When we talk about Bible study, how many of us picture a cup of coffee, a cozy armchair and a well-worn Bible being read to the tunes of Hillsong? This idealized “quiet time” is awesome, but probably isn’t realistic every day of our lives. When we set the bar for Bible study at armchair-level, it’s easy to skip quiet time altogether when we don’t have time for the whole experience.
But God never confined Bible study to comfortable chairs and coffee. He invites us to meet with Him in every minute of our day: on our commute, on our lunch break and in class. We need His Word to get through the day, and we aren’t promised that perfect quiet time. That’s why we need to find other ways to integrate the Bible into our day! Following are five ideas to help you give God’s Word the priority it deserves.
1. Be okay with a not-so-Instagrammable quiet time.
I’m as guilty as the next girl: We open up Scripture, get out our pen and two minutes later find ourselves arranging a coffee mug next to the page, phone in hand. It’s okay once in a while. But if we only approach God so we can talk about it on social media, our motives are misplaced.
We aren’t guaranteed a coffee quiet time every day. Will we still come to meet with God? Will we see our need for Him even when we can’t talk about it to our friends? Keeping God first means putting HIM above the Instagram version of Him. Relationships need to be deeper than social media—including the one we have with Christ.
2. Pick a verse of the day and bring it with you.
As you’re reading the Word—for instance, in Psalms or Ephesians—choose a verse from your daily reading to concentrate on throughout the day. Some people will write the reference in pen on their arms or hands. Others will put it on an index card and tape it to their steering wheel. You could take a picture and make it the lock screen on your phone. Do whatever works to keep the verse in front of you for the day.
3. Keep a Bible at school or work.
Most of us have more than one Bible. If you use a study Bible for your daily time with God, take a small thinline Bible to work or school where you can read it on breaks. For years, I kept a small Bible in my work desk. On lunch breaks, I’d either re-read what I read that morning or, if I’d missed my quiet time, I’d use my lunch break to do it then.
4. Listen to a podcast or Bible on audio.
If you’re really strapped for time, listen to your Bible passage of the day on your commute, at the gym or while walking your dog. Podcasts are a great way to supplement your Bible reading (they shouldn’t be the only thing you’re doing as “quiet time”). Podcasts like The Bible Project, Exploring My Strange Bible, Ask Pastor John and many others are available to help teach you about Scripture and keep it in your mind throughout the day.
5. Listen to Scripture-based worship music.
Christian music comes in many different forms, but there are certain artists and albums that specifically concentrate on biblical passages put to music. The Gettys and Sovereign Grace Music are great examples of this! If you listen to a podcast or Bible on audio on the way in to work, try listening to some great worship music on your way back home.
There are many ways to keep Scripture at the forefront of your mind throughout the day; this is by no means an exhaustive list. But it should give you some ideas to integrate the Bible creatively throughout your day. Your time with God does not have to look the same way every day, nor does it need to be at the same time. God is bigger than the boxes into which we try to place Him! So let God be God, and approach Him for who He is—not for the Instagram photo He’ll produce.