Why Just Reading Isn't Enough
Have you set a goal of reading and studying more of God's word? Maybe you fall into the category of just reading the Bible but not really coming away with a quality study that helps you grow in your relationship with God. Perhaps this sounds familiar, you randomly open your Bible and begin reading whatever scripture jumps out at you. Have you ever done this? This is something I was doing for a long time but there is a big difference between reading your Bible and studying the Bible.
Reading your Bible brings familiarity with God which is a good thing. But, when you randomly read scripture you are only coming away with bits and pieces and you may not understand the correct context. Studying the Bible will give you a greater understanding of God and his word. This will impact all areas of your life and it will teach you, guide you, and encourage you.
You may have a Bible study routine that is working for you if so, that's fantastic. But, if you are looking for ways to begin a more in-depth study routine, here are 5 steps to studying your Bible. Hopefully, this guide will be helpful. I have attached this Bible study guide for your use.
Step 1 Gather the tools needed for an effective study. Of course, the first thing you need is your Bible; a notebook or journal to take notes, pens, and highlighters to enhance your notes. Study Bibles offer additional information and I also like to use a Bible app to read a different translation that helps increase my understanding.
Step 2 You want to create the correct environment for your study. You need a place away from distractions, a place that allows for spiritual study and where you can focus and hear what God wants to say to you. You may light candles, listen to some mood-setting worship music, or just find a quiet place to concentrate on the word. You also want to consider the best time for your studies. I am an early riser and I find the best time for me is that quiet time in the early morning before I start my day.
It's important to pray before you begin studying. The Bible is a spiritual book and you are reading spiritual words. You want to usher in the Holy Spirit so that you can discern what the word of God is saying to you.
Determine your topic of study and understand the context of the scripture you are reading. You want to ask yourself, what is the scripture saying? In order to answer that question, it's important to understand the context by reading the surrounding passages...what happened before and after the chapter you are studying. Study Bible's are helpful at this point because they provide information about the historical circumstances of the time and offer commentary that can help your understanding of what the passage means.
After you have read the scripture, ask yourself what does this scripture mean? You'll want to determine a few things...who wrote the scripture, what was going on at the time, when was it written and why was it written. After this, you'll be able to draw out the lessons of the text. Once you have an understanding of the teaching point, ask yourself, how can I apply this to my life?
Incorporating the above steps will help you have a successful Bible study. As a result, your relationship with God will grow as you have a better understanding of the word. I hope you have found these steps helpful.
If you have a tip for Bible study you would like to share, comment below.