If the displays in all the stores didn’t warn you back in October, I’ll tell you now…the Christmas season is here! For some, this reality stirs feelings of nostalgia and anticipation. You can’t wait to jump right into your family’s tradition of riding around town looking for the best Christmas lights while sipping hot chocolate and eating chicken nuggets—or maybe that’s just my family.
For others of you, this friendly reminder about the approaching holiday fills your mind with thoughts of everything you’ll need to do to prepare your home for guests, the gifts you need to buy, and the regifting pile you’ll need to start. On top of all that, you’ll still have your normal rhythms and responsibilities to take care of as well. Whether you are excited about all of the activity or if it scares you a little, your schedule might soon be filled to the brim.
Friend, while you are preparing for the holiday season, don’t forget about your heart. Busyness, if we’re not careful, can keep us away from the most beneficial and life-giving practice we have—spending time in God’s Word. If you want to make consistency a priority for your time in the Word, consider these three tips:
1. Choose a time to read the Bible.
Often, we are tempted to believe that we don’t need to plan ahead. Surely, there will be some time somewhere in our day to read the Bible. We will get to it eventually, right? Maybe. But that’s not always the case. If you want to make it easier for yourself to spend time in God’s Word, then choose a time each day when you can commit to focusing on Scripture.
If your schedule is particularly busy or different than usual, pick a time when you know you will have a few moments to spend. This may mean reading during your lunch break or at night when your kids go to bed. You may even choose to listen to the Scriptures on an app while you’re driving. It’s also helpful to have a couple of these times in mind just in case you miss your originally scheduled time. If you miss the time you scheduled in the morning, it’s beneficial to know when you’ll have more time throughout the day.
2. Pick a Bible study.
Using a Bible study can help you stay consistent in your reading time. Bible studies have each day of the week marked out for you, telling you what to read with questions to help you reflect on what you are studying. There are a wide variety of studies to choose from that differ in length and subject.
Good News, Great Joy is a four-week topical study for Advent that will help you ready your heart and mind to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus! If you’re looking for a study that is longer and more broad, Behold is a four-volume study that will guide you through the entire New Testament. Having the structure of a Bible study is a great way to foster consistency in your time in the Bible.
3. Find accountability.
It’s much easier to accomplish a task when you’re doing it with someone else! You may have a friend or family member who is also seeking to stay consistent during the Christmas season. Invite them along with you. Choose a Bible study to do together and pick a time to meet up. If you can’t meet in person, schedule a time to discuss what you’re reading over the phone. Invite that person to ask you about your time in Scripture and be prepared to do the same for them. Be honest about how you’re doing and don’t be afraid to admit that you have missed a day or two. Offer encouragement to one another and pray for one another as you seek to study God’s Word consistently.
If you don’t have anyone who can take this journey with you, consider listening consistently to a podcast. The Daily Grace Co. hosts A Year in the Bible with reflections on selected passages from Scripture each day. You can take comfort in knowing that there are people just like you who are listening every day.
Consistency can be hard. This is especially true when your schedule is full of ugly sweater parties and white elephant gifts. But friend, take heart. There are ways you can set yourself up for success this holiday season. Schedule your time in the Word even if that time is unconventional—Bible reading in the school pick-up line is better than no Bible reading at all. Choose a Bible study that is a good length and subject matter for the season you’re in. Find a friend to do it with you. Don’t let being busy keep you from the blessing of spending time in God’s Word this Christmas season.
Tools to Help Study the Bible: