Last year we created Templates for Bible Study and I wanted to share them again this year as the year comes to a close and we will be embarking on a new year.
If you follow our blog long enough, you know I take my Bible Study seriously. I am convinced though that without a good plan and a precise setup, it’s hard to stay on track. Life is just busy. That is why the Bible says, “Teach us to number our day that we may get a heart of wisdom.” This Psalm is attributed to Moses. He is by far my favorite character in the Bible and the one I am most excited to meet in Heaven. If he, such a man of God needed help from God to number his days, or in our words use time wisely, then I need that wisdom so much more with such a fast paced world we live in.
After years and years of trying different plans and journals and everything in between, I created these amazing templates that really do help you stay on track with your Bible reading.
Let’s dig deeper!
Tips on staying consistent with Bible Reading:
Here are some of my personal tips and lessons learned from years of trying to have my time with the Lord more effective and productive.
This is NOT me teaching or saying I’ve got this Bible reading perfected – absolutely not. It really is me sharing what I’ve learned over the years and wishing someone helped guide me 20 years ago when I was on this journey to find something that really works.
PLACE– Find a place in your home that is going to be your reading the Bible area. I’ve noticed with myself, the more consistent I am with one place, the more likely I will be drawn to it and make it a habit. Keep your Bible, journals, pens and everything else near that sitting area. That way, you just grab everything and start reading. This way, you are not wasting time looking for the different things you need to read the Bible. And trust me, Satan will do everything in his power to distract you so you are spending time looking for your journals and pens and by the time you sit down to read, you are just exhausted and ready to finish your study before it even started. (Can I get an amen or what?)
Your children will also see you studying and they will imitate your actions. They are little sponges that soak up the good (and unfortunately bad) examples we set for them. As they get older, it’s much easier to teach them about spending quiet time with the Lord as they will follow by example.
DISCIPLINE– This is probably the hardest part! It’s really hard to discipline yourself to stay on track and continuously find the time to read. Think of a time of day that will work for you and stick to it. If you skip a day, don’t beat yourself up over it. Keep going and catch up what you’ve missed. Remember: It takes 40 days to break a habit. If daily Bible reading will be new to you, I guarantee you, you’ll want to give up. DON’T! I often am raw and honest and say, “God, I have no desire to read tonight, please give me that yearning and desire.” And He has always come through because He desperately desires to be with me, He created me. But even if you can’t break through and have this deep desire, do it anyway. That’s like saying you will only wake up and go to work if you absolutely want to, ha. Sometimes, you just need to do it.
PRAISE AND WORSHIP– The best way to start a Bible study is with a simple prayer for the Holy Spirit to teach you. Another great way to calm your heart for the study is to give God praise or listen to your favorite worship song, THIS song has been my favorite for some time now. If praise is new to you and you’re not used to it, start with quoting Psalms, they are filled with praise and worship.
When we give Him praise and thanksgiving, it says we enter his courts, something so personal and intimate. Psalm 100:4
INDEX CARDS– Use index cards to write down Scripture for memorization. Place these cards throughout your home in visible areas where you can glance and memorize the verses.
JOURNAL– I find it’s so important to journal how God leads you. Aside from taking notes from your daily reading, have a section in your binder where you can add the personal things God is doing in your life. Add dreams God has sent you, favorite sermon quotes, and so on. You can add pictures or drawings from your kids here. Make it something your desire to write in and not a “chore” you must do. My binder with the templates has all of that.
ATTITUDE– The attitude you have toward Bible reading and personal time with the Lord will reflect what you get out of your study. Can you imagine meeting a best friend for lunch and coming there distracted, stressed, in a rush and knowing you want to be done in 10 minutes. That would call for a very awkward lunch and your friend would immediately sense your attitude.
Well, we sometimes treat our quiet time with the Lord that way. We are just so busy, so tired, so exhausted and when we sit down to meet with him, we already are limiting what He can teach us and how the Holy Spirit may move because our time together is so limited.
Come with a heart of excitement to meet and hear from God – the creator of the Universe. He will meet you and dine with you.
SUPPLIES– Be sure to have all of your things organized and ready to be used. Here are some of my favorite things:
- Binder– I use a new one each year and just keep the old one filed so I can go back and look through it if I need to. A CLASSIC 1 ½ inch binder works great, or you can get one with a design on it like THIS one I used this year.
- Pens– I find the best pens that don’t bleed through are the cheapest ones. THESE are my favorite pens I use for everything. They write so beautifully and are so inexpensive.
- Highlighters– I personally don’t like to highlight in my Bible but I do use my highlighter for my binder and journaling. I really like THESE ones. They don’t bleed through but do a great job.
- Sticky notes– I like to keep THESE in my pouch in case I need them during my journaling.
- Index cards– If you want to add the Bible verses and place them throughout your home. I like the larger cards as you can write in a larger font.
- Dividers– Dividers to keep your binder organized. For me, a set of 3 dividers works just fine but you can get a set of 5 if needed.
