October 02, 2015

The Habit of Reading God's Word

For me, I would say that, having a daily time to read God's word is second only to sleeping and eating. Oh, who am I kidding... He is before those, too!  Everything hinges on knowing God more. The only way to know God is to spend time with Him.  So many of us, including me, have had times in our lives where we set Him on a shelf and forget to open His word and spend any real time with Him at all for long periods of time.

Throughout this series it is my intention to share things to help you to build better habits.  Some days the habit I talk about is something you may not need and some days you may need it badly.  This particular habit is a key habit that EVERYONE needs in their life on a daily basis.

We have all been there.  That moment when our eyes open and we reach for the Bible on the bedside table and then there is a scream or a cry or an "I need you mom!" or "I need you honey!" and then, in a split second, you move past the Bible and full force into your day whether you wanted to or not.  It has been my experience in these times that I don't go back to it and I move through my whole day and sometimes weeks at a time without opening that Bible except for Sunday mornings at church.

So, how do you avoid this scenario?  How do you make time with Jesus the priority during the very first moments of the day?

What does God's Word Say?

In God's word there is a passage called the Shema (Hear, O Israel) section in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (ESV)

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Note that we are instructed to:

1.  Teach God's precepts to our children DILIGENTLY.

2.  Talk of His words when you sit in your house

3.  Talk about them when you walk

4.  Talk about them when you lie down and when you rise

5.  Bind them as a sign on your hands and forehead

6.  Write them on the doorposts of your house and gates

I get the impression that we are to constantly have God's word before us throughout the day from this passage, don't you?  

How can we do that?  This is such a personal question and we each have to find ways to make this happen as we move through our days.  We cannot teach and talk about God's word if we don't KNOW God's word so the goal is to start putting it in... all day.... every single day... for the rest of our lives.

The Priority of Scripture in Our Days

- You have to be intentional.

- You have to make it a priority above all else.

- You have to anticipate the road block before it happens and have a contingency plan.

- You HAVE to spend time with God!

I have developed ways over the years to make this happen for me and it varies with the phase of life I have been in at the time.  Anything can get in the way... from waking up late for college classes and having a full study schedule to having a newborn in the house or school mornings where nothing is going right to sick kids, early rising kids, lost socks and shoes, nothing to pack for lunches unless you make leftovers of bread and fish multiply, and so forth.

One of the first things I had to learn was to make my Bible/God's Word available...

*  Have the Bible or study right there... next to the bed and ready to go before my feet even hit the floor or shortly after the bathroom trip ends.

*  I have also had a designated chair that I move to as soon as the coffee is poured in the cup and I plant myself there to make it happen.

*  I have had Bibles scattered around the house and left open so that when I would sit with a crying or nursing baby I could read it readily.

*  I have utilized technology in recent years and one of my most recent favorites is to listen to God's word being read to me on my YouVersion Bible App on either my NOOK, Computer or phone.  I have actually been bathing in it this year as I read the Bible in a Year plan on that app.  I have had God's word read to me every day this year and I love that!

*  I have put scripture reading on my i-pod to listen to while I walk.

*  There are verses on note cards or sticky notes around the house.

*  We have art with scripture in it or screen savers with verses on our computers and phones.

Not one of us has this mastered fully.  There is always room for improvement.  I know I can find new ways to get God's word into my mind and heart and as I study more about the habits of our daily lives this one is at the top of my list to develop more deeply.  

I have had times in my walk where there was a Bible study I could plug into locally like a Workmen of the Word program or a Bible Study Fellowship group.  I have had studies in my home or other women's homes or at the church in the fellowship hall.  In recent years, with the Lupus and the crazy schedules, I have found some online places that have kept me reading and have a Facebook group of women that encourage and pray for one another as we study together.  There are so many possibilities but you have to make the effort.  You have to make a plan and have the contingency plan ready to go because some mornings you will need it.

This life is not easy but with God you can have direction and purpose and a constant companion for the journey.  He is waiting for you.  Put Him into each day as a foundation that every day needs. Make time with God a daily habit starting today.

Study Opportunities

Here are a few places I have found encouragement in this realm.

Find a BSF group near you - Bible Study Fellowship International

Start your own Workmen of the Word study in your home or church with this resource list.  These are FABULOUS studies!

Love God Greatly has a plethora of free online studies to encourage you to dig deeper.

If:Equip is another great resource with a daily reading through a book passage and a video to pull it together with other women. 

Bible Study Tools offers some great resources to help you explore the Word, too.

Women's Bible Cafe utilizes some studies by women like Beth Moore and Kay Arthur that are very inspiring.

Women Living Well has a great resource archive for study and encouragement.

When we go to God's Word there is something that happens... it changes us, it gives us direction and hope and purpose.  

Psalm 119:103-105 (KJV)

How sweet are they words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through they precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

What are ways you have been able to fit God's Word into your day that might not be that conventional?

Are you an early morning reader or do you have another time of day you prefer to study?

For further reading...

9 Things Everyone Should Do When Reading the Bible

6 Habits Every Christian Should Develop

Check out more posts on habits here...


  1. The three years in a row I read through the Bible in a year, I did almost all my reading (except when I was on vacation) in the evenings. Not having to finish by a certain time was key for me. I've been learning through the GIFT group that I *can* actually learn something when I read early in the morning (without coffee!!!) for a shorter period of time. We just finished week 4 of Galatians - and I've done the study every single morning but one, which I caught up on the next day. This whole early morning rather than after work quiet time thing may just become a habit!

    1. I have always done some form of study in the morning. When I was in college I woke myself at 4:00 am to get Bible and studying for tests done when my brain was uncluttered. I love the quiet morning but lately they are busy and I study after the kids and Dan are out of the house at 6:30 am. I am enjoying the unhurried mornings lately and I did not think I would love the quiet so much without a house full of people but I do. The quiet has been good for me. I am glad you have stayed caught up... I am catching up this morning. LOL I got the early treat of a free Friday with no cooking for anyone today. Bible, coffee and chores are the goal of the day today.

  2. This is one of those things where I constantly worry if I'm doing it "right." Or.. used to. NOw I just try to do it as I can as often as I can with (as you said) intentionality.

    1. I have had days when I read one verse and days when I read the whole book of Genesis... God just wants us in His word every day and He will show us what He wants once we open it to study. I struggled with the right and wrong for a very long time, too. When I started in Bible Study Fellowship it changed all of that for me. I am grateful for those women who guided me along the way with no shaming. That is a precious gift! <3 Thanks for stopping by, Stacey. I love your new venture with that new blog. What a wonderful outreach!

  3. i love my farm up on my tablet, but each day before i check my farm, i go to my youversion and read the scripture of the day. i know i should be doing more, but something is better than nothing. this is a hard year so i am not going to beat myself up, but just do the best i can. it seems everytime i do get a schedule going, someone goes in the hospital or breaks something. i was reading Streams in the Desert in the evening. it usually made me cry
    i also have a devo book by Billy Graham in the bathroom
    devos are not the same as the word and truth is the youversion is my fave. i sometimes go on to read more the passage presented