Many of us set the goal of reading through the Bible during the year. And often when we set that goal we are all excited and ready to go. But can I confess something to you? Heading into this year I was not excited to read my Bible.
I’m a big fan of reading the Bible chronologically–in the order the events historically happened–and I was all set to do that. However, last year I spent a pretty exorbitant amount of time in the first several books of the Old Testament. I felt like I had just read them and I was not excited to dive in again.
Now, I will be the first to tell you that the well of Scripture will never run dry. You could read a passage 20,000 times and still not glean everything from it because God’s Word is living and active and always relevant.
However, there is also a place to take a break, try something different.
So when I realized that reading the Bible chronologically wasn’t exciting for me, I tossed out that idea and started thinking and praying about what other ways I could approach Bible reading this year that actually had me excited and interested to read!
Why it matters that you are excited about the Bible
Recently a friend asked how to get into the habit of reading books, and I told her that one of my tricks is to read what is interesting to me. I think the same kind of mindset can be applied to Bible reading.
Now a small caveat here.
The Bible is God’s Word, and one of my goals around here is to help you understand and appreciate all of Scripture. Every bit of it is interesting and worth reading, and sometimes we lean into the discipline of sitting down and reading even if we don’t understand, and even if we feel a little bored.
Sometimes we need to dig into the practice of reading until it becomes exciting.
There is a place for discipline.
But there is also a place for breaking routine.
There is a place for trying something new.
There is a place for laying aside expectations of how we “should” read the Bible and press deeper into the fact that this is relationship and we get to enter into conversation with God through His Word, and that conversation was never meant to be boring.
If you’re struggling to stay interested and excited about the Bible here are some tips to get you excited again (or perhaps for the first time):
Change your mindset
Sometimes we lose interest in the Bible because we go into our Bible reading with the wrong mindset. We’re more concerned with what we’re going to get out of it, rather than what we’re putting into it. Remember, this is relationship, and those 66 books are all about our good and gracious God.
If excitement is eluding you, maybe before you open your Bible read, set your mind on reading to find out more about God.
This tactic has helped me immensely when it comes to reading the Old Testament. Each time I start to read I ask God, “What does this passage reveal about you?” Suddenly my reading becomes a treasure hunt as I read not to find something to apply to my life, but to learn more about who God really is.
Change your plan
Using a reading plan is a great way to read develop the discipline of reading the Bible. Reading plans take the guess work out of “What am I going to read in the Bible today?” But sometimes they can become hindrances to meeting God in His Word because we’re more concerned about staying on track and checking boxes.
If following your reading plan feels more like a chore, maybe choose a new plan. There are several out there to download for free (I’ve got a handful in my resource library). You Version is another great resource or Bible gateway.
It doesn’t really matter what you choose, but simply changing up the way your normally read can help you get excited about the Bible again.
Take a break
Stepping back from reading Scripture is a valid way to get excited again about the Bible. I’ve done this a few times. Usually I have one day a week I intentionally choose not to read my Bible–or at the very least, to break my normal reading plan. Instead I find a different way to connect with God. There have also been seasons where I didn’t read beyond whatever verse was in the devotional or spiritual formation book I was reading.
We should be in Scripture. We should be making a point to invest in our relationship with God every day. But that process is not nearly as legalistic as we make it. God will not cast us out if we miss a day of Bible reading. It’s okay to take a break for a little while.
When I’ve stepped back for a little bit, always my desire to dig back into God’s Word grows and it restores my excitement to spend time in Scripture again. It’s that whole “absence makes the heart grow fonder” thing. If you’re struggling to be excited by the Bible, maybe take a break from it for a little bit.
Listen to someone else talk about the Bible
One last way to get excited about the Bible again is to listen to other people talk about it who are passionate about God and His Word. Maybe that’s your pastor, maybe there is a speaker or podcast you listen to, or maybe you just sit down and ask a friend or mentor what they are reading in Scripture.
Hearing how other people are encountering God through His Word is a fantastic motivator to dive back in and meet Him ourselves. Don’t rely on that other person’s Scriptural encounters with God to feed your own. Rather, allow their encounters to inspire you to go encounter God for yourself.
The Bible is meant to be exciting and interesting and engaging. Sometimes we just need to approach it a little differently. Maybe that means a change in mindset or a change of plans. Maybe that means taking a break from reading for a little bit or listening to someone else speak about it. And most importantly it means prayer. If you want to get excited about the Bible, ask God for that excitement. I’ve learned that is a prayer God is more than happy to answer.
What gets you excited about the Bible? What is the most exciting truth you’ve encountered about God in His Word lately?
P.S. If you’re looking for some more ideas to get excited about God’s Word, the 2020 #10daydevochallenge begins next week. This challenge is all about helping you find new ways to connect with God and revive your desire to spend time with Him. You can learn more and join the challenge here.
Live in His love!