I know you feel like the only one. I assume you think you are a ‘bad Christian’. Satan is feeding you a host of lies and you are accepting them. You hate to admit it but you don’t read your Bible. The lies begin to form in your mind….
“You don’t love the Lord.”
“You haven’t been reading so why start now.”
“You need to be holy before you can study God’s word.”
“You ______________________________ (Fill in the blank). “
I have been there. I imagine almost ever Christian has at some point. We get in a rut or we have honestly never started. We don’t know how to study the Bible or we don’t know where to start.
The truth is, it is a journey we all have to take. But the time to start is NOW! Reading God’s word is essential to a healthy and growing walk with the Lord. We can limp along without it but we cannot truly ‘run the race’ without knowing and studying God’s word.
Do not let embarrassment or a feeling of inadequacy stop you from starting today. Here are a few myths I think will help you begin your Bible study journey!
Myth #1 + Time Commitment
Most people avoid reading because they feel like it is going to be a long and drawn out session. Maybe they think they aren’t ‘holy enough’ if they don’t spend at least an hour in the Bible with a slew of commentaries at an arms reach. The reality is, you aren’t studying for your college Biology test. A wise friend once told us to add 15 mins to whatever you are currently doing if you want to expand your time with the Lord in Bible study. So, for many that is simply prayer and then spending a few minutes reading. 15 minutes is literally nothing, can you name 5 tasks that take 15 minutes?
Start there and pick a book that seems interesting or start in Genesis or James. Maybe commit to highlight the verses about God’s character or His promises. I find that it helps to start with one thing in mind that you want to focus your study on.
Myth #2 + You’re Too Busy
We have literally ALL said this one. I mean I would bet 99.9% of Christians have at some point said they were too busy. Some seasons are just busy. My daughter was born and didn’t sleep. I mean, did NOT sleep. I also struggled with hormone induced insomnia, so I was messed up and a little crazy. I was broken over it but I just could not get in the word to study. During that time I relied on hearing what other people were studying, going to church and actively participating in the sermon by taking notes, and listening to podcasts. Some seasons are just really hard. Those seasons cannot define our Bible study journey. Eventually, we have to come out from that and do the work of worshiping in study. We make time for what we value, it is just a fact.
I love the ping my phone makes when I get a text or a call. To me that means some one thought of me. I set down what I am doing (dry my hands if I am doing dishes) and immediately check my phone. What do I need to set down for time in the Word? For me? That same device. The mindless scrolling on social media takes up way more time than we want to consider. For me, I need to silence my phone, set it aside and make the time. I personally like to check my emails in the morning, open my window curtains a little, and read. It is how I start to wake up. If I get really into something I pick it back up in the evening when my kids are in bed. What do you need to set down or silence to make a Bible reading habit?
Myth #3 + You Don’t Know Where to Start
This is the best news! You can start anywhere! The gospel story is weaved all throughout the Scriptures and can be found in every book. The story of: creation, fall, redemption, restoration. Let’s be honest, it feels intimidating to open up the Bible and not know where to begin! The thing is you have your whole life to read and there are no rules! We have heard of missionaries who have only had one PAGE of the Bible that they passed from house church to house church and savored every word on the page. We are so blessed to have the entirety of Scripture at our disposal. But gratitude doesn’t solve the problem of being overwhelmed where to begin. I personally like to point people to Genesis or James. Everyone wants to feel like they are winning, those books are my “everyone is a winner” books. Wherever you decide to start answer these three questions as you go: what does this teach me about God, what does this teach me about humanity/mankind, and because of this how should I respond. Journaling those questions and answers would be a great way to meditate on the passage after you have read.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17
I hope you find this as an encouragement to move toward habitual time with the Lord in His word. How else can we know someone but to hear them speak? Scripture is the voice of God written down to be heard and treasured. I hope today you dust off the cover of your Bible and spend time with the Lord. Perhaps it’s even time for a new Bible to inspire you to fill its pages with highlights, questions, and words of praise. No matter how many years you have been a Christian or how much you ‘know’ – if you aren’t in the Word of God yourself you just really can’t be growing and abiding to the fullest. What is keeping you from being in the Bible?