Tips for developing a daily Bible reading plan


I did a survey of people who say that they spend time reading in the Bible everyday. I asked “For people who read the Bible everyday, curious if it’s ever a challenge?
I gave two possible answers
  1. There are days where I definitely have to push myself.
  2. Nope, never ever a challenge, never fight being lazy about it. Always love it.
Of the 134 people who responded, 133 chose option one.
Spending time in the Bible everyday is hard.
It’s a challenging book to read. It’s highly self-referential. We’re reading it in different cultures separated by thousands of years of history. We often don’t understand the significance of events and teachings. Some things can seem cryptic.
It can be easy to get discouraged.
It can be easy to put it off.
But in the Christian life, it is so important to spend time in the Bible every single day.
If this is something that you’ve tried and failed at doing, here are some tips on developing a daily devotional life.
  1. Figure out a reading plan
There are lots of great Bible reading plans. If you need any suggestions, Bible Gateway has a list.
What’s the best plan?
It’s the one that has you in the Bible everyday.
Different plans might work for different people. One popular plan has four readings a day from four different books. That’s not my personal favorite but it works well for many others.
Some plans go through the Bible chronologically. Some plans go through the Bible in its canonical order.
Find a ;lan that has you going through the whole Bible.
  1. Find a time of day that works best for you. 
For  me, this has changed at different times of my life. It used to be in the evening. Lately, I like to do some reading in the Bible as soon as I wake up, before my feet even touch the ground.
Fifteen minutes a day, and you can read through the whole Bible in a year.
  1. If you miss a day, don’t let that be a reason to derail the entire plan. 
It happens.
  1. Some days will be easier than others. 
Just like the result of my survey. Even for people who read from the Bible everyday, there are definitely times where you do it more because you feel like it’s what you should do than it being what you want to do on that day.
If you’re holding out for a time when it’ll always be easy, and you’ll always be in the mood to read, that day will never come.
Don’t make Bible reading about doing it only when you feel like it. I’m not knocking the Bible. As sinful people, we struggle.
  1. Some days are more enriching than others. 
If you workout with any frequency, you know that not all workouts are equally good. Somedays, it’s an amazing workout.
Other days, you went to the gym, you did your program, but it just didn’t feel as productive.
But it’s still worth working out. You might not always see huge gains. But working out over time produces results.
The Bible is unlike any other book. The book of Hebrews says: “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
Matthew 24:35 says: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Somedays, you can read a passage in the Bible, and it almost seems like it was put there just for your situation and what you’re facing.
There can be other times where you read, and think “I don’t understand what’s going on at all.”
  1. Get a good study Bible. 
A study Bible can help to make some connections and point out some things about the background and history of a verse or passage that you wouldn’t have noticed.
My favorites are the ESV Study Bible and the New Bible Commentary.
  1. Start today! 
Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. It’s the word of God. It is the story of God’s work in a sinful world. It tells us God’s gospel. It points us to moral truths which God desires for us to live by.
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:28).
I’d love to hear other things you’ve found helpful. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.