Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, Stranraer,
Photography courtesy of Mark. A.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NASB)

Have you noticed how as a New Year begins folk set new resolutions, usually to diet or exercise, or both. Another popular resolution is the beginning of a new Bible reading scheme, maybe even for the first time. I recently read a post pertaining to this subject by Pastor Jim (The More I know about the Bible, the more questions I ask when I read the Bible); who isn’t beginning a new reading schedule but instead highlighted the importance of asking questions while you read the Bible – a healthy pursuit. It was this excellent post that inspired me to share a bit about my Bible reading practice.

For a few years I used a Bible reading plan which took me through the entire Bible in one year. I became aware of how often I fell behind and that my reading was not what I would call great quality. I did gain some insight but it was very often shallow. After trying out some other options which didn’t work well for me I arrived at a simple plan. This new plan involves reading one chapter per day over the timespan of three years using the YouVersion App on my tablet; the App keeps a record of my progress but I read at my table, taking notes as I go in a journal. I make use of the cross-references from my NASB study Bible in my notetaking. I find this slower reading schedule to be very rewarding, blessing my walk and producing more material to share on Devotional Treasures. Some subjects that arise, such as the recent series on the names of God, make it into an A4 notebook for deeper study.

Another recent development is reading my Bible and following along with the audio reading at the same time. I find it particularly helpful to stop my mind from wandering off. I have been using this in conjunction with the repeated reading of one book of the Bible as described in an excerpt from a book that is an invaluable little volume on how to study God’s Word by a great student and teacher of it  – How to Study the Bible for Greatest Profit by R. A. TORREY: “Rev. James M. Gray of Boston, a great lover of the Bible and prominent teacher of it, says that for many years of his ministry he had “an inadequate and unsatisfactory knowledge of the English Bible.” The first practical idea which he received in the study of the English Bible was from a layman. The brother possessed an unusual serenity and joy in his Christian experience, which he attributed to his reading of the Epistle to the Ephesians. Mr. Gray asked him how he had read it, and he said he had taken a pocket copy of the Epistle into the woods one Sunday afternoon, and read it through at a single sitting, repeating the process as many as a dozen times before stopping, and when he arose he had gotten possession of the Epistle, or rather its wondrous truths had gotten possession of him. This was the secret, simple as it was, for which Mr. Gray had been waiting and praying.” From this time on Mr. Gray studied his Bible through in this way, and it became to him a new book.” This may not suit everyone, but I certainly find it beneficial for me.

In my recent experience reading Scripture is like a bike ride in the Fife countryside; it is slow and methodical, you have time to see, hear and breathe in all that is around you. Sometimes on your bike ride you just need to stop and soak in the scenery, watch the birds, or gaze at the clouds sailing by. I remember bike rides from years ago because I took my time, soaking in the experience. Yes, that is how I see reading the Bible!

Dear Reader, how do you read your Bible? I certainly would encourage you to slow down, don’t be tempted to rush. It is a personal experience, a meeting with God, take your time to feel His presence and hear what He is saying to you today.


22 thoughts on “Reading My Bible

  1. Unless interrupted I read daily from the word. Sometimes only a verse that I mull over as I read over and over. Sometimes many chapters like an overview and then go back and reread for depth. Every day is different as I seem to be different each morning. Sometimes there is more prayer urgency and reading is short. It’s a good thing I have a place where I do this as something needs to nail me to the floor for awhile.

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  2. When I was younger, I did use reading plans as I really did want to read through the whole Bible. That discipline did work and I read through them a number of times that way.

    Having done that, I now have a foundation as I study. I have found that writing helps me focus on my study and get clarity.


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  3. I can relate to your need to physically write the Word Michael; it helps me too. I remember one old brother who simply wrote what he read each day in cheap legal pads, and his understanding of the Word of God was much admired by many.


