YOU CAN STREAK IT!

Today is an important and happy day for me. No, it’s not my birthday and I didn’t get a new phone. But today I marked a milestone in my bible study journey. A 1000 Day Streak on You Versions’ Bible App! What that means is for the past 1000 Days which is approximately 2 years and 9 months, I have used the Bible App Every day. For most of this time, I have used a plan everyday — Plans are short or long devotionals featured in a daily format on the Bible App.

Does this mean that for 1000 days I woke up feeling like reading the bible and that for 1000 days I lived a perfect life before God? I wish that were true but that can only be in heaven.

In recent times several people have asked me how to read the bible and develop a bible study habit. While it’s a large topic, I’ll speak on some points that are dear to me.

1. Don’t Read the Bible as a Chore

Alright so I’m talking about developing a Bible Study Habit and the same time saying Bible Reading shouldn’t be a chore, isn’t that self-contradictory? No! You should read your bible daily but don’t read it because you just want to kick it off the list or because some divine hand will destroy your day if you wont or because you’re scared. Reading the bible like Christianity is not a chore. Read the bible because you enjoy it and see the benefit. If eating chocolates every morning was to have a tangible health benefit for you, you would eat every morning for that benefit. At the core — this should be the reason you read the bible or commune with God. The next question is how to enjoy reading the bible and enjoy this benefit.

2. DON’T Rely on Yourself — Rely on the Holy Spirit.

Truth is folks, we can’t do this thing on our own. You can’t develop a spiritual discipline or devotional habit on your own. Sure, your efforts can sort of create it but you don’t have the ability to sustain. Don’t rely on yourself, rely on the holy spirit. Our God is the only God that makes everything easy like 123.

In his divine providence he’s provided a way for you to do things that edify you and glorify him and given his spirit as a helper. So, God literally helps you commune with him.

Don’t go and try your Odeshi.

3. Read the Bible Like a Story

At its core, the bible like the gospel is one big story. A story of redemption and future hope.

From the glorious creation of Genesis 1–2 to the fall in Genesis 3 to Gods promise to Abraham and the almost sacrifice of Isaac and the last minute provision of a Lamb to the time in Egypt under slavery to Moses and redemption to the laws and sacrifices instituted to Joshua to the time of Judges and Kings and Exile and Prophets and warnings to the strange news of a Holy Spirit conception to the Birth of the King of Kings in a Manger to the ministry of the mysterious wonder man to his shameful death in the most cruel manner of the times crucifixion to his alleged and proved resurrection to his ascension to the sudden boldness of his hiding followers to the exploits they all performed to all the commands and letters to the book of revelation written by John speaking of the new heaven and earth — the Bible is One Story — A story of failure, grace, forgiveness and redemption.

When reading a story, its sometimes helpful to know the plot of the story. Acquaint yourself with the gospel and its basic outline then read the bible everyday in context of the greater story and everyday you’ll have reasons to shout glory!

4. Enjoy the Literary Prowess of the Bible.

The Bible is one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. The rich literature of the bible honestly excites and motivates me. Take some time and consume resources from sources like “The Bible Project” (https://www.youtube.com/user/jointhebibleproject). Research the use of literary devices in the bible like Pararellism in the Psalms and you will be enamored by the richness of the bible. Study the voice and style of Paul and contrast with others. Delve into the Psalms — notice the difference in David’s Psalms and others. Read the rich words of the Proverbs and songs of Solomon and study the use of Simile and Metaphors and other forms of literature. You’ll be wowed.

5. Maximise the Nutrients in God’s word.

Don’t be a legalistic reader. Try to find what God is actually saying. Ask the holy spirit for help and also put in your effort. Compare versions. Read the same thing in the NIV and MSG and CSV and TPT and even the PCM (Nigerian Pidgin Bible). You will find yourself understanding more why things were written as they were and how they fit in the larger framework. If your devotional singles out some verses but you don’t understand, consume the whole chapter. If you still aren’t satisfied, consume the whole book. Research internet resources and commentaries on what you’ve read and need more light on.

6. Don’t Outpace Yourself.

One of the most common mistakes people make is outpacing themselves. Making a new year’s resolution to read 3 chapters of the bible a day. Don’t outpace yourself. Mostly everything we do as humans starts as a carefully developed habit. We operate in systems which are built over a period of repetition. Don’t be lazy but start small. Start with just a short devotional and over time build capacity. My devotional cycle began with only the “Our Daily Bread” app devotional. Today it includes that, approximately 3 bible plans at a time and an article each from DesiringGod.org and hereadstruth.com everyday and I am working on making thegospelcoalition.org daily too.

Start small with the holy spirits help and you will grow overtime.

7. Try out the Bible App’s Plans Feature

I discovered quickly that I don’t like long devotionals about the same thing, so the bible Apps’ plans feature came in handy. I typically don’t do Plans beyond 7–14 days. Search for a plan on any topic you feel you need or ask your friends for recommendation. Read it and enjoy it then pick another. You might have done one on anxiety this week because you were feeling anxious. This week you might be feeling depressed. Find one on Depression and complete. Take two at a while. Then three then four.

8. Make a Discipline.

If you notice I’ve made make a discipline the seventh. When you practice the first 6 steps and begin to enjoy reading the bible and reaping benefits, make a discipline.

Create a habit of bible reading the way you’d create a habit of a helpful exercise routine. Make a daily decision to read for 21 days (which they say takes to form a habit) then another 21 days then another and before you know it you’re at a 1,000.

9. Get an Accountability Partner.

If you still struggle to make bible reading a habit even after tasting of the rich delight of the grace of the bible, get an accountability partner. Someone who checks on you daily to ensure you read the bible. The Bible App has a “Plan with Friends Feature”. You can do bible Plans with your friends. This way you are more likely to complete it because your friend can see whether you did or not and would expect something In the talk it over section. The Bible app created the Steak Feature to help you too.

10. Determine to Read regardless.

In my 1000 days streak, I went through periods of Depression where I literally wished death, periods of sin and periods of grief but I read on. Determine to read regardless. The Bible has so many benefits. I tell myself that even though I can’t really feel or enjoy this today, the lessons will help me tomorrow.

Jon Bloom said it best, “Don’t follow your Heart (or Feelings)!” You don’t eat because you’re hungry but because your body needs it — if you don’t, you get an ulcer. Your soul needs the bible and Gods word and help. If you starve yourself, One Chance!

11. Fall down 7 times, Rise up 8

Last but not least. Fall forward. The Bible in Proverbs 24:16 says, “The Righteous Fall seven times and rises again…”. Fall forward Everytime. If you miss a day or week or month, get back up. The bible is a story of redemption. If you miss your streak, don’t cry. Get back up. Eventually we fly. If I hadn’t lost my streak a few times, Id have more days now.

There are so many other points but let’s start with these.

An old childhood song says something profound

“Read your Bible Pray Everyday If you want to grow!”

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Unashamed Christian Writer/Content Dev @sarautamag @lingafriq Founder/Managing Editor @project9jamag Twitter : @nenkinandeshi TeamYWAP

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Nenkinan Nehemiah Deshi

Nenkinan Nehemiah Deshi

Unashamed Christian Writer/Content Dev @sarautamag @lingafriq Founder/Managing Editor @project9jamag Twitter : @nenkinandeshi TeamYWAP

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