Choose quality over quantity when consuming God’s Word

When I first followed Christ, my pastor told me I needed to read the Bible. I tried and made it all the way through Exodus but got bogged down at Leviticus. Since those days (a long time ago), I’ve learned more about reading the Word. Here are five suggestions to help you:

1

Be grateful for your opportunity to study the Word 

I’ve been in places around the world where people had little or no access to the Scriptures. Meanwhile, many of us have more Bibles in our homes than we have human beings! We who have access to the Word, have a copy available in our language, and can read it without threat of persecution are blessed indeed. Why would we not want to engage the Scriptures? 

2

Focus on consistency more than quantity 

Reading a lot of the Bible does not always equate to reading it well and meditating on it deeply. In fact, I would rather you read one chapter every day than read 10 chapters every 10th day. Consistency will make you want to increase quantity, but the opposite is not always true. So, get a consistent reading plan in place. Let God grab your heart every day through His Word. 

3

Follow a plan to read through the Bible at least every other year 

I read the Word every year, but I did not start there. It took me years to get there. On the other hand, you can read the Word in two years if you read just under two chapters a day. Most of us can make that commitment even if it means giving up something else to do it. Again, have a plan—know today what you are going to read tomorrow. 

4

Use a good study Bible  

I try hard not to get stuck in the notes—but they do help me at times. Sometimes I need them simply to understand the Word better. The more I understand it, the more I want to read it. If you want a suggestion, I have found the CSB Everyday Study Bible helpful because its study notes are condensed from the larger CSB Study Bible.

5

Hold yourself accountable to someone

Here’s how I do it: I write a daily e-mail to a group of guys to tell them what I read, what I’m learning, and how they might pray for me. One of my former students sends his daily e-mail to his student ministry leaders; a colleague sent his to his deacons when he was a pastor. The e-mail doesn’t take long to write, and I suspect all of us have someone to whom we might send a message every day.

Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. For more from Lawless, visit chucklawless.com.

Dean of Doctoral Studies, Vice President of Spiritual Formation and Ministry Centers
Chuck Lawless
Southeastern Seminary
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