  4. I’ve heard a veteran motorcycle rider give the following advice: “Never ride your bike when you’re in a hurry.” The same could be said for Bible reading. Of course, reading the Word always brings benefits, but unhurried reading benefits us most. Blessings, brother Alan!

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    1. That is sound advice David, I have one similar to that I think…it is often said don’t shop for groceries when you are hungry or you will buy lots you don’t really need. I would say, read His Word when hungry to get much from it! Does that work?

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  5. Hi Alan, I’ve discovered that I’m not good at following a bible in a year reading plan. They are great tools and work for some people but I usually get behind at some stage, then feel bad and give up. I now find that focussing on one book of the bible at a time works for me. Recently, I was reading Mark’s gospel and made notes as I went especially of verses the Holy Spirit quickened to me. Reading with a notebook has been a great help. Reading Mark’s gospel inspired me then to read John’s gospel and I’ve noticed such a difference in their styles of writing and how they pick up different parts of Jesus’ story. Studying the Word is such a precious thing. It’s living and powerful and is our daily bread. Sometimes I might just manage a crumb and other days feel like I’ve eaten a whole loaf.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your Bible reading method Nichola, I see a common thread developing in these comments which I hope will be useful to other readers. I certainly would gain little without a notebook. Occasionally I leaf through old notebooks and I am amazed at what I read. I find the variety of life experiences gives you many ways of understanding scriptures that you have read previously. God is Good to those who follow His Word.

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  6. I’ve used and experimented with various ways during different seasons of my life. I’ve grown to appreciate taking it slow to truly digest a topic or a book from the Bible. Recently, I’ve added hand-writing scripture word for word; while writing I speak it aloud. That slows my thoughts so that I notice different things that would easily slip past me if just reading or listening to the text.

    I love the practice of asking questions I added this a few years ago. Going slower generates more questions. God bless you, Alan, I hope your post inspires many to further intimacy with their Savior.

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  7. I have the One Year Bible in the New Living Translation. I read what has been laid out for me right before I go to bed. Then my spirit seems to mull over it while I sleep. During the other times I read the Bible during the day, I pray first to have my eyes opened, then read until something stops me in my tracks. Then that is what I meditate on, to go deeper into what God wants to show me. I’ve been doing this for 2 years and it is really working great for me.

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    1. That is yet another good way to read the Word. I remember many years ago using a Bible In A Year volume, but I found it hard work…probably because I wasn’t ready for it at the time. It is great that during the day you listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, something we all need every day. Thank you for your contribution sister, God bless you today 🙏

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  8. I love that analogy Alan- “In my recent experience reading Scripture is like a bike ride in the Fife countryside; it is slow and methodical, you have time to see, hear and breathe in all that is around you.” There was a decade of my life when I wasn’t living close to the Lord. I lived for myself and didn’t reference the Bible or attend church. When I finally broke down and stopped running from the Good Shepherd, one of the things I felt impressed and hungry to do was to submerse myself in the Bible. So I purchased a Daily Bible by Charles Stanley and read through it for two years straight. I haven’t done it since. As I look back, I realize I needed large quantities of the word to flow over me to wash off all the worldly thinking I’d picked up over those years. Now I need the slow methodical bike ride through the Bible that allows the word to deeply imprint itself on my mind and heart.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Beth, you always put a smile on my face with them. Our lives are complicated, and Satan goes out of his way to make them more complicated, keeping us as far away as possible from God and His Word. One of the lessons I highlight in the post and i truly believe is necessary is to keep things simple. I don’t read devotionals such as Our Daily Bread anymore; in my view they give you a little of His Word and a lot of other stuff. My new chapter a day routine works well for me, as long as i don’t get hung up on any routines other than that. There is no need to finish a book or the whole Bible in any time frame; after all if i miss a day I just pick up where I left off…if we miss a meal we don’t insist on eating it with the next meal, do we? I hope my ramblings are of use to you sister, if not please forgive me. May our Father God continue to guide and bless you each day. 🙏

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