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9 Ways to read the Bible in a more immersive way
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When making time for scripture is difficult, try harder.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sometimes life gets busy and suddenly it's time for bed; that's when we realize we didn't spend any time with God or immersed in His Word all day.
Sometimes it isn't about being busy, it's about being unable to concentrate, so what can we do to help make our Bible reading a little easier?
Christian Headlines offered nine wonderful ways to help us stay on track and read the Bible without distraction:
Sometimes reading the Bible is difficult because we just don't feel like reading the Bible.
Remember, reading scripture is more than just reading a book. it's spending time with God, understanding what he wants for our lives and, oftentimes, offers important life lessons relevant to our individual needs.
The next time you consider reading your Bible, remember you'll also be making time for God - and who doesn't want time with the Lord?
Start with 10 Minutes
If you aren't already in the habit of reading the Bible, just start small.
Ten minutes is just long enough to read important passages of the Bible and gain a level of understanding that helps us connect with the Lord in meaningful ways.
It is also just short enough to be of little consequence to other priorities in our lives, so why not start small and build up?
Many forget, or simply don't know about this important step.
The Bible was never meant to be understood after a quick read-through. There are several deep messages found within the pages of the Bible but sometimes we aren't in the right state of mind to fully understand those messages.
That's where prayer comes in. Before we even open the Holy Book, take a moment to pray for understanding and discernment. Pray that you recognize the areas in your life that apply to certain scriptures and ask God to reveal the mysteries hidden within the pages.
Don't forget to pray after you read as well, this time for thanks and for help to apply your new knowledge to your life.
It sounds counterproductive but really, it isn't.
A lot of people set unrealistic goals for themselves and lose enthusiasm quickly. Rather than pressuring yourself to read the entire Bible in a year, plan to read a certain number of verses each day.
By quickly reading through any book, you will gain a general understanding but miss the finer details and meanings found with time and reflection.
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When you pull out your Bible, remember it's about what you get from the scriptures, not how many you can read in a day.
Make it a Habit
A habit is generally formed after doing the same activity every day for about 90 days, so start that clock!
Tell yourself you will read the Bible from 7:30-7:40 every night before you start getting ready for bed or evening activities.
Create a scripture reading plan or simply open a book and plan to read from it each night. Soon, these conscious decisions will turn into habits and you will no longer face the difficulties you did before.
Pick a Takeaway
The point of reading the Bible is to learn a lesson.
Every time you read, choose a moral or lesson to ponder throughout the day. How can you live what you've learned, or stop bad habits based on the section you read?
Consider keeping a journal to record the lessons you've learned each day and review at the conclusion of every week. Keep it up and soon you'll be walking the path God always wanted you to choose.
If you really just can't handle reading, consider an audio version of the Bible.
Suddenly you have time to listen to the scriptures on your way to and from work, between meetings at work, during your lunch break, when the kids are down for their naps, as you sit in the tub or even right before bed.
Take advantage of technology and listen to God's Word whenever you get the chance!
When you get creative, even the most mundane task can feel fun. While reading the Bible can be exciting, sometimes our minds just aren't into it.
Try using colored pens or pencils to underline verses that stand out to you, record them in a journal with wide margins or double-space so you have room for personal notes.
Sometimes it can be a good idea to simply read a single parable and see how it works within your life. Maybe consider keeping a diary to record how certain verses make you feel. This interactivity helps keep things exciting and offers an opportunity for growth.
Play with Versions
There are many translations of the Bible and some are written in a way that new believers can better understand. Those who aren't familiar with the Word can be easily lost in the older use of language and confusing or new words.
Try a devotional Bible for teens if you find yourself getting lost in the language. There is no shame in trying to understand scripture.
Don't Give Up!
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is remember never to throw in the towel!
Reading the Bible every single day may prove to be more difficult than you originally believed it would be, but that doesn't mean you should give up without a fight.
When you find yourself struggling, think back to the times you read something truly inspiring. Consider what you've done to better your life based on what you've read and remember: Even if you skip a day here and there, you can always start right back up the very next day!
God is waiting to tell you something important. Don't let laziness or boredom come between you and the destiny and gifts He has waiting for you!
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