Need More Energy? Try this for Just 10 Minutes
(Part 2 of 2)
“The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” Norman Vincent Peale
10 second summary: Find a daily bible reading plan and stick with it. Start today –choose one below if you don’t already have one you like. Don’t worry about how much or how little you read each day—focus on quality time, not quantity. Write down at least one verse or thing that stands out as you read. Re-read what you wrote to yourself out loud, and pray for God’s wisdom and strength to incorporate what you learned into your daily life.
If you need more energy try this for 10 minutes…
Yesterday we talked about the great reasons WHY we should read our bible daily, for about 10 minutes per day. We reminded ourselves that diving into God’s word each day gives us energy, strength, and wisdom to get through everything that will come our way. And let’s face it ladies, we all know by now how life can throw us curve balls and we need all the help we can get! Let’s commit to reading our bible daily so God can speak to us and give us what we need to succeed.
OK, so how do we do that? A few simple tips…
1. Make a plan and stick with it
There’s nothing more stressful, to me anyway, than knowing I should read my bible but not being sure where to start. Should I read from beginning to end of the book? Read both the old and the new testaments daily? I’ve already read through the whole thing once so what now? The important thing is to have a structured reading plan each day so you can go through God’s word understanding the context of the verses before and after what you’re reading. Don’t rely on the “dip and skip” method where you randomly open your bible and start reading! It just doesn’t work. My pastor tells a funny story about someone reading the bible that way and landing on verses like “Judas hanged himself” and “go you and do likewise.” Not helpful or applicable—let’s not connect dots that weren’t meant to be connected! Find and stick with a simple devotional plan like:
Just getting’ started—Never read the bible all the way through? Congrats you’re in for a treat! Start at the beginning of the New Testament and read from beginning to end. You’ll come back to the rest later.
Been around the block—Read the whole bible at least once, and/or at least gotten through the New Testament? Great, now let’s start to build and grow by following a daily bible reading plan. Personally I love the ones attached to bible reading apps in my phone, like Bible +1’s Bible in a Year plan. I also like their Robert Roberts plan, and recommend that to get started, as it has some Old Testament and New Testament verses each day. You can also get a Bible in a Year bible to read, Google “bible reading plans” on the Internet, etc. But don’t get stuck in “analysis paralysis…” Pick one and start today!
Growing readers—Been doin’ this a bit? Good, let’s keep growing! A few great tips from The Christian Life and Service Seminars, Class 201 I recently took at Carefree Church to get a “grasp” on bible reading:
1. Hear God’s word through church sermons and/or listening to audio versions when you drive or around the house.
2. Read God’s word daily.
3. Study God’s word—that’s more than just reading! Read then stop to think about how it applies to you. What are you learning? What’s the theme overall? How does it apply to your life?
4. Memorize God’s word. Write it down, go over it and over it, and God will bring it to mind when you need it. Pick a verse to post on a bathroom mirror, refrigerator, etc. and read it constantly. (New tip I learned—say the reference portion to yourself before and after the verse to help remember that part. Like, “Psalm 119:11. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. Psalm 119:11” (NASB)
5. Meditate on God’s word—this is a great one, and included lots of tips about reading a verse, memorizing it, then looking at it from various angles to see how it can apply. Also “pray” it, look for promises in it, and keep dwelling on it. Instead of worrying about things, find verses that apply and focus on those instead!
6. Apply God’s word. It’s great to know what to do but if we don’t follow God’s teachings what good does it do us or anyone else? Let’s ask God to help us apply what He teaches us through His word.
A great visual aid that went along with these 6 reading tips was tracing our hand on a piece of paper. Label each finger with one of the first 5 key words, then write Apply on the palm of the hand. This visual reminds us that God helps us get a true grasp and hold onto His word when we hear, read, study, memorize, meditate, and apply it to our lives. Good stuff!
2. Time out
It’s helpful to choose a special daily time and place to read our bibles, to build this into a solid habit. For me, I like to read while I eat my breakfast, keeping a pen and paper handy to write down verses that stand out to me, things I learn, and things I want to remember. I like to sit on my family room couch with my favorite owl-shaped pillow, and a cup of coffee too. Whenever possible, I have my “quiet time” in the morning before my family wakes up so I’m not distracted by anything or anyone. If they wake up (or I wake up late) that’s OK too, I just revise a bit (aka prepare to be interrupted and pray for patience!). Find a time and place that works for you, because as the 201 class reminded me, the best time for us to have our “quite time” is when we’re at our best!
So revise your hours accordingly if you’re a night owl…though you might give the morning ritual a try, as there’s nothing like starting your day with the right focus through reading God’s word.
3. Start small
One of my personal challenges with daily quiet times is that, as a perfectionist, I once thought I had to read the entire daily reading plan, without exception. But once I gave myself permission to slow down and just read even a small part, I realized the quality of my reading increased, and my stress decreased. So just start small—you can always pick up where you left off and start tomorrow! If one of the first few verses you read speaks to you, stop there and write them down, pray, etc. You can always pick up where you left off tomorrow. Enjoy the process.
I know I keep referencing The Christian Life and Service Seminars, Class 201 stuff but it truly is great! So courtesy of that class, here are a few overall success tips about reading your bible that I love:
- Start with 15 minutes per day and let it grow (includes both your bible reading and prayer time).
- Don’t watch the clock!
- Emphasize quality, not quantity!
- Start with the right attitudes—reverence (Psalm 46:10), expectancy (Psalm 119:18), and willingness to obey (Matthew 6:33).
Just 5 more minutes
And to wrap things up, their simple “15 Minutes with God” plan, which I’m currently following and loving:
- Relax (1 minute). Be still, quiet, and slow down. Take a few deep breaths and wait on God.
- Read (4 minutes). Begin where you left off the day before, read until you think God has told you something then stop and think about it.
- Reflect (4 minutes). Meditate on God’s word by thinking about what you’ve read and what the passage means in your life. Work on memorizing verses that speak to you in a special way.
- Record what God said (2 minutes). Write down how what you’ve learned can apply to your life and how you can put it into action. “Write down a personal application statement that is practical, possible, and measureable.”
- Request (4 minutes). Spend time in prayer talking with God about what He has shown you and making requests from your personal prayer needs/list.
Grow, enjoy, energize
I hope this helps, and that you enjoy these tips for reading God’s word and applying it to your life as much as I have. I’m grateful for the wisdom of other Christians who provide tips to help me grow in my faith. And I’m grateful for a loving God who always gives energy, strength, and peace to His children as we read His word and ask for His help and presence in our lives.
What tips can you share that make your bible reading times memorable? Please leave a comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you.
And if you’re struggling or need prayer, I’d love to hear that too. All the best, make sure you take 10 to read your bible today so the God of the universe who loves you so much can help you live your best possible life!!,