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5 Ways to Make Daily Bible Study Easier

Have you ever tried to make daily Bible study a habit? Habits can be both hard to form and hard to break. Going to the gym daily, that’s not an easy habit for everyone to get into. On the flip side, eating ice cream every night on the couch watching Netflix can be a hard habit to break.

One of my favorite daily habits is studying God’s Word. My daily Bible study habit has become a very regular part of my day. Every once in awhile I miss it and when I do, I miss it… meaning I really notice that it was missing from my day.

There are lots and lots of recommended ways for forming (and breaking) habits, but I wanted to share five with you that might be a little different than others you’ve tried.

For me, my Bible study time is almost always in the morning. I like to get up before my family, when the house is still quiet. I make a pot of french press coffee and sit down with my interleaved journaling Bible and dig in. Early mornings are a popular Bible study time for lots of people. While it’s less about when you spend time in the scriptures and more about making time for it, I do think there is something about making time in God’s Word every morning that truly does prepare you for the day ahead.

Forming a daily habit of spending time studying God’s Word might seem daunting at first, but, if you make it part of your routine, pretty soon you will wonder how you ever went without it!

The following five suggestions will help to make your study time “easier” which in turn will hopefully help you to incorporate daily time in God’s Word.

5 Ways to Make Bible Study “Easier” So You Form a Daily Habit

#1: Pray First

Before you jump in and start reading and studying, pray. Ask God to help you to understand with your head and your heart – to see what He would have you to see. You aren’t looking for major revelations or for something no Bible scholar has ever noticed before when you study God’s Word. You’re tuning your ear to hear God’s voice. You’re tapping into communication with God. Praying for understanding and focus and praising God for the amazing gift of the Scriptures is a wonderful way to get started.

#2: Keep Context in Mind

The Bible consists of 66 books written by more than 40 authors, all inspired by God’s Holy Spirit. Each of those authors was writing from a specific place and time in history. Keeping the “context” in mind when you study the scriptures will help you to better understand what God is communicating through His Word. It is especially helpful to keep in mind who the original intended audience was when God’s Holy Spirit inspired the writing of a book.

#3: Read One Chapter at a Time, Aloud if Possible

One of the biggest struggles with developing a daily Bible study habit can be trying to figure out what to read. I prefer to keep things simple and go verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book. This doesn’t mean I always read the books back-to-back. Sometimes, I will jump from the Old Testament to the New, but I always like to complete a book before I go on to another one.

When I can, I’ve also found that reading the Bible aloud helps me to better understand what I’m reading. I don’t know why this is, but it might be because reading it aloud causes me to slow down. It also stops me from spacing out, when I’m reading aloud.

#4: If You Find Yourself Spacing Out, Back Up

Sometimes I’ll be reading along, early in the morning, cup of coffee in my hand and pretty soon I’m thinking about my to-do list or about taking something out of the freezer to defrost for dinner. When this happens, instead of keeping on, I stop and back up. I don’t do this to be legalistic, like God is going to withhold His blessings from me if I’m daydreaming in class like a bad student, but to force myself to refocus. Every once in awhile I have to do this several times in the same chapter – sometimes in the same spot.

#5: Read Commentaries AFTER You’ve Read Through a Chapter (or Section)

If you aren’t using commentaries to help you when you study God’s Word, you’re missing out! Commentaries can be so helpful in providing context as you read the Bible. They can also provide cross references to other parts of scripture and put questions in your mind that you’ll find yourself thinking on as you go about your day. There are lots of commentaries available both in print and digital format. I find the text commentaries in the Blue Letter Bible app to be very helpful.

I like to first read through a chapter, or if it’s really long, through a section before I jump into the app to read the text commentary. By studying this way, you’ll actually have the benefit of reading the scripture verses first and then re-reading them again as you go through the commentary… which can be very helpful and insightful.

This Daily Habit Will Change You

Sometimes we get confused and think the Bible is about us. It’s not, it’s about God and His love for us. It is truth that goes beyond space and time. It is counter cultural and it is revolutionary. And spending time in it daily, will change you. A daily habit of studying God’s Word, it will change you. Just as Jesus said, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4). Making a daily feast of God’s Word will nourish you like nothing else ever could.

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"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits."

Matthew 7:15-20 ESV