The National Bible Week has been celebrated during the week of Thanksgiving every year since 1941. The goal is to raise awareness of the Bible’s importance and relevance to the American nation as a whole, as well as in the lives of individuals. The first day of the week – Monday, November 21 – has been designated as the National Day of the Bible.
Reading the Bible publicly has its roots in the Word of God, in which we read that the people of Israel gathered to hear their leaders read Scripture.
The idea of the National Day of Prayer was inspired by the text from Nehemiah 8:1-3.
“Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.”
In the New Testament, we read Paul’s admonition to Timothy to “devote yourself to the reading of Scripture” (1 Timothy 4:13). Without a doubt, we should do so every day, yet it is still a good idea to set aside a day in our busy lives to celebrate the gift of God’s Word.
“… many of you will read a novel from beginning to end, and what have you got? A mouthful of froth when you have done. But you cannot read the Bible; that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect, while anything that man writes, a catch of the day, is greedily devoured.”
I wonder how many ills of our nation would be cured or at least alleviated if the people of God were to read the Bible as they eat food. Our friend Bogdan Kipko has offered some of the considerations for reading the Bible in our hectic lives, which along with our musings we would like to share with you here:
- Do you set aside specific time for reading the Bible? If your schedule does not include the reading of the Bible, then the Bible will have to compete with less important tasks, leisure or recreation. We all need to set aside a particular time in your day, when we can devote ourselves to distraction-free reading of the Scripture. Being a mom of three, I often find it challenging to a quiet time at home. So my best solution is stopping at a coffee shop right after I drop off my son at school and having my devotions there, away from kids and house chores.
- Do you pray while reading the Bible? Do you let the Holy Spirit teach you through His Word? In prayer, we receive God’s assistance in understanding His revealed message, we respond to what He is saying through His Word, and submit ourselves to God’s guidance and His will.
- Do you lose interest or attention when you read the Bible? If so, add some variety to your meal of spiritual food. Read from the Old and the New Testaments or study the Bible by various topics. This way you will not feel “stuck” in some of the longer books of the Old Testament. It is important to keep yourself motivated and consistent in your Bible reading.
- Is the Bible available to you when needed? Do you have access to it when you get a chance to read and meditate? Get yourself a smaller Bible to put in your purse or a locker, then keep a larger one on your kitchen or coffee table so the Daily Bread is available wherever you are.
- How practical is it to read from your Bible? If you commute on public transportation or in a car pool, you might want to consider a light-weight e-reader for reading your Bible. Before we moved to California, Illya’s metro ride to work was 35-45 minutes each way. He used that time to read the Bible on his Kindle to find strength and encouragement in the morning and restore his soul on the way home. You could also have the Bible application installed on your phone, iPad or another gadget.
With the National Bible Week just a few days away, we are offering a 25% discount on all electronic Bibles at our OSNOVA store with the code bible2day. Offer is good for both Nook and Kindle Bibles from November 18 through November 26. If you consider purchasing an electronic Bible for your Kindle or Nook, now is a good time!
In the comments below, please share your thoughts and tips on what keeps you consistent and motivated in reading and studying your Bible.