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How to Keep a Dogged Devotion to Bible Reading

Let’s admit it. Sometimes reading the Bible can seem, well—can I say it?—boring. Especially if you’re reading through a program and you get to Leviticus. How can a book that has changed the lives of billions ever seem boring?

Keep a dogged devotion to Bible reading.

(Photo: By William Hoiles from Basking Ridge, NJ. CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Some reasons Bible reading seems boring could be:

  1. The benefits of Bible reading don’t feel immediate.
  2. The Bible was written a long time ago.
  3. It takes work to understand parts of God’s Word.
  4. My busy life leaves little time for Bible reading.

Whatever the reason Bible reading is tough, the problem is still the same: How can we keep a dogged devotion for the most un-boring book in the world?

Keeping a Dogged Devotion to Bible Reading

Our two dogs used get to breakfast from one of our daughters, and later they would receive supper from the other daughter. They always know which daughter came with which meal because they would wait outside the appropriate bedroom door.

Most days, they waited a LONG time.

Waiting at the door for food.

(Photo: Our dogs waiting at the appropriate door for breakfast.)

The dogs’ devotion to food reminds me of a proverb where wisdom offers a simple invitation:

Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. —Proverbs 8:34–35

After reading these verses, the picture of my dogs changes from comical to convicting.

How do we benefit from Bible reading? By “watching daily at [God’s] doors, waiting at [His] doorway.” Literally, the Hebrew reads “yom, yom”—or “day by day.” It takes a daily commitment to listen, to watch, and to wait in the Word of God in order to gain wisdom.

Don’t misunderstand. By “daily” I don’t mean a legalistic box to check. (Even the Pharisees did that.) No, I mean a daily, dogged devotion that listens to, watches for, and waits upon God’s wisdom as found in the Bible. Bible reading gives us that benefit.

Bible Reading Tools

In addition to reminding ourselves the benefits of regular Bible reading, it helps to be aware of good tools that help us keep our commitment to read.

Here are 4 tools I have found helpful:

  1. YouVersion—This is a free app that allows you to listen to the Bible on your smart phone or computer. With many translations and Bible reading plans available, this is a great way to make good use of your time as you listen on the commute (like I do), at the gym, or on the go.
  2. Bible Reading Plans—From published daily Bibles like the One Year Bible, to free Bible reading plans you can download, there are many options. I have used and enjoy the One Year Bible, the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan (download it here). You can also read online for free.  The best plan is the one you’ll use. Just choose one.
  3. Modern Bible Translations—Sometimes the Bible seems boring because we’re reading a translation that uses archaic words. A good, modern translation with study notes might help—like the Ryrie Study Bible, New American Standard (my choice), the NIV Study Bible (my wife’s favorite), or the NET Bible (New English Translation).
  4. Stop signs—They can help you ponder Scripture. Here’s how.

In our Bible reading, as with any discipline, we need encouragement at times to keep on with what we know we need—even if we don’t feel like we need it.

Tell me what you think: What helps keep the Bible from being boring to you? To leave a comment, just click here.

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