“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”Proverbs 13:4
Go To Sleep With A Plan
As a new year approaches, so does talk of resolutions. For many Christians, reading the Bible more will be on their list of resolutions for the year ahead.
But don’t resolve to read the Bible more and then not specifically plan how you will do exactly that. For me, if I don’t have a plan, it means it’s not really a priority. If it’s not a priority, it means I’m most likely not going to read. Before you go to bed each night, you should know exactly what, where, and how you will read the next morning.
Know What You Will Read
Know Where You Will Read
Place your Bible, journal, pencils, and highlighters in that exact spot the night before. The more you have to scramble to find stuff in the morning, the more likely you will be to get distracted by something else and miss your time reading.
Know How You Will Read
Are you reading through longer sections of Scripture, like a one-year Bible reading plan? Are there specific questions you’re looking to answer as you read? Are you just thinking about those answers or are you writing them down? How will you incorporate prayer into your reading? Will you pray before you read? After? Both? How much time will you have to read?
If you want to read the Bible more, go to bed prepared with a plan for the next morning. If you take a haphazard approach like the sluggard in Proverbs 13:4, you’ll crave and get nothing out of God’s Word. But if you’re diligent in your approach to God’s Word, your soul will be richly supplied.
Then once you have a plan, get to bed early. The night before is often one of the biggest indicators of whether or not you will read your Bible in the morning.
Now, I know people have different life situations that make planning difficult. I know many guys who work evenings or over-night shifts. My wife also used to work over-nights too as a nurse. I also know many parents with young children, which makes planning anything difficult, let alone a regular Bible-reading time.
If this is you, don’t be discouraged. If you work nights, just adjust the plan for whenever you wake up. If you have young kids, still make a plan but adjust it to fit the rhythms and routines in your life stage. But above all, show yourself and your kids abundant grace when your time gets interrupted.
Focus Smaller For a Bigger Impact This Year
While year-long Bible reading plans are good (I’m doing one right now, in fact), I encourage you to try out another approach this year. Instead of going a mile wide and an inch deep with your daily reading, try going an inch wide and a mile deep by using a Bible-journaling method.
I’ve used different Bible-journaling methods in the past, but I’ve recently started the HEAR approach and I really appreciate it. Journaling the Bible allows us to go deeper into a passage and the HEAR approach can help us in reading to understand and respond to God’s Word.
Don’t think you need an hour or two every morning to do this approach either. Even fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes a day in a shorter passage can be impactful as you do it day after day. Focusing on a shorter passage through journaling each time you sit down to read can help grow your delight in God’s Word as it allows you to engage with God’s Word more deeply.
What Has Worked for You?
Do you have a Bible reading and study plan that’s been working well for you? Drop a comment and share the details.