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Make a Plan to Study the Bible Every Day

Make your plan simple and achievable

Doug Britton, MFT

Part 1 of a 5-part series on “How to Study the Bible”

Part 2      Part 3      Part 4      Part 5


Have you ever had the experience of thinking “I should read the Bible more” or “I will read the Bible more,” but then not followed through? If so, you aren’t alone. This has happened to me from time-to-time over the years. It’s my prayer that this online Bible study will help you make a plan you can follow.

Make a plan that is both simple and achievable. Start small. Two minutes a day is a lot better than nothing! Over time, you can dig deeper.

Why should you read the Bible?

Before you make a plan, it can be helpful to understand why it’s important to read the Bible. Here are some reasons that help me:

  • God tells us to read (or listen to) the Bible.
  • The Bible helps us have a close relationship with Jesus.
  • The Bible teaches truth and corrects falsehoods.
  • The Bible shows us God’s love, power, and holiness.
  • The Bible tells us how to think, love, and live.
  • The Bible transforms us.
  • The Bible inspires, encourages, and challenges us.
  • The Bible convicts us of sin and warns us against rebelling.
  • The Bible gives us hope for eternal life with Jesus.
  • Spending time with God in his word is important. As God said to Joshua:

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8)

Make it personal

1. Which of the above reasons to read the Bible seem most important to you? Why?

2. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” What do you think that means? How does this apply to us today?

How often do you read the Bible?

Although we know how important the Bible is, many of us do not read it very often. See if any of the following statements sound familiar:

  • I’m too busy to read the Bible.
  • I don’t feel like reading it.
  • I don’t know where to start reading in the Bible.
  • I have good intentions, but then I forget to read.
  • I start to read, but then I get distracted and stop.
  • I already know what the Bible says, so there’s no need to read it.
  • I don’t remember what I read, so why read it?

If you relate to any of these, you aren’t alone. Most Christians have had similar thoughts at one time or another.

Make it personal

3. How many days a week do you read the Bible? What time of day do you read it? How long do you read it?

4. What has been your biggest obstacle to reading the Bible? How do you think you can overcome this?

Pair an old habit with a new habit of reading every day

Chances are good that you have daily habits, things you do regularly. Some examples might be getting dressed, going online, reading the newspaper, checking your email or social media, watching TV, texting a friend, combing your hair, or shaving.

One of my daily habits, something I love to do every morning, is to go online or read the newspaper to see what’s happening in the world. I’m a news fanatic.

A few years after becoming a Christian, I realized that I was putting the news before the Bible, so I used my news habit to strengthen my Bible habit. I committed myself not to look at the news until I read the Bible. Since I love to stay up-to-date, I have been reading the Bible nearly every day for years.

I wish I could say I always have a strong desire to read the Bible and never need a reminder like this. Sometimes I do, but other times I don’t. This system has kept me consistently in the Word, which has made a huge difference in my life.

Not everyone needs a system, of course. Some people automatically read the Bible. However, if you have trouble disciplining yourself to read the Bible, let me invite you to choose one of your daily habits and set up your own system. For example, you could decide you won’t put on your shoes until you read the Bible.

Make it personal

5. What is a current habit you could use to help get you into the habit of reading the Bible every day? Do you want to make a plan? If so, what will you do?

Decide when you will read the Bible

Instead of pairing Bible reading with an old habit, you may want to set up a consistent time of the day when you will read the Bible. There’s no rule, but many people find that reading the Bible every morning helps them get off to a good start for the day. Others read while eating lunch, after work, or after dinner.

Planning ahead helps.

The upright give thought to their ways. (Proverbs 21:29)

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. (Proverbs 24:3-4)

Make it personal

6. When will you read the Bible?

Decide where you will read the Bible

You may find it helpful to develop the habit of reading the Bible in the same place every day. For example, you could read at the kitchen table, in the living room, or in your bedroom.

Make it personal

7. Where will you read or listen to the Bible?

Decide how long you will read the Bible

Spending even a few minutes reading (or listening to) the Bible is much better than not reading it at all. Get started now, even if it’s a very short time. Of course, it would be better to read longer. But the key is to get started. Once you start, you can add more time.

Make it personal

8. How long will you read (or listen)?

Start with the New Testament

It’s a good idea to start by reading the New Testament. The Gospel of John is a great place to begin. After you start a book of the Bible, such as John or Matthew, keep reading it daily until you finish it.

After you read the New Testament, be sure to also read the Old Testament, perhaps starting in Proverbs. One pattern I like is to alternate, first reading one or more books in the New Testament, then one or more in the Old Testament.

Once you have read the whole Bible, don’ stop. Continue to read it every day.

Make it personal

9. Describe how you read the Bible, whether it is a systematic plan, just turning to a random page and reading, or something else.

10. What type of reading plan will you follow in the future?

Remind yourself to read the Bible

Starting a new habit can be hard, so it can be helpful to set up a way to remind yourself to read. This could be a sticky note you put on an empty coffee cup before you go to bed, a reminder built into your smartphone or computer, or a note you stick into your shoes when you take them off.

Make it personal

11. How will you remind yourself to read the Bible?

Use a translation you understand

There are lots of translations of the Bible. Find one that you can understand. Take a look at the New International Version and the New King James Version. If these seem too difficult, try a paraphrased version such as the Living Bible or the New Living Translation. The Message is another easy-to-read choice.

Join a Bible study with other believers

It can be exciting, inspiring, and instructive to dig into the word with others. Consider joining a small group Bible study or Sunday school class that is going through the Bible verse-by-verse or chapter-by-chapter.

Memory verse

The upright give thought to their ways. (Proverbs 21:29)

Personal application

1. How many days a week, and how many minutes a day, do you spend reading the Bible?

2. What has been your greatest obstacle to reading the Bible?

3. Think of one verse that tells you to meditate on what the Bible says.

4. What are three of your daily habits?

5. What could you do to “pair” one of these habits with reading the Bible?

6. How many minutes a day do you want to read the Bible? Is this realistic? Why or why not?

7. How could you remind yourself to read the Bible?

8. What group of people would you like to get together with to study the Bible? What plans will you make to get this going?

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About Doug Britton, MFT

Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life. (Visit www.dougbrittonbooks.com.)

Copyright © 2020 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.) See reprint policy.

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