specific theme or book in the Bible.
- Hold yourself accountable by tracking your progress or joining a Bible study group.
Developing a personal conviction about the purpose and value of God's Word can deepen your faith and relationship with God. When you truly believe that the Bible is God's Word and that it has the power to transform your life, you are more likely to seek out opportunities to engage with it and apply its teachings to your life.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
Follow these tips to deepen your conviction:
- Seek to understand the purpose and value of God's Word in your life.
- Meditate on the Bible verses that resonate with you and seek to apply them to your daily life.
- Ask God to reveal His truth and wisdom to you through His Word.
- Reflect on the impact that Bible reading has had on your life and share your experiences with others.
What Matters in the End
Committing to regular Bible reading and cultivating a deep understanding of God's Word can be a life-changing experience. It takes discipline and dedication, but the rewards are endless. So, I encourage you to take the first step today.
Start small, stay consistent, and trust that God will use His Word to work in your life in ways you never thought possible.
Whether you're a seasoned Christian or a new believer, there's always more to discover in the pages of the Bible. So, make it a priority in your life and let God transform you from the inside out.
Marva Smith is a Caribbean-based management & leadership consultant, work and life strategist, and author of the best-selling book, Time to Thrive: A Busy Woman’s Devotional Journal. Yet, her favorite titles are daughter of God, wife to her husband of 19 years, and mom to two teens.
As a Certified Life Breakthrough Coach, she is passionate about equipping, inspiring and empowering women to thrive beyond the nine to five, and does this through her courses, coaching and online community Time to Thrive Women. Her ideal day starts while it’s still dark with her Bible in one hand and coffee in the other.
As a gift from Marva, visit marvasmith.com/thrive/ and get access to her free resources, including her hugely popular THRIVE Assessment. Connect with her on her website MarvaSmith.com and on social media using the handle @marvatsmith on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.