- Pen pouch– I like to keep everything in one place so I just have a small pen pouch I use. Something like this floral pouch or this plaid works wonderfully.
TEMPLATES: Each set of templates includes:
COVER PAGE- A cover page for the binder. You know, just because why not.
WEEK OVERVIEW- A week in overview where you will be able to keep track of what is primary that week so it’s all in one area. This is such a blessing and totally changes the way you do Bible study when everything is on one page for the week.
PRAYER REQUESTS- whatever you want to focus on in prayer that week.
GRATEFUL- the things you are most grateful for. There’s just something about having a grateful heart that helps us connect to the Father. Leave out the general and broad thanks. Go deep and personal. You know, the things the Lord really deserved praise but we take for granted. (How often do you REALLY thank God that all of your 5 senses work properly? Or that you can see the world in color? And that you have a vehicle that gets you comfortably around? That you don’t have to walk 2 miles to get clean water. Or go outside in the freezing cold/hot for a restroom.) And the list goes on. When we pause and search our lives, there is so much we take for granted and never really take the time to thank the Father. Just imagine if your senses stopped functioning, or your car broke down and you didn’t have one – that would be life-changing. So, thank the Father for those things.
Also, the thanks shouldn’t be only earthly. What about thanking the Father for all the spiritual blessings you have?
I kind of think of my kids. I imagine them eating and dismissing themselves without a word of thankfulness. Never thanking me for helping them, being for them, etc. All I would hear from them is “requests”. Sounds horrible. Well, we kind of treat our heavenly Father that way. Almost like a genie to fulfill our earthly desires (on our terms and timing, of course).
Verse of the week, whatever verse you want to memorize for the week. For me, I usually find the verse in the previous week’s reading. Can you imagine if you learned 1 new verse a week, by the end of the year, you will have memorized 52 verses from Scripture (now multiply that over a span of 10 years – amazing).
Reflections on what God is teaching you through Scripture that week, what He is convicting you of or putting heavy on your heart for you to dig deeper in. These thoughts and revelations sink deeper and will influence us more if we write them down and then actually meditate on them and pray through them.
Application how you will apply what He is trying to teach you.
- Example: Don’t just write God is convicting me to spend less money. Be precise and intentional and stick to it. (i.e: I will not go shopping for two weeks and only go with a list of what I need. And stick to it.)
Happenings in the family that you want to write down for the week, not Bible related – just life. It’s so neat to see all these come together every week. Then you look back at the end of the year and see God’s fingerprints in life’s situations throughout the year – it is so encouraging.
NOTES- This will be where you write down your daily notes as you read through the Bible. So I date mine and then add the book and chapters I read on one line. Then the next lines I’ll write down the verses that stand out to me. And continue daily.
- I enjoy drawing on the sides of these papers and journaling what’s on my heart. Statistics confirm that we retain information received more if we write it down and then go back and reread it.
PRAYER LIST- You can print this page and keep all of your prayer requests on there, this can be in addition to the ones you will focus on weekly. I like to just keep this at the end of the binder and keep adding requests that need ongoing prayer. I just organize them by Month. So, I start with January and have all my prayer requests for January and continue all year long. But, you can also organize by category like family, country, church, etc. Then just place the requests in their correct category. The best part is when the prayer is answered. Be sure to date the answer and how the Lord came through, so powerful.
You can purchase the templates HERE.
Here is a screenshot of what you will receive.
Bible Reading Plans-
We also have printable Bible in a year plans. We have both the Russian and English plans. I used to read a Russian Bible (as that is what I grew up with) but a few years back the Lord convinced me to transfer to an English Bible and I’ve been reading that ever since.
A reading plan is the only way I am able to read the Bible in a Year and keep myself on track or I skip days then forget where I am supposed to be. With a plan, I can quickly catch up even if I do fall behind a few days and keep going.
I typically read the Bible in a Year one year (which is 3 chapters a day all 7 days). Then the following year I’ll do only the New Testament (1 chapter a day 5 days a week). It’s a much slower pace and I can dig deeper.
If you have a plan you like, awesome. If not, ours is on one page and easy to stay on track. I just keep the plan in the left pocket of my binder so it’s always available. Cross out what you read so the next day you already see what you should be reading.
You can find the plans HERE.
We used to offer these templates for free but it was so difficult for me to continuously email these and explain everything to everyone. So, we created inexpensive PDF’s you can purchase with immediate downloads. Then, just choose which template you like best and print it. There are bundles that have all of the printable together.
However, if for some reason you are going through a rough time financially and want these but cannot afford it, please e-mail me to lifeinourcorner (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll send you them for free. 🙂
Well, friends, I hope that inspires you to try something new this year. To get into the Word and enjoy some time with the Lord.
QUESTION: I’d love to hear all about your experience reading the Bible. What have you seen works and doesn’t work for you? Please share with the rest of us in the comments below. I’m always open to new ideas and tips.
Thank you so much for being a part of our online family. We appreciate all of you greatly.
Fondly, Tim & Valentina