Welcome to the new year! If you clicked on this post, it means that you are either eager to begin your study of God’s word, improve where you have been lacking, intend to spice things up, or are just simply curious. Whatever your reasons may be, I am thrilled that you are here.
Our relationship with God is and should be the most important factor in our lives. I say this because we were created for His glory, to be His representatives, and fulfill His purpose for our lives on Earth. One of the primary and most important ways to build, sustain, and grow this relationship is through the intentional study of the Word.
Before we dive into ways you can study God’s word, let me show you some helpful tips that will optimize your Bible study.
- Approach your Bible study with an open and willing heart. Remove all distractions, biases, and deceptions. Ask God to open His Word to you and be willing to follow it. Rely on the Holy Spirit, as He is the only one who can teach and remind you of God’s word. Pray and ask for His help.
- As much as possible, use a hardcopy Bible to avoid distractions. Get a journal to record your learnings from God’s word and your time of prayer. This can significantly impact your life and provide a reference to prevent forgetfulness.
- Stick to one plan at a time, rather than trying to combine too many plans.
- Use apps such as YouVersion, Enduring Word, The Bible Project, and Bible Hub for aids, commentaries, and Word studies to help understand the Bible better.
- Take things one step at a time. On some days you may spend hours reading, while other days may only be a few minutes. Remember, your Bible study time is between you and God. Be obedient and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Show up consistently!
Let’s dive in!
7 Easy Ways To Study The Bible.
There are a lot of methods of Bible study, and those highlighted below are easy ways anyone can utilize.
- Read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations.
Now, notice that I didn’t suggest that you read the Bible in one year because that can be daunting for some. On the YouVersion Bible App, there are Bible reading plans that can guide you in reading the entire Bible in 1, 2, or 3 years.
That’s right! Each day, you have a portion of the Bible to read that is not too much to handle, depending on the duration you set. What’s more! For any level you are in your walk with God, there is a plan to guide you.
As you read, you may want to document your thoughts in your journal, concerning any of the following pointers such as: What is confusing? What are you learning? What needs to change in your life? What should you start doing? What does God say about you? What is the central theme of each chapter? What is the central theme of the Bible? And so on…
2. Reading and listening to the Bible at the same time.
This is gold! It is such a valuable experience.
By engaging in more than one sense, you can take notice of details you may have previously overlooked and it can also aid in remembering what you have previously read.
3. Hand Copying Scriptures.
Now, this is even better! Pick a book of the Bible, get a new journal, and physically copy or write out word for word from the Bible into your journal.
Do you recall what you were taught back in your secondary school days about the benefits of writing or copying notes? Well, it applies to your Bible study strategy too. It helps to retain the knowledge gained longer, helps us remember more and faster, and draws our hearts and eyes to details that we would have glossed over in listening or reading.
I have done this several times and it has had a revolutionary effect on my spiritual walk with God. You might consider starting with shorter books such as 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, Jude, Philemon, or Psalm 119 and then working your way up to longer books. Take your time. Don’t rush it. You can hand copy 5 to 10 verses a day.
4. The Life of Jesus.
The Life of Jesus is a great way to grow in our understanding of God and to become more like Christ.
One way to do this is by reading the four Gospels, book by book, or by using a harmony of the Gospels to see the common themes and events across all four accounts.
As you read, pay attention to Jesus’ relationship with His Father, His family and disciples, and the way He interacted with people in general, including His enemies. Take note of His teachings, parables, and the underlying messages he was trying to convey.
You might be surprised at how much you can learn about how to live your daily life from the life and teachings of Jesus and the many other lessons that can be gleaned from His story.
5. S.O.A.P method of Bible study.
This is an amazing and organized way to study the Bible. It allows you to study for long periods, as well as just a few minutes. It enables you to focus on specific verses and also helps you understand the entire story or narrative. This method is especially useful for a verse-by-verse study of the Bible.
The acronym S.O.A.P. can help you with these methods.
● S stands for Scriptures: Physically write out the verse you want to study.
● O stands for Observation: What stands out to you in the verse? Who is speaking? Who is the audience? What lesson can you draw or what is the narrative? Jot down your observations.
● A stands for Application: This takes you deeper and makes you reflect on the following: What is God saying to me? How can I apply what I just read to my life? What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of what I just read? Think about how you can apply what you just read to your life. Make actionable bullet points that you can easily remember and follow.
● P stands for Prayer: Here you get to pour out your heart to God. Thank God for what He has revealed to you, confess any sin, and claim any promise.
Love God Greatly Women’s Ministries has around 50 Bible study guides that follow this pattern. They are some of my favorite resources for Bible study. You can find them at https://lovegodgreatly.com/
6. Thematic study of the Bible.
Here you can research specific topics of interest, such as: “I want to know what it means to walk with God” or “What the Bible says about healing” or “How can I be a disciple of Christ?”
There are many themes in the Bible that one may be interested in or desire to know more about. To study these themes, you can use a concordance, such as the one available, in the Bible Hub App. This will provide you with every verse that mentions or relates to the theme you want to study.
As you read each verse, make notes of what the theme means, your learnings, and how you can apply them to your life.
7. Character study.
God works in history through people. The Bible is rife with records of God’s dealings with and through people. There are a lot of people in the scriptures who when studied, can draw a child of God closer to God.
Choose a character in the Bible that you are interested in. Use a concordance to locate where they appear in the scriptures. As you read, take note of the meaning of their names, when they appear in the scriptures, where they appear, what kind of lives they lived, their weaknesses, their strengths, and the impact of their lives on the overall plan of God. Consider what you can learn or avoid from their lives.
Friends, above all, meditate on what God is teaching you from His word. Turn it over in your mind, think about it, talk about it, and look for ways to live it out. Let’s study and “become.”
The Word made flesh is when we choose to consistently practice what we learn and allow God to do His work of transformation in our lives.
My desire and prayer are that you grow daily into the full stature of Christ.