If you’ve been following my content for awhile, you know this year I’ve especially emphasized getting into the Word daily. I know many of you have made it a goal to read through the entire Bible with my book The Bible in a Year as your reading plan. And, I’ve been doing that right along with you! It has been such a blessing. But, staying disciplined while keeping the right approach has been a challenge. Would you agree?
Today, I thought it would be helpful to talk about how to stay engaged as we read the Bible in a year. It can be tempting to just go through the motions. As a result, we forget that God is speaking to us through His Word and has so much He wants to teach us. When we lose sight of this and just power through in our own strength, reading the Bible becomes overwhelming. And, we often get discouraged or give up entirely. So, let’s talk about how to stay engaged as you read the Bible in a year.
5 Tips to Stay Engaged As You Read the Bible in a Year
We can so often underestimate the power of prayer. Do you pray before you open your Bible? Are you asking the Holy Spirit to empower you to understand what you read? That it would impact your thoughts and actions? Pause and remember that whatever passage you’re in, whether it’s an engaging historical account or an extensive genealogy—seemingly exciting or boring—it’s all God’s Word. Resist the temptation to get discouraged when struggling through a challenging chapter or section of the Bible. Trust that He is speaking through all of it and ask that He would bring understanding.
Could a lack of prayer be contributing to your struggles to stay engaged with your reading plan?
Change up the time(s) of day you read
I am currently reading the Bible using my 1-year reading plan, The Bible in a Year. It’s undated, so you can start at any time, but I started right at the beginning of the year. When I began, I would read 2-3 chapters in the morning and the rest in the evening. However, as time passed, it started feeling overwhelming to start my day with a lot of reading. And, I was struggling to stay focused. I prayed for God’s help and decided to change up my reading schedule.
As a result, I still have quiet time in the morning and spend more of a bite-sized amount of time in Scripture at the start of my day, but I focus on getting the bulk of my reading done after dinner. I feel re-energized after a good meal, so this change has been a game changer. I’ve found as I’ve re-engaged with the reading, I am less overwhelmed and even eager for that time in the Word.
Could changing up the time of day you read help you stay engaged as you read the Bible in a year?
Schedule time in your week for deeper study
As I was reading 1 and 2 Kings, I kept thinking: 1) This has always been a challenging section of Scripture for me. And, 2) There’s a lot here that I wish I had time to study more in-depth! Then, through a class I was taking in my church, God revealed to me that there was a pocket of time in my weekly schedule that would be perfect for devoting to deeper study. So, as I read through my plan and I come across an intriguing passage or question, I write that down. Then, I save it for my special study time. A couple of my favorite things to do during this time are watching videos by the Bible Project (loved this one on Kings) and reading GotQuestions articles on Bible books or specific topics. Scheduled study time has made previously challenging sections of Scripture come alive to me. And, it motivates me as I continue reading and approach new challenges.
How might engaging in deeper study deepen your relationship with God and benefit your time in His Word?
We all have unique schedules and responsibilities. And, there is so much grace for those of us who are in seasons of life that are very full! However, we can be very good at filling our time with things we want to do, but don’t necessarily need to be doing. And, we can also be masters at making excuses for why we don’t have time for X, Y, and Z. I encourage you to pray for wisdom in this and that if God is calling you to deeper study, He would show you how and when you can schedule that time.
Jump to a different chapter
This idea came from a friend who was struggling her way through 1 & 2 Chronicles while doing The Bible in a Year plan. The idea of going out of order and skipping ahead may not appeal to you. But, consider this: If you’re really struggling to stay focused or need time to study a bit in order to better understand a section of Scripture, wouldn’t it be better to press pause on that and read a book you’re more familiar with in the meantime? The great thing about my book, The Bible in a Year, is that it’s easy to track your progress and even skip around if you need to.
Could switching to a different section of Scripture help you stay engaged as you read the Bible in a year? If so, what might that look like for you?
Talk about what you read
This is such a simple one, but I’ve found that talking about what I’m reading helps me remember what I’ve read and learned. This often prompts me to study more and it’s also great accountability. When we attempt to read the Bible in isolation, we are much more likely to get overwhelmed and lose heart. But, when we reflect with others on what excites or challenges us, God uses that to encourage us and spur us on.
Who could you talk to about what you’re reading in the Bible? What other benefits could talking about this have on your life or theirs?
I hope these brief tips will boost your motivation and help you stay engaged as you read the Bible in a year! Committing to reading the Word daily is a spiritual discipline. Therefore, we can expect days where we struggle and lack motivation. But, when we take the time to really learn and grow, God deepens our walk with Him.
If you’d like more tips on how to successfully complete a 1-year Bible reading plan, check out this post. If you’re interested in checking out my 1-year Bible reading plan focusing on God’s character, learn more about The Bible in a Year here. And of course, if you’re interested in receiving free resources to help you grow in your faith, you can receive exclusive content by subscribing to my mailing list here!