Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Daily Bible Reading

At the first of just about every year, I take the time to encourage everyone to read their Bibles. I think it is important to establish a daily habit of Bible reading, and there are many schedules and techniques that can be used to facilitate that desire. But, the task can be intimidating, especially to those who have not been Christians for very long, or for those who are not “readers” among us.

We are almost five full months into the year, and many who initially resolved to “read the Bible through in a year”, or had some other laudable goal may have faltered in their efforts. My first suggestion is not to wait until next January 1st to try it again! You can’t afford to put off becoming familiar with God’s word! So, if you haven’t been reading your Bible often and regularly, start doing so today. You will be greatly blessed by the effort.

A few days ago Warren Berkley (a preacher in south Texas) asked some of his friends for hints and suggestions that have helped them in their daily study. He got some wonderful responses, and I want to share some of them with you, together with a few suggestions of my own:

  • The New Testament is an especially easy book to read. It has 27 divisions, with short chapters. It also is a small book, and can be read through in a month or so, even reading only 30 to 45 minutes every day. So, take the New Testament, and divide the number of pages into about 30 sections, then read a section each day. This will give you a good overview of the New Testament in a month’s time, and is a schedule that can be repeated again and again.
  • If reading through the New Testament in a month is too challenging, divide the pages into 60 or 90 sections, and read through in 2 or 3 months time. (You could read the New Testament through 4 or 6 times in a year, taking only a few minutes a day).
  • Distinguish between general reading, and reading for comprehension. A portion of your daily study should revolve around concentrated focus and study. In these times, don’t gloss over difficult words or concepts. Don’t go on until you have a firm grasp of what a passage teaches. If you can’t get it on your own, get help. We are to read to understand!
  • Obtain a daily reading schedule. There are many different ones, and they can be found in both paper and electronic form. Find a schedule that suits you, and stick with it. If you falter, don’t give up! Try, try again!
  • Create a personal commentary by writing your thoughts or explanations of a text while you are reading. This will provoke further thought and study, and will provide insight at a later time.
  • Use a 5 color marking system when reading the OT Psalms and Prophets. Get a set of map pencils, and underline passages, using the following categories: Sin (Blue), Punishment (Red), Righteousness (Green), Blessings/Rewards (Orange), God’s greatness (Yellow). Or devise a legend of your own. This will greatly help comprehension, and turns your Bible into an effective tool regarding these subjects.
  • Get a recording of the Bible, and listen to the text, perhaps following along in your Bible. There are professional recordings available in most versions, and can be purchased or found on the internet.
  • Do your daily reading first thing in the morning. It is a wonderful way to begin the day, and you can meditate on what you read as the day progresses.
  • Get a friend, and follow a schedule together. Then, jot down questions or observations that you can get together and discuss on a regular schedule. Two heads are better than one!
  • Underline significant words as you read.
  • Apply what you read to your life. It will stay with you longer.
  • Set a specific time each day to read. (It doesn’t have to be in the morning). Have a backup time ready for the times when the primary time is untenable.
  • Read out loud, it helps with comprehension. It is especially beneficial to read the Bible to your children.
  • Keep a Bible dictionary handy, and write down the definitions of the words you do not know. You won’t forget them again.

Other suggestions could be made, but there are gems to be found here. The main thing is, recognize how important it is to know God’s word, and determine to read it often. Start today!