This past week everyone seemed to be talking about the Super Bowl. I confess, I am not a sport fan, and barely know anything about the game of football. However, this is one thing I do know: in football there are players who get knocked down - and when they do, they get back up again.
In a journey of building a spiritual practice around daily Bible reading, you will, from time to time, feel like you've been knocked down. You will miss days. You will get busy or distracted. You may feel discouraged, or even disappointed in yourself. On those days remember this simple football move: get back up again.
Here are 6 Ways to keep reading the Bible daily:
1) Renew your reasons. When you began your journey toward a practice of daily Bible reading you likely had your own reasons. Maybe someone you trust told you that it is a good way to develop your relationship with God. Maybe you were hoping to get a clearer picture of the story of God in the Bible. Maybe you were craving some structure to your spiritual life. Maybe you just wanted to do what others around you were doing. Whatever your initial reasons - think on them again. They will likely still inspire you - and you may even have more reasons today than when you first began.
2) Reflect on your experiences. In order to keep developing your daily Bible reading practice, it is helpful to reflect on the way the Word of God is at work in your life. Think back over the past month, and ask God to show you how He has used scripture to draw you close.
3) Enlist a friend. We are made for community. Often we treat scripture reading as something we do on our own. However, the scriptures are for the people of God, so if you struggle to get into them by yourself, then enlist a friend to join you on the journey.
4) Evaluate your practice. Sometimes very simple logistics get in the way of a well developed spiritual practice. Are you trying to read before bed, but find you are too sleepy? Are you trying to read too much in one sitting, and becoming over-whelmed? Are you reading a translation that feels like a foreign language? Examine your practice and see if there are any simple tweaks that will improve your experience.
5) Be gracious to yourself. We are often our own worst enemy when it comes to being legalistic. If you miss a day or two, so be it. We are not in this to win a race or get a perfect score. The mercies of the Lord are new every morning - take assurance in that truth.
6) Embrace a plan. Most people don't end up reading daily in the scriptures without embracing some kind of plan. If you're using a plan that isn't working for you - try a new one. If you've finished one, then choose another. There are many daily reading plans available on line if you need some ideas.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." 2Cor 4:16 (NIV)