How to Keep a Dogged Devotion to Bible Reading
(Photo: By William Hoiles from Basking Ridge, NJ, USA (CC-BY-2.0), via Wikimedia Commons)
How can a book that has changed the lives of billions ever seem boring?
Reasons Bible Reading Seems Boring
- The benefits of Bible reading don’t feel immediate.
- The Bible was written a long time ago.
- It takes work to understand parts of God’s Word.
- My busy life leaves little time for Bible reading.
There are more reasons, to be sure. But whatever the reason Bible reading is tough, the problem is still the same: How can we keep a dogged devotion for the most un-boring book in the world?
Keeping a Dogged Devotion to Bible Reading
Our two dogs used get to breakfast from one of our daughters, and later they would receive supper from the other daughter. They always know which daughter came with which meal because they would wait outside the appropriate bedroom door.
Most days, they waited a LONG time.
(Photo: Our dogs waiting at the door for food.)
The dogs’ devotion to food reminds me of a proverb where wisdom offers a simple invitation:
“Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.”—Proverbs 8:34–35
After reading these verses, the picture of my dogs changes from comical to convicting.
How do we benefit from Bible reading? By “watching daily at [God’s] doors, waiting at [His] doorway.” Literally, the Hebrew reads “yom, yom”—or “day by day.” It takes a daily commitment to listen, to watch, and to wait in the Word of God in order to gain wisdom.
Don’t misunderstand. By “daily” I don’t mean a legalistic box to check. (Even the Pharisees did that.) No, I mean a daily, dogged devotion that listens to, watches for, and waits upon God’s wisdom as found in the Bible. Bible reading gives us that benefit.
“The secret of counteracting our bent toward waywardness rests with wisdom. . . . She is calling for our attention. She doesn’t want us to drift throughout the day without taking her along as our companion.” —Charles R. Swindoll
Bible Reading Tools
In addition to reminding ourselves the benefits of regular Bible reading, it helps to be aware of good tools that help us keep our commitment to read.
Here are 4 tools I have found helpful:
- YouVersion—This is a free app that allows you to listen to the Bible on your smart phone or computer. With many translations and Bible reading plansavailable, this is a great way to make good use of your time as you listen on the commute (like I do), at the gym, or on the go.
- Bible Reading Plans—From published daily Bibles like the One Year Bible, to free Bible reading plans you can download, there are many options. I have used and enjoy the One Year Bible, the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plans, and most recently, Insight for Living’s Bible Reading Guides. You can also read onlinefor free. The best plan is the one you’ll use. Just choose one.
- Modern Bible Translations—Sometimes the Bible seems boring because we’re reading a translation that uses archaic words. A good, modern translation with study notes might help—like the Ryrie Study Bible, New American Standard (my choice), the NIV Study Bible (my wife’s favorite), or the NET Bible (New English Translation).
- Stop signs—They can help you ponder Scripture. Here’s how.
In our Bible reading, like with any discipline, we need encouragement at times to keep on with what we know we need—even if we don’t feel like we need it.
Question: What helps keep the Bible from being boring to you?