Do you engage in regular Bible study? Immersing myself in Scripture is so important to my growth as a Christian and my overall well-being. I find that the days I take the time to study God’s Word, I am happier, more patient, and better able to equip any challenges that come my way.
I am by no means a Biblical expert. In fact, sometimes I feel much like I would imagine a child feels trying to learn to read. It’s a big book and it can feel so overwhelming at times! But I have found some Bible study tips that have helped me to make the most of my time learning more about our Lord.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my favorite tips with you. This week, we’re going to begin with the idea of planning ahead.
Make a plan for your Bible study:
If I leave it to “chance” that I will pick up my Bible and study it every single day, well, the truth of it is, that on most days, it won’t happen. God should always come first but often, after work, house cleaning, laundry, making meals, time with my family, and so on, Bible study may not always come to mind.
Add time for your Bible study to your daily schedule.
This is important! Without adding it as a priority item to your to do list each day, it’s far too easy to push it aside.
Make a plan for where you will do your Bible study.
Find a quiet comfortable spot where you can focus on what you’re reading. It’s important to have everything you will need right there at hand. I like to have a Bible study/prayer basket. I fill it with Bibles, reference books, journals, and pens. If you’re Catholic, you might want to include a daily Missal as well.
One of my Bibles is a journaling Bible so I also have some colored pencils and Bible safe highlighters in the basket. Because I like to use online resources as well, I take my phone or iPad with me too but it’s important to be able to use it without getting distracted by social media. I suggest turning off all notifications for your Bible study time.
Think ahead about any challenges you might face.
If your plan is to study the Bible first thing in the morning, perhaps setting your coffee maker up the night before would help you get right to it when you wake up. Maybe you like to study your Bible outside but it gets chilly sometimes in the morning.
Get out a blanket and a pair of slippers and put them with your Bible. Or your challenge might be a family that interrupts your time with God. Get up before everyone else or ask your spouse to watch the kids while you go out for half an hour in the evening. If your kids are old enough, put up a special sign to let them know not to disturb you during that time.
Figure out specifically what you will be studying.
Are you going to follow a formal Bible study? You can find many of them online or you can purchase one from a bookstore. Perhaps you’re simply going to work your way through the Bible one book at a time.
If so, I suggest starting with the New Testament and then going back to the Old Testament. It can be a little easier to get going that way! Or maybe you’re going to randomly flip open your Bible, read what’s in front of you, and see what it has to say.
I do a combination of all 3. Currently, I am working my way through a Bible study called A Woman’s Walk with God by Sheila Cragg, I’m reading my way through the book of John, and sometimes I just ask God to show me what He wants and I “randomly” flip open my Bible and go with it.
On weekends, I study the readings from the Roman Catholic Mass. I also really enjoy the sermons and lessons from my sister’s church, Midtowne Church in Benton, Arkansas. If the concept being discussed has to do with mercy, I’ll use my Concordance and other reference materials to find more Scripture passages about mercy to expand on the topic.
Once you make your plan, you are all set to start digging into God’s Word. Next week, I’m going to talk about some simple tools and techniques I use to tackle the Scripture that I am reading and gain more understanding from it.
In the meantime, you might also find this post on how to build more time for God into your schedule helpful.