- Dagger in hand: The Bible is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) and a pocket-sized Bible is a dagger (or so we say around here). Carry a Bible with you… in your purse, in your car, on your phone, etc. Whip that puppy out whenever and wherever.
Bonus: you might even start a conversation that leads to a soul’s salvation.
Caution: don’t walk or drive and read. ;o)
- Early bird: Wake up earlier. Argh. I know. I’m not a morning person either, but seriously, this one can really work. Start small… like 15 minutes earlier than usual. That’s enough time to get up, brush your teeth, splash some water on your face to help you wake up then sit down for a bit of study and prayer. As your habit solidifies, set the alarm for 15 more minutes early until you’ve worked up to the time you want.
Bonus: you get to think on what you studied in the morning all day long.
Caution: you have to be self-disciplined enough to actually wake up earlier.
- Night owl: Stay up just a bit later. Brush your teeth, wash your face, study your Bible. Make it just another piece of your bedtime routine and you won’t miss studying again.
Bonus: some experts say that you remember those things best which you’ve studied just before sleeping.
Caution: if you’ve saved your Bible time to the end of the day and find that you are just too tired, then you’ve missed it.
- Verse of the day: Pick a verse for the day, write it on an index card and stick it in your pocket or your purse or wherever you’ll come across it frequently. Whenever you find yourself fingering the card, think on what the verse means and how you can apply it.
Bonus: This is a great way to commit verses to memory.
Caution: You’re at serious risk for studying things out of context. To avoid this, study the whole context then pick your verse for the day. Perhaps pick one section that you’ll concentrate on all week. On Sunday, study the whole context then pick your verses for each day of the week.
- Audio boost: There are many audio versions of the Bible available, some even for free (click here or here). Load it up and listen up. Some are downloadable and others can be streamed straight from your computer… all with a simple click.
Bonus: This is an audio learner’s dream way to study.
Caution: It’s very easy to be distracted and not actually be listening.
- Lunchtime feast: Carve out some time from your lunch for some feasting on the word. God’s word is often compared to food (Matthew 4:4, John 6:33, others) so it makes sense to use our time to nourish our spirits as we nourish our physical bodies. If you can eat and study, great. Even better if you can devote some of your time to focus on study and study only.
Bonus: The correlation between physical food and spiritual food is a great reminder of how important studying is.
Caution: Be careful to concentrate on what you’re reading, not just on what you’re eating. Multi-tasking often ends up as partial-tasking… each task only gets part of the attention it deserves.
- Memory game: Memorize a scripture to contemplate wherever you are. This trick is similar to writing a verse on a card (number 4 suggestion), but this is one you can use anywhere and don’t use a reminder for. As you’re doing the mundane things of life, think on scriptures that you have committed to memory and allow them to penetrate your heart.
Bonus: This is a very Biblical idea (Psalm 119:11).
Caution: The verses we tend to memorize are often ones we’ve gone over again and again. Be sure to pick some new verses to memorize.
- Sing and be happy: Many songs we sing (especially “devotional” songs) are based on scripture. As the Deer; Create in Me a Clean Heart; Unto Thee, Oh Lord; The Steadfast Love of the Lord; God is Love and many others are taken straight from the word of God. Pick one and get singin’
Bonus: Your heart gets happy when you sing and maybe those around you will join in.
Caution: Don’t get so caught up in the mechanics and beauty of singing that you forget to contemplate the meaning and application.
- Kill your TV: Turning off the television for a bit won’t kill you. Missing the latest episode of the latest show has never proved fatal. Weigh what’s more important: a bit of entertainment or growing closer to God?
Bonus: TV does not exercise your brain; study does.
Caution: Television is designed to keep you hooked in. One show easily turns into two and three. Study before the glowing box ever gets flipped on.
- Work before Play: It’s a general priciple taught by mommas the world over. While we don’t necessarily want to think of studying the word of God as work, we need to recognize that its place comes before entertainment. So before you engage in whatever it is you do for entertainment, get in a bit of study.
Bonus: When work comes before play, you become a more disciplined person in general.
Caution: It’s easy to make excuses for why our entertainment needs to happen now and put study off. Watch for this tendency and don’t let it claim your time with God.
- Home screen help: There are many great Bible sites out there that are just Bible. Not articles about the Bible, but just the Bible (Biblegateway.com is my favorite). Pick one you like and make it your home screen on your computer. Every time you start up your internet browser, there you’ll find a Bible just waiting to be read.
Bonus: Even if you don’t have time to read at the very moment you open the browser, you’ll have a reminder to make time soon.
Caution: Don’t let yourself become so accustomed to seeing the screen that you ignore it.
- Study sites galore: Sites that offer a chance to study this passage or that passage abound… both good and bad. Save the addresses of a few into your favorites and check back daily. As you read the articles, look up the scriptures and check the author(s)’ usage.
Bonus: You often have the opportunity to connect to other readers by reading others’ comments and by commenting yourself.
Caution: This kind of study alone is not good. It is, in a sense, pre-chewed food. Don’t let your entire spiritual diet consist of other people’s studies as explained in articles.
- Couples Study: You want to spend time with your spouse anyway (or you should want to), so why not use some of that time to study together?
Bonus: As you each grow closer to God, you grow closer to each other.
Caution: Remember… you’re studying, not playing footsy. ;o)
This is really what it all comes down to this: JUST DO IT. Decide you’re going to do it and just do it. Make the time. They say that we make time for what’s important and they’re right. Ask yourself if growing spiritually really is important to you. If it is, then just do it. Find the time. Build your schedule around what is truly, eternally important.
Ask yourself if growing spiritually really is important to you. If it is, then just do it. Find the time. Build your schedule around what is truly, eternally important. -Erynn Sprouse