Following on from our first post about why feeding on the Bible is utterly crucial for our growth, here are some tried-and-tested, as well as new-and-creative, ways to get eating!
Let’s use this New Year to commit to being a church which regularly spends time together in God’s Word. Remember, it matters less how you’re reading through the Bible, and more that you’re actually doing it. Over time, you’ll find it will become an indispensable part of your day.
1. Daily Reading Notes
These are the staple diet of many thousands of Christians across the globe. And there are many many flavours of notes. All good Daily Reading notes will walk you through a short Bible passage with helpful explanation, questions and ideas for prayer all provided for you!! Everything you need. One of our favourites is Explore.
- Explore Daily Reading Notes
- Daily Reading Bible
- For the Love of God or read for free on The Gospel Coalition’s website
- Spurgeon’s morning and evening
- So many more it’s impossible to list!
2. Smart Phone apps
Use technology to our advantage and, instead of looking at the BBC headlines again, read some Scripture. Most Apps have built-in reading plans to help you get started.
- The Explore App
Contains daily Bible readings with questions to help you engage with the Bible text, comment to get you thinking, and ideas for further reading, prayer and application. It includes the Bible text so that you can open up the Bible wherever you are, whenever you can.
Published by HarperCollins, OliveTree is a great app for all mobiles and tablets. Free access to loads of different Bible translations as well as free eBooks, devotionals, reading plans, Bible dictionaries, atlases, study Bibles, Bible commentaries, and so much more.
- ESV App
The ESV Bible app was designed to make reading the Bible on your iPhone or iPad as similar to reading a print Bible as possible.
Use the Bible App to access bookmarks, notes, and reading plans from anywhere. Enjoy hundreds of versions, including audio.
There are also fantastic apps to help you memorise verses and passages.
3. Accessible Commentaries
Take advantage of gifted teachers’ years of study by reading through an accessible commentary (ie one which doesn’t spend pages discussing academic debates).
- God’s Word for You
Use these books to feed on God’s word as a daily devotional, complete with reflection questions; or use them as you prepare to lead small-group Bible studies or teach in your church.
- Dale Ralph Davis commentaries
These are brilliant commentaries in opening up the Old Testament in an easy-to-read way. Highly recommended.
- The Bible Speaks Today
A solid range of biblical commentaries
- Study Bibles
The ESV and NIV study bibles have plenty of useful notes, articles and maps to help you read God’s Word.
4. Listen to God’s Word
Listen as you drive to work, go for a run, or pop down to the shops.
- Grab David Suchet’s reading of the anglicised NIV which is excellent
- There are many free dramatised versions (rarely with UK speakers)
5. Meditation and/or Journalling
Take a single verse of Scripture, memorise it, dwell on it, pray it, let it sink into your heart. Don’t be put off by the name, biblical meditation is just intensive slow reading of the Bible. It’s a beautiful thing.
- Watch John Piper demonstrate how to meditate on a verse.
- Use a colouring book to slow down and meditate on individual verses.
- Use a Journalling Bible to jot down thoughts, notes and ideas as you dwell on a verse or passage. Come back to it again and again.
6. Memorise scripture
As we’ve mentioned already, memorising Scripture is a fantastic way to let God’s Word sink deep into our hearts. It’s a dying art in some parts of the church today. Let’s revive it! Maybe learn a passage together with your growth group or prayer triplet? Adding one verse each week or meeting?
- Why not start by simply writing out a passage by hand. On paper. With a pen. Honestly.
- John Piper on why we should do this (he recommends this book)
- Use a smartphone app (some of which help turn memorisation into a game)
7. Listen to Scripture-soaked music
Choose some music with bible-saturated lyrics and praise God while cleaning the house, going for a jog, cooking dinner or driving to the shops.
- The Sing the Bible series is just fantastic for this. Applicable for both kids and adults alike.
8. Or just read
There’s no magic formula here. Just pick up a Bible and read it until your heart is warmed.