There are lots of complicated systems for studying the Bible . . . many are very good. But I just need some basics questions. I created this form to use and I want to share it with you.
Our Bible Study is not a contest to see who studies the most or longest. It is a conversation between God through His Word to us and our response to Him. Here’s are some tips to remember:
- Always start with a prayer. Ask God to reveal to you what He wants to show you as you read His word.
- Write out the verse. It will help the words sink into your mind.
- If you have a couple of favorite translations, write it out in both.
- Read the verses around this one to help with the context.
- If your verse is in the middle of a sentence – write the entire sentence!
- Ask yourself, “What do I see here? What do I hear when I read this Scripture?”
- Sometimes you will see a decision point, sometimes a parallel. Sometimes you will see words that are repeated, or a list. Let Him show you what He’s pointing out to you. Trust that you will hear His voice.
- Ask, “What you need to understand better?”
- Look at cross-references (cross references are verses that relate to this verse) for examples or other information. Dig only as you have time and stamina for – don’t get bogged down in every little detail. Trust God that He will lead you to the cross-references you need to understand better.
- Record your cross-references and what you learned in the format that makes most sense to you.
- Ask yourself and God, “How does this verse/this passage apply to me today, right here, right now in my life? What do I need to let God change in me to make me more like Jesus Christ?”
- Listen for His voice to you. He wants us to grow and mature. He has good plans and when we listen, He tells us what we need to know.
- Then, write your response as a prayer to your Heavenly Father.
- This is not for His benefit. It’s for yours and will serve as a reminder of this conversation and what you have heard Him say and what you will do with this information. We are responsible for what we know.
And, I know we are often very busy. If all you can do are the outside columns (a very short #1, #2, and #6), just do those. But don’t let a day go by without looking into His Word. It’s for you because He loves you!
Heavenly Father, I’m so grateful that You had the foresight to inspire others to write Your words – that they are not lost. We hold them in our hands. Help us – help me – say to you like Peter did to Jesus, “You have the words of eternal life.” (Luke 6:68) Develop in us a love for Your words and help us not to withdraw from Your commands and to treasure Your words more than our daily food. (Job 23:12) In Jesus’ name, I ask.