A 2019 study revealed that the average user spends about an hour on Facebook and an hour on Instagram every day. That amounts to about 7 hours a week on Facebook and 7 hours a week on Instagram. Although that may not be true of you, doesn’t it force you to think about the way you spend your time, even the small increments of free time that you’re allotted sometimes?
I’ve recently started making my way through How To Understand and Apply the New Testament: Twelve Steps from Exegesis to Theology by Andrew Naselli. In it I came across a very helpful chart that shows approximately how long it takes to read each book of the Bible out loud. While I won’t go into the benefits of reading the Bible aloud in this article, I’d like to encourage you to make a habit of doing this.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. (Revelation 1:3)
It’s helpful to know that if you have about 4 hours of free time, you can read the book of Genesis, the book of Isaiah, or even the books of 1 and 2 Samuel in one sitting. If you have an hour and a half, you can read the gospel of Mark, the book of Daniel, or even the book of Revelation. If you have an hour to spare, you can read the entire book of Nehemiah, Romans, or even Hebrews.
If you find that you have 20 minutes to burn, you can easily make your way through Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, or Colossians. And if you only have about 10 minutes – give or take – you can read through 1 or 2 Thessalonians, Titus, or 2 Peter. Note that Naselli’s times are approximate and not exact. I fully understand that each person reads and processes data at different speeds.
The last thing I want to do is push a justified believer towards a legalistic mindset that many have fallen trap to today, the mindset that says that for every hour in secular or “non-spiritual” activity you ought to spend the same amount of time (or even more) to prayer and Bible reading. At the same time, I want to encourage you to be a faithful steward of the time God has given you. We’re commanded to make the best use of our time (Eph. 5:16), stewarding it faithfully to the glory of God and for the joy of others – including yourself. And what better way to spend our time than in reading (and hearing) God’s word?