I don’t know about you, but I think reading the Bible can be boring.
Don’t act so shocked! I can’t be the only one who does their “devotions” (Christianese for reading the Bible) off and on. I realized recently that it’s like a relationship… If you and your best friend only did the same thing every single night, wouldn’t you get bored after a while?
We forget that reading the Bible is not supposed to be a religious exercise, but part of our relationship with God. So when we read our one chapter a day, every day, it makes sense that we would become tired of it. We need to shake things up!
I am in no way claiming to be an expert in this, but in the last few months I have been experiencing a lot of freedom and excitement when it comes to reading the Bible and spending time with Jesus! I want to share my findings with you…
Stop trying to read the whole Bible in a year.
I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to do this. It never works. For some people it does, but don’t think you have to be one of them.
Become Spontaneous and Do Things Differently
Why do we have this idea that in order to have a “proper” devotional time, we need to have sat for at least half an hour and read as many chapters as we can? Quality, not quantity!
The BEST time I have ever spent with God was last spring sometime. I was driving one evening when I realized the northern lights were especially bright. So I stopped and ended up sitting on the trunk of my car singing and crying and talking to God for more than an hour.
Sometimes I listen to a podcast while I go for a walk. Sometimes I read a good book that encourages me to think about God in new ways. Sometimes I watch a sermon. I am intentionally trying to do it different every day, and this has been helping so much!
Make your time more about hearing from God and less about checking something off your to-do list
I am super guilty of this… I sit down with x amount of time before I need to go to work, so I quickly crack open the Bible and read as fast as I can.
Just last week it occurred to me that I was missing the point, so for the next half hour I sat in silence and asked God to speak to me, and the stuff that He told me was AMAZING. Again, the other day I started reading the Bible and I suddenly felt strongly that He wanted me to call a friend of mine and talk through some stuff that had come between us… My “devo” time consisted of a really encouraging conversation making things right.
Not everyone likes to write in their Bible, but I DO. I have come up with a coloring system, and I highlight certain things with pencil crayons. Pink is for sin, red is for God’s commands, etc. I also have symbols that I draw to help me later on find passages on different topics.
Go meet Jesus in Mcdonalds
I try to spend time with Jesus in different locations to help shake it up. In the summer I like to sit on the train bridge close to my house. Now during winter, I go once a week to a local coffee shop to have a cup of tea with Jesus, and one time I had a funny experience in McDonalds…
I was just sitting, minding my own business. Suddenly this 20-something dude sits down at the next table and asks me what I’m reading.
“My Bible,” I smile a small smile, and turn back. He is creepyish.
“Aw, cool! I’ve read the Bible before. It’s like an action book!”
I kid you not, 30 seconds later this nicer looking old man with a huge hipster beard steps up to me and says “Hey, I just wanted you to know that you have a REALLY nice smile. And you’re reading the Bible too! Cool!” He came back a second time to tell me the SAME thing.
Not every devo time is filled with such interesting experiences, but often they are!