One of the most important things for a Christian is to spend time in God's word. This doesn't mean just reading a passage every now and then which will be forgotten in a few hours, or searching for a single verse to use as the perfect insta caption. This means reading, studying, and meditating on the Word daily.

God didn't give us the Bible for it to be left in a drawer or on a shelf to be brought out on Sundays and put right back for the rest of the week. No, God gave us the Word to be our daily bread. The first verse of the first chapter in the book of John states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Did you get that? The Bible is not just a book written by God's people for God's people, the Word is God. Does this give you a glimpse of the magnitude of God's word and what it means to Him? And can You see why it breaks His heart when we neglect it?

Think for a moment about the greatest gift you've ever given to someone. That gift that took weeks, even months, of thought, planning, and making. That gift for that one person who can never be outdone, the one you felt so proud about. Now imagine the receiver of the gift being unappreciative of it, tossing it to the side as if it's no better than any others received. Think of how you would feel about their handling of the gift you so carefully put together for this person you care about. Think of all the trouble you went through to finish it and give it to them. That disappointment is a glimpse, but still doesn't come close to the hurt God feels when His people don't care about the Bible.

All this being said, it has taken a long time to develop the relationship I have with God's word. It's been a growing process. There have been periods of time where I didn't read the bible or did so half-heartedly, but even these seasons are part of the growing process. And by no means have I discovered a foolproof method for spending quality time in the Word. Like my relationship with the Lord, my bible reading will always be growing and developing.

After a lot of time of avoiding the Word altogether, or not reading much, I set out to truly dive into God's Word. There's a lot of the bible I haven't yet read: certain passages or chapters, and many whole books. I aim to read through the entire thing, and I thought a chronological approach would make sense for me. I still stand with that reading plan and aim to bring it to completion in its time, but after close to a year, I found myself in a rut. I was reading every day, but didn't feel like I was getting any meaning out of what I was reading.

God gave us His word so we'd be spiritually fed, but I was still hungry. I was in the thick of the old testament, unable to see connections to the new testament, which I knew much better, or my own life, and I was suffering a lack of joy in what I was reading. I was so caught up in trying to get through the whole Bible that I became focused on finishing it. I was worried about how much I was reading instead of taking my time with it and meditating on what I was reading. So I stopped. I needed a new plan. On Pinterest, I found a month long Bible reading plan that focused on a single topic: finding joy in the Lord. I knew that was something I needed and didn't have, so I committed to this plan. Each day, it provided a short passage that had something to do with joy.

So now, instead of reading several pages at once, trying to fly through the whole Bible, I sit down with just several verses each morning. I pray over the passage, read it, write it out, and spend some time digesting it. I'm reading a lot less than I was before, but I'm learning so much more about God and understanding Him on a deeper level. Through this I have realized that the Lord doesn't care who has read every word of the Bible or how fast they did it, He cares about how it's changing us, how we are applying what we read to our lives. God intended for the Bible to transform us. As long as what you're reading is having an impact on you, transforming your life a little each day, and you're intentionally pursuing an understanding of the Lord, He is pleased.