I’m a big fan of daily Bible reading routines. Like most people, it usually helps me to have a set time of day, with some sort of Bible reading goal to work towards. If having a daily Bible reading routine helps you, you should do it. But better Bible study is not necessarily tethered to having a daily bible reading routine. If we’re not careful, daily Bible reading routines can become, well, routine. It can sometimes become just one of those things on our spiritual checklist. Again, that doesn’t make daily Bible reading routines bad. Boring “checklist” Bible reading is still better than going weeks and months on end without reading our Bibles. But having a daily Bible reading routine doesn’t guarantee that we’re having better Bible study.
Bible study takes more time, effort, and concentration than reading. Good Bible study can be tiring. I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot of days when I just don’t have the time or energy to do deep Bible study. But that shouldn’t discourage us. Some of the most knowledgeable Bible students I know don’t do deep Bible study every single day.
The point isn’t that daily Bible reading isn’t good. It is. The point is, we need to be intentional about taking the time to actually think about what we’re reading and to develop clarity about our questions. Ultimately the goal of Bible study is to comprehend and remember Scripture better, not just to have a daily routine for the sake of a routine.
One easy step to improve our Bible study would be to take time throughout the day to think about what we read. Maybe do this while driving down the road, or while mowing grass, or while putting away the dishes. Retrieve some thought from you Bible reading, and meditate on it. Summarize the text to yourself. Think about why it is important. Look for weaknesses your own understanding of the text. Think about questions that you feel like you need to study in more depth. You may be surprised to find just how much it will help you to process text in more meaningful ways.