Deepening Bible Reading in 2021

Dear Sister,

Do you remember the old hymn, “I Need Thee Every Hour?” As someone who lives in chronic pain and has multiple health struggles, I took it upon myself to lovingly re-titled that hymn to “I Need Thee Every Five Mintues!” I thank God that He has drawn my heart closer to His because of my circumstances. When Jesus becomes our everything, we desire His presence to saturate every moment of our day.

I pray “From Weary To Worship” will become a source of encouragement to your heart. I hope that one day I will be able to talk with you in person. But if you forget everything that I ever say, that is okay. My deepest prayer for you is that you will draw nearer to Jesus and that you will hide all He says in your heart.

So to start off 2021, I would like to share five ways I have learned to fill my weary heart with Scripture. Maybe one or two of these ideas will help get your New Year off on the right track, filling your days and your heart with Scripture.

  • Carrying Scripture in pocket or purse
  • Listening to Scripture while driving
  • Reading Bible apps while waiting in line (instead of scrolling on Facebook)
  • Waking up reciting Scripture
  • Writing Scripture on sticky notes

 

1. Carrying Scripture in Pocket or Purse
In my senior year of high school, I lost five friends in a span of seven months. A deep state of grief and inward turmoil weighed heavily on my heart and mind. I knew Jesus grieved with me, but it was a season when I really wished I could just touch Him. My feet felt like they were slipping as I walked over tear-covered rocks, and I desperately needed to plant myself on solid ground. Counseling helped me process all my grief and my counselor recommended an idea that I continued to use for a few years: carry Scripture with you…in your pocket or purse. I decided to cut up pieces of paper and write a Bible verse on each sheet. For me, the Bible verses focused on trusting God, not fearing and being anxious. Choose any verses that you are memorizing, or verses that apply to your heart and your season. Keeping Scripture in my pocket turned out to be a powerful tool. Just be sure to take them out on laundry day! In my moments of despair, when I really just wanted a hug from Jesus, reaching down and actually touching Scripture helped anchor my feet on truth, and took my mind from grief to God.
2. Listening to Scripture While Driving
Some of my most God-filled times are in the car. While I have always enjoyed listening to music, I have recently discovered the joy of hitting “play” on my Bible App. I use the YouVersion App because of the easy accessibility to select books and chapters. Obviously, driving is not the time to be diving into a deep study of Scripture. However, listening to the Bible as it is read to me and allowing myself to be washed by the Word refreshes my soul. If you are studying a particular book of the Bible, then hearing it reinforces what you are learning. Also, verses have jumped out to me that I never noticed before.
3. Reading Bible apps while waiting in line (instead of scrolling on Facebook)
It’s no secret that we spend way too much time on our phones. We also spend an exorbitant amount of time waiting in line. So why not use these as tools to grow our relationship with Jesus? For a season, I deleted my social media accounts from my phone so that I was not tempted to waste time scrolling. While standing in line, or during any other unproductive moments in my day, my knee-jerk reaction was to pick up my phone. And I still do. But now I do not waste the opportunity. I developed precious time! Whenever I waited, I read Scripture. Maybe it was two verses, maybe a whole chapter. But I began to fill the cracks in my day with Scripture, and my love for God’s Word grew. (In addition to the YouVersion App mentioned earlier, I appreciate the First 5 App put out by Proverbs 31 Ministries.)
4. Waking up reciting Scripture
For me, this continues to be the most challenging, but the one that helps me get up on the right side of the bed. Recite Scripture when you wake up. Mornings are generally challenging for me. But speaking Scripture means that I am resisting the temptation to start my day on a bad note, and I am speaking light and life over what God has for me that day. I proclaim Psalm 118:45 “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” I want to align my heart and mind to the right source – focusing on Jesus and being grateful as soon as I am alert enough to utter any words. This is my way of saying “Not today, Satan!”, Jesus is my Lord. He has made my day, and I will be grateful.
5. Writing Scripture on Sticky Notes
So what do gel pens and sticky notes have to do with Scripture? We’ve come to my favorite practical tip of filling your everyday life with Scripture. Putting up sticky notes! I love colors, and I love sticky notes (they are one of my favorite gifts!). Similar to my dark time in high school, when I needed Scripture accessible to me at all times, there was a season in college when I desperately needed the Word in my face. I lined my bathroom mirror with Scripture-filled sticky notes, and I have since decided that any bathroom mirror I ever have will be lined in similar fashion. Each sticky note displays its own verse, and each one is a different color (because that makes me happy). While looking in a mirror, we are naturally drawn to think of ourselves. But having Bible verses staring back at us helps us to think above and beyond ourselves. Also, reading as I brush my teeth and wash my hands continues to be an excellent tool for memorizing Scripture. Once a Bible verse is memorized, I switch out the verse for a new one.

Having a personal relationship with Jesus means that through the Holy Spirit we have access to Him “Every Hour”, as the hymn says. Or in my case, “Every Five Minutes.” No matter what season you are in, Jesus’ loving-kindness meets us where we are. Incorporating Scripture throughout my day has been life-giving, and I hope you will join me as we draw closer to our Savior in 2021.

With Love & Gratitude,
Kelly

 

Application:

  • Which of the five creative ways resonated with you?
  • Will you commit to one of these ways?
  • Do you already have a creative way of filling your life with Scripture?

Kelly Arena

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