Spending Time Reading the Bible (Common Questions Answered)


Boy reading Bible

How long should we read the Bible?

The scriptures never specify how long we should read the Bible. However, the scriptures do tell us to have the Word of Christ dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16). To do this, I recommend we should read the Bible every day for at least 20 minutes to an hour.

Of course, the Bible never gives a set amount of time we should read it, nor should this recommendation become a law to abide by. This is simply a recommendation.

We exhorted by scripture to love the Word of God, to meditate in it day and night, and to obey what it says (Psalms 1:2, Psalms 119). This will all be impossible to do if we only read one or two verses a day. Instead, we should turn off all the distractions around us (when we are able) and learn to find joy in studying God’s Word.

Not only should we have a set time every day that we devote to studying God’s Word, but we should also be careful what we allow our minds to think on throughout the day.

One of the main reasons we are encouraged to read the Bible is so that we can renew our minds and be more like Jesus in our day-to-day walk. But if we read the Bible for thirty minutes a day and then we spend an hour to two hours watching garbage on television, are we really renewing our minds? Which one do you think has the stronger influence on our thought life?

So all of us should be careful to ensure that we use the Word of God to transform us and that we use it to throw out anything that is contrary to its truth. If we fail to do this, our lives will not look like Christ.

How often should we read the Bible?

We should at least read the Bible every single day. As mentioned earlier, we are to meditate in God’s Word day and night, which means we are to have God’s Word in our minds and actions throughout the day.

“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 passages the Bible commands us to meditate in the scriptures on a constant basis. However, it never tells us how we should go about doing this, so it completely depends on you and your schedule.

If it’s more convenient for you to read the Bible multiple times per day and you notice that it is more beneficial for you, then that’s perfect. If you are an early riser and you want to read the Bible for an hour before your day starts, then that’s good too.

It really doesn’t matter how often you read the Bible, what does matter, however, is whatever method you decide to use is causing you to meditate in the scriptures day and night.

And to meditate in the scriptures day and night requires more than reading the Bible on a consistent basis. Of course, this is the first step but it certainly isn’t the last. We also need to learn to control our thoughts and the best way to accomplish this is by controlling what we consume.

You see, even if we read the Bible for 2 hours every day but we fill our minds with junk on T.V, or trash music, for all the other waking hours, will we really be meditating on the scriptures day and night?

Of course not. So, to meditate in the Word requires an inner life of reading the Bible consistently and it requires an outer life of controlling our thoughts.

Is reading the Bible spending time with God?

Reading the Bible is absolutely a form of spending time with God. The Bible says in John chapter 1 that God and His Word are one and that this same Word became flesh and dwelt among us (referring to Jesus). In other words, when we spend time in God’s Word we are spending time with God.

Think of it this way, the primary way we can know someone is through their words. Based on what they speak we can see their thoughts on a subject, their desires, and their likes and dislikes. The more we communicate with someone the more we can get to know them through their words.

It is the same way with God. Now of course, in this fallen world people can say one thing and then do another because people and their word are separate. But this is not how God is. The Bible says that He exalts His Word above all of His name (Psalms 138:2) and all of creation is being upheld by the integrity of His Word (Hebrews 1:1-3).

When we look into the Bible we are looking into the heart of God. We are seeing who God really is and what He has spoken about certain subjects, and we can trust what He says because we know He cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18).

So, in short, reading the Bible is one way we spend time with God. However, I must say that just reading the Bible and never communing with God is not okay.

Doing this would be similar to your spouse writing you a birthday or Christmas card and as you read it in front of them you never address them. That would be weird and your spouse would be offended!

So, as we read the Bible we should be praying and talking to God. We should be asking Him to open our eyes to understand and live out more of His Word, and thanking Him for His awesome promises and for the wonderful gifts that He has given us.

Our time in His Word should be a time of meeting with God, hearing His voice through the scriptures, and communicating our hearts to Him as we read. Never let your time in the Bible be only about gathering information. Instead, make it a platform that births intimacy between you and the Father. (Related article: Spending Time with God (Common Questions Answered)

How should we read the Bible?

We should read the Bible with the motive of getting to know God and not with the motive of gathering information. Before, during, and after we read we should be communing with God through prayer.

Just merely grazing through the words fills your brain with information, but it does very little to bring you closer to Jesus.

Some practical tips that I have learned when it comes to reading the Bible are to just pick a plan and then stick to it. (I personally like to read three chapters of the New Covenant and three chapters of the Old Covenant every day).

After you have your plan, make it a daily habit where you spend a certain amount of time reading. Schedule when you’re going to have your time reading the Bible. Is it going to be in the morning? Evening? Lunch break? Whatever it is, be sure it is a fairly consistent time.

Now when you go to sit down to read remember this is not a time to gather information, rather this is a time to develop a personal relationship with God. So before you read, begin by praying. Communicate your heart to God, thank Him for being your friend, and for giving you His Word to learn from Him, spend time in this place for a little while to set your eyes on Jesus.

After you spent some time in prayer, begin reading. As your read, ask God questions and thank Him for certain truths and promises that you may discover. It also is a great idea to try to envision what you are reading as if it’s happening right in front of you. See the Bible as a reality, not just a history book.

For example, if you’re reading a passage about Jesus healing a multitude of people, envision what it would be like to be one of His disciples seeing crowds of people being healed instantly. Or if you’re reading one of the epistles from the apostle Paul, envision yourself as the Church he is writing to.

Finally, after you finished reading end with some prayer. Thank Him for the new revelation you received, ask Him to reveal more to you, etc. I have personally found that when I read the Bible in this way I feel as though I am reading with the Spirit of God and I sense His guidance in a much stronger way. (Related article: How to Start Reading the Bible (Beginners Guide).

Now I know this way of praying while reading the scriptures can be time-consuming and can even be difficult to do in front of people, if not impossible. Therefore, keep in mind this is just one way to read the Bible in your alone time with God. This is not meant to be a law.

The most important thing to remember is to read the scriptures with the desire to know God more and to be aware of Him as you read.

What happens when we read the Bible every day?

When we read the Bible every day our minds begin to get renewed. We begin seeing things through God’s perspective and not our own. In addition to this, we also discover the will of God and the things that please Him.

“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)

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

These passages reveal that when we meditate in the scriptures day and night we will naturally walk out the scriptures. The reason being is meditation in God’s Word is having our mind fixed on God’s Word, and we can only act on what we think and believe.

That is why the only way to renew our minds is to control our thoughts so that they are aligned with the truths of the Word of God. Jesus was referring to this when He said, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

In other words, Jesus is saying that God sanctifies us (makes us holy) by His Word. Another scripture that mentions something similar is James 1:21.

“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

This scripture was written to believers not unbelievers, so James is not telling the people He is writing to get saved. Instead, He is exhorting them to use the Word of God to change the way they think and feel. (Related article: 3 Simple Tips on How to Renew your Mind).

You see, the soul is the mind, will, emotions, and personality. The soul and the spirit are not the same things. The Bible says we are made up of three parts “spirit, soul, and body” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

When we put faith in Jesus our spirit (inner man) gets saved. When Jesus returns that is when our bodies will become brand new. However, our soul needs to be renewed day by day, until Christ returns. And we do this by living in a relationship with God through prayer, reading the Word, and fasting.

I hope this article assisted you in your walk with the Lord. If you enjoyed this article, please consider giving a donation of any amount by going to theĀ support page. The support I receive from you enables The Biblical Foundation to reach more people with the teachings of the Word of God.

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