Here’s a simple challenge for you: BBP.
Each day, every day, before you even touch your phone, pick up your bible and read it. Bible Before Phone.
Are you up to the challenge?
WHAT IS BBP?
WHICH PART OF THE BIBLE SHOULD YOU READ?
All of the Bible is God’s word, so it doesn’t really matter. But a simple system that gradually takes you through different parts of the bible is very handy. If you don’t already have a bible reading plan, why not give this one a try?
Each of the four bookmarks (Old Testament, New Testament, Proverbs, Psalms) has:
* a suggestion about how much to read
* an estimate of how long it might take (ranging from 5min to 30min)
* questions to help you reflect
* suggestions for prayer
Put the bookmarks at appropriate points in your bible (you’ll have to pick an OT and a NT book) and just start from there.
Each morning when you pick up your bible, just open up to one of your bookmarks and read the next section, wherever you were up to. If you don’t have much time, do one of the quicker readings (Proverbs or NT). If you have more time, do one of the longer readings (OT or Psalms). If you have an abundance of time, you could even do multiple readings.
It’s designed to be flexxible, so that no matter what the start of your day looks like, you can still get some bible into you at the outset.
WANT SOME ENCOURAGEMENT FROM A CHRISTIAN BROTHER OR SISTER?
“As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
Developing a new habit or discipline can be hard, but it helps if others around you are doing it to. You’re in it together, and can encourage one another to stick at it when your motivation starts to waver.
Why not find a Christian friend to join with you in BBP? Or if you’d like me to link you up with someone else doinng BBP, just fill in this form.
You and your BBP buddy could set up an accountability system where you message one another each day after you’ve read the bible (not before, because you’re even not touching your phone until after bible time, right?). You could send a short encouragement based on what you read, or share the verse that struck you most. Or if every day is too much, touch base once a week to ask each other how you’ve gone with the discipline of personal bible reading that week.
TEN TIPS FOR BBP
(1) Use a paper bible, not your phone. Phones are too distracting.
(2) Keep your bible next to your bed so you can pick it up first thing.
(3) Ask God to help you. “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” (Ps 119:18)
(4) Have a bible small enough to take with you when you travel.
(5) You could designate one reading (e.g. Psalms) for night times before you go to sleep. BBP in the morning. BBS at night.
(6) Get a BBP buddy.
(7) Set yourself an initial timeframe as a goal, and commit to BBP for that time. 6 weeks might be about right. When you reach that goal, set yourself another, more ambitious goal (e.g. 6 months).
(8) Be realistic. Many of my past attempts at daily bible reading have faltered because I aimed too high in terms of how much I’d read each day. The Four Bookmarks system is designed to be flexible because each day is different. Whether you have 5 minutes or an hour, there’s something you can do.
(9) Highlight or underline things that stand out as important as you read to keep you focussed.
(10) If you fall off the horse, don’t waste time moping. Just get back on. :)