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How Long/Often Should You Read the Bible?

A significant portion of knowing the Lord and walking out the Christian life is having a consistent time of reading the Bible and learning about God from His word.

After all, Jesus said a few profound things about God’s word and the effect it can have on our lives.

Namely, He stated that the Word of God is truth, that truth sanctifies us and sets us free, and that if we continue in it we will be His disciples.

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) 

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

When Christ says, “the truth shall make you free” he is referring to freedom from sin. We know this because when the Jews asked Him what He meant by being free, Christ responded by saying that they are slaves of sin.

“They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” (John 8:33-34)

So judging by the context we can see that as we continue in the Lord’s word we become free from sin and it becomes easier to walk with the Lord on a daily basis.

All of this to stay that it is extremely important to learn how to incorporate the word of God into our every life. [Related article: How to start reading the Bible (Beginners Guide)].

How long should you read the Bible every day?

The Bible never gives specific guidance on how long we should read the Bible every day, however, it does give us principles to follow. For instance, it tells us to meditate on the word of God day and night (Psalm 1:2). So, how we go about doing this is up to us. A good rule that has helped me is reading 20 minutes to an hour daily.

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Now since the Bible doesn’t exactly mention how long we should read every day, the rule I mentioned above is simply a recommendation.

The important thing to focus on is that we are planting the word of God in our hearts every day, and living by it by the grace of God.

Another thing to realize is that God and His word are one. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the Word and that God has revealed Himself through the Word that He has spoken.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” (John 1:18)

As we can see from these few verses, Jesus revealed to us who the Father is through His life and His word, and not only is He the revealer of who the Father is but He also is the Word itself.

So as we read the word every day we are looking into God Himself. We are seeing into His thoughts and desires about certain subjects. We get to know Him by His word as we would learn about a neighbor through their words. [Related article: Spending Time with God (Common Questions Answered)].

So, in short, for the Word of God to be effective in our lives and for it to positively impact our relationship with God we need to purposefully take time to read it every day.

And I’m not talking about only reading for five minutes, or reading a one-verse devotional. No relationship can grow off of five minutes of time. There needs to be quality time in God’s word, as well as a quantity amount of time.

So as we sit down to read the Bible, we should do it with an attitude to intimately know the Lord and to have His word come alive in us so that we can walk in holiness on a daily basis. [Related article: Spending Time Reading the Bible (Common Questions Answered)].

How often should you read the Bible every day?

As mentioned earlier, the Bible never specifically tells us how often we should read the word every day, it only tells us that we should meditate on it day and night (Psalm 1:2) and that it should dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16). To do this, we would need to read it at least once per day.

To meditate in the Word of God day and night simply means that we should have God’s words in our minds and in our actions throughout the day. In other words, it should be a dictator to how we conduct our lives on a daily basis.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalms 1:1-2)

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)

As you can see from these scriptures, the Bible makes it clear that we are to meditate on the scriptures day and night. Now since it doesn’t tell us how to do this, it depends on you and your schedule.

You can read the scriptures early in the morning, during a lunch break, during the kids nap, at night time, or all of the above.

It really makes no difference how often you read, so long as whatever method you are using is causing you to meditate on the word day and night because that is the only command that we have received from scripture.

Now since the Bible doesn’t mention how long or how often we should read the Bible, be careful not to think that reading only one chapter a day is “meditating day and night.” I can assure you it is not.

Nor is only reading books about the Bible, or listening to Godly podcasts. These are great but they do not take the place of the word of God in your life. Remember, when you take time to read the Bible you are encountering not only the word of God, but you are also encountering the God of the word.

Another thing to consider is that to meditate on the scriptures day and night is not only a matter of consistently reading the Bible, but it also has a lot to do with what you and I think about on a daily basis. (Related article: 10 Ways to Keep Your Mind Stayed on God).

It will be no benefit if we read the word for 30 minutes and then after we watch an hour of a garbage tv show that goes against everything we just read.

So, in short, to meditate on the word is to read consistently but also it requires us to watch what we consume on a daily basis so that it’s easier to control our thoughts throughout our day.

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