Hey! Good to see you again! Grab your Jasmine Tea or whatever your favorite beverage is. I’ve got my cup of Breakfast Blend.
So… have you just been doin’ it? Your personal Quiet Time alone with God each day, that is. Have you? This stuff builds upon itself you know. Walk in obedience to the truth you’ve already been shown.
Enough check up and lecture, on to business. A couple of months back Michele mentioned some of these ideas, but there is much to be gained from examining differing perspectives.
A huge part of our quiet time each day is reading and studying God’s word. I hope you chose a Bible reading plan and are well into it. If you’ve kept up with a monthly whole Bible reading plan, you’re probably about 20% Of the way through! On fifth! Way to go! If you haven’t started but would like to, jump in! There’s never a bad time to begin searching out the Father’s Word.
Here are some tips and ideas that may help you read & get the most from scripture study:
- What version of the Bible should you use? King James version is lovely and poetic, but difficult for some to read because of its archaic English. NASB, ESV, NLT, and NIV are all quality translations, NIV being the easiest of the 4 to read. Modern day versions (The Living Bible, The Message) are acceptable for reading but more difficult to use for deep study. Choose what works best for you. You can try them out online at Bible Gateway.
- Always pray for God to open your eyes and heart before you begin studying His word. Ask for a teachable spirit. John 14:26 tells us that “the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Ask the Holy Spirit to do that for you each time you study.
- Journal. Write down questions, insights, and things you want to study more later, as well as prayer needs and answers.
- Mark in your Bible.
- Underline verses the Lord has “written there just for you” or so it seems
- Put the date in the margin beside important lessons God has shown you, words of encouragement, or answers to prayers.
- Also jot in definitions of words or brief explanations of the test that you pick up from sermons or devotionals.
- Put a simple question mark in the margin beside things you don’t understand. As you read scripture day after day, week after week, and year after year, the Lord will instruct you and you will one day look back on that little question mark and think, “Wow, that is so clear now. I remember when I didn’t understand that spiritual concept.”
- Bible Reading Plans. Consider using one of the many Bible Reading Plans available to keep you on track and consistent. Whether you want to read the New Testament in a year, read the whole Bible chronologically through in a year, read more leisurely savoring every verse, or completely read the Bible in 26 days (Yes! There is a plan for that!), a Bible reading plan you choose to fit your needs and desires will help hold you accountable. Here are a few websites that offer these plans: Bible Plan, Bible Reading Project, or even check out Pinterest for more.
- Search for other scriptures on a topic. Use Bible Gateway to search for more scriptures. If you read a verse about “baptism” and think “I need to know more about Baptism”. Then go to Bible Gateway and type “baptism” into the search box at the top of the page. It will provide other verses you can read for more insight.
- Read commentaries for explanation of a text. Commentaries can be purchased at a book store or accessed online. Precept Austin is a good site that offers in-depth information. There is a search engine for the site on the main page where you can look for more info on a scripture.
- Do a word study of the original Greek or Hebrew term. What? You don’t read Greek & Hebrew? Neither do I. But Stong’s Exhaustive Concordance contains every word from scripture listed alphabetically. Use it to look up a specific word and find the original meaning. For instance, you read John 16:7 about Jesus going away and sending “another comforter.” You wonder what exactly the word “comforter” implies, so you look it up in Strong’s and find the Greek word paraklētos. You then study the definition and it broadens your understanding of the words of Christ. (More on how to do word studies in a later post.)
- Memorize it! We are instructed to hide God’s word in our heart. What? You say you CAN’T?! You Can! Here are some ideas:
- Write a verse on your bathroom mirror with a marker and read it every day while you brush your teeth. (I’ve memorized whole chapters this way!)
- A variation of the above: On day 2 or 3 of reading the verse, erase 3-5 key words and see if you can say the verse. Every couple of days erase a few more words until you can finally say it with nothing on the mirror.
- Use the app Fighter Verses on your smart phone, iPad, or computer. It offers memory helps, games, etc.
- Set your screen saver or lock screen to display your memory verse until it is learned.
- Sing the verse!
- Listen to it! Either on audio Bible or sermon podcasts. Listen when you commute to work or while you’re working out or cleaning house or rocking the baby. And of course, attend your local church and listen to your pastor teach on scripture, hear Sunday School lessons, and participate in women’s Bible studies available in your area.
- Live it! “So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” James 1:21-25
For more ideas check out this article from the Navigators on how to study your Bible.
Mmmm! My coffee was so good! But sharing Bible study tips was even better. What about you? Do you have specific Bible study tips you’d like to share with the rest of us? We’d love to hear from you!