What?! A Read Along Tuesday post on a Tuesday? No lame Wednesday or Thursday edition? I’m actually getting it together!!
Nope not really.
I was going to skip again like I did last week because I’m shamefully behind (and no I’m not telling you how far behind!) and didn’t feel like pretending I knew what just happened in the last several days (K, I guess that gives you a rough idea of how far behind I am! XD). But then I thought, “Elyssa, why do you have to pretend? You’re not the only person who has slacked off while reading the Bible in a year! It’s a hard challenge, especially when you get to books like Leviticus where there aren’t anymore stories…” Okay, starting to see where I’m struggling? Leviticus is NOT a particularly exciting read like Genesis and Exodus were. So you can imagine my amazement when I realized that, alas, I am now supposed to be in Numbers! Whaaa? And now, tomorrow, I’m starting Deuteronomy? Oi! Yeah, something has definitely got to change! The Enemy knows I’m struggling with some of these ‘less intriguing’ passages and thinks that I’m going to just drop the ball here.
Yeeeeeah, no. Not happening! I’ve come to a bump in the road, not the end of the line.
Soooooooo, since I have no commentary today, (I’m going to have to do special Read Along editions for Leviticus and Numbers!) I thought I’d put together a short list of tips for reading the Bible in a year!
This is huge. If you’re reading the Bible simply for academic or literary purposes, that’s great! You’re reading the best authority on literature and philosophy out there! (And of course, as a Christian, I must say that hope you feel God tugging on your heart and you respond to Him!) If you are reading the Bible to grow spiritually then you know that Satan does have it in for you. Big time. When God’s people read His word, that deepens our connection with our Heavenly Father and makes us stronger Christians and brighter lights in a dark world and Satan can’t stand that. So it’s imperative that you pray for the Holy Spirit to guide your heart and your thoughts as you read the Bible.
If you come to this with the wrong mindset, you’ve already shot yourself in the foot. Rmember, you’re not reading the Bible to pass the time. As a Christian, you’re reading the Bible to get to know the Lord better and draw closer to Him. It’s a date you set with Him everyday to deepen the most important relationship of your life. You think of it that way, and you’ll look forward to reading!
3. Do Not Play Catch Up!
Playing catch up is a sure fire way NOT to succeed. If you miss a day, keep going. You can go back when you have more time later. JUST READ TODAY’S ASSIGNMENT. Don’t try and go back and read what you missed before finishing what you’re supposed to read that day because, unless you have a 2-hour train commute to and from work, you’ll never make it. (And if you do commute 4 hours everyday to work, my heart goes out to you!)
4. Take Notes
This is called active reading. The more you engage in what you’re reading, the more you’ll absorb and the more you’ll remember. Jot down your thoughts, favorite verses, etc. You can also write down questions to ask your pastor or Bible teacher later!
I hesitate to include this because I don’t want it to become a crutch. If you read my post, Audio vs. Hard Copy: How Do You Read?, you know that, while I love audiobooks, I’m more apt to regard listening as a different experience than reading print. And I think this is especially the case with the Bible. Okay, having said that, I think audio versions of the Bible are great (especially for those 2-hour commutes!). My mom plays the Bible on CD in her car all the time and it’s a wonderful thing. I’m probably going to listen to the chapters I need to catch up on. The reason why I hesitate is because it’s so easy to get distracted. However, it’s a useful resource and it’s better than not catching up at all!
6. Set Up a Reward System
We’re human and we like goodies after we’ve completed a difficult task. So pick some milestones and reward yourself at the completion of each! Here’s a list of the categories found in the Bible:
The Pentateuch (Genesis – Deuteronomy)
History (Joshua – Esther)
Poetry/Wisdom (Job – Song of Solomon)
Major Prophets (Isaiah – Daniel)
Minor Prophets (Hosea – Malachi)
Gospels (Matthew – John)
Letters of Paul (Romans – Philemon)
General Letters (Hebrews – Jude)
Okie dokie! There you have it! Well we’ve got some difficult months ahead since I’m sure this is only the first of many times we’ll feel like quitting the whole thing! But God is good and I know He’ll be there to pick us up and take our hands and continue the journey! Just don’t quit whatever you do!!
Y’all have a blessed Tuesday =)