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Can't Keep up with Your Faith? 7 Ways to Simplify Studying the Bible
Whether you vowed to memorize a psalm a day or planned on reading an entire book of the Bible each week, you started out with the best of intentions – yet your efforts have stalled. Even worse, you feel guilty about neglecting your faith. Don't wallow in guilt, simplify your plans. Below are seven ways to simplify studying the Bible:
1. Sign up for a daily dose of biblical inspiration. Many religious blogs and websites offer free email subscriptions where you can have a biblical message delivered directly to your inbox each day. Offerings range from a verse a day to essays and in-depth studies of key passages of the Bible.
2. Buy a spiritual calendar. As each day passes, tear off yesterday's page and view the new day's message. Keep that message in mind throughout the day, reflect on it, and consider how it relates to your life.
3. Get your family involved. Have each family member take turns finding a Bible verse, researching it, and sharing it with the family at dinner time. That way, not only will you and your family regularly nourish your souls, the responsibility (and the joy) is shared.
4. Download a Bible app. From Bible apps for smart phones and tablets to the complete Bible in an eReader format for your iPad, Nook, or Kindle, you'll always have easy access to the Bible no matter where you are. As you're killing time at your child's Karate class, you can squeeze a few minutes of study time for yourself.
5. Create a Bible study plan. One of the biggest obstacles to studying the Bible is not knowing where to start. When you're overwhelmed and falling behind, it's easier to procrastinate than it is figure out what to do next. However, if you have a list of topics handy, all you need to do is pick the next topic in your list and start studying it.
6. Buy a Bible study guide. With a guide, you'll have a pre-developed plan in place complete with suggested readings and thought-provoking questions to ponder. Depending on the guide, you may also find detailed explanations or additional resources.
7. Revisit past lessons. Whether you've saved those old calendar pages, placed your emailed Bible verses in a special folder, or studied the Bible using a formal Bible study guide, revisiting a past lesson is a quick way to feed your soul and receive God's words. Remember, some lessons bear repeating, so don't feel as though this is cheating!
Instead of holding yourself to an ambitious promise that's nearly impossible to keep, give yourself a break and simplify how you study the Bible. These seven ideas are just a few of the ways you can simplify. Do you have other tips? Share your ideas in the comments section below.