The Bible is not merely another book on the shelf to read. We are called to study it and invite it to influence our lives. “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:8-9).
Your Daily Study
Whether you’re completely new to Bible study, or you’ve been at it for years, everyone needs help making God’s Word a part of every day. The following are some practical tips to help guide you through the process:
The first thing you need to read the Bible regularly isn’t a Bible, it’s a sincere desire. Maybe that seems obvious, but if your goal is just to read it, you’ll gain nothing from it. Make it your goal instead to develop a hunger to know God through his Word, and to accept his guidance along the way. Before you open your Bible, kneel down in humble prayer, asking God to make your heart open and vulnerable. Click To Tweet
Make a Plan
Another important aspect of preparing to read the Bible is to make a plan. It’s frustrating when you have 20 minutes set aside for Bible study only to waste it randomly flipping through pages, unsure of where to start. If you planned on reading the Bible from cover to cover on your first attempt, you’ll probably find that it’s very dense. The Bible isn’t a $5 paperback. It wasn’t necessarily meant to be read from Genesis to Revelation every time. There are many helpful Bible study systems available from your church, online, or through your local Christian bookstore. Most suggest that you begin with the Gospel of Mark, though the Gospel of John is another great starting point. Evaluate the available suggestions and then choose a plan that will suit your needs and reading level.
Consistency is key when studying the Bible. You’re bound to have days when you’re distracted or downtrodden. Don’t quit. Those days, more than most, you need the spiritual nourishment of His word. If you find yourself struggling, or feel too tired to read during the time you’ve designated, consider choosing a different time. Pick a time when you’ll be totally awake so you can give your full attention to the message before you. You may also try using an audible Bible sometimes.
When verses confuse you as you are studying the scriptures, write these unknowns down in a journal. Don’t get hung up on things you don’t immediately grasp. Scribble down the verse number and keep moving. Later on, you can search the footnotes, other books, or ask your pastor for insight. Record your thoughts, feelings, doubts, and fears. Be honest. King David certainly was. Read the Psalms!
How to Read the Bible Effectively
If you’re still unsure of how to start, know that there is no wrong way. The first step is always a desire. The second is prayer. From there, let God guide you. You can study any way that feels right to you. If you’re struggling with anger or shame, flip to the back of your Bible’s index and locate those words to see which scriptures discuss those things. Find a church family whose major beliefs align with what you see and believe in the Word. That support and love will carry you through many trials and provide wisdom and insight into questions you’ll have during your studies.
The Blessings of God’s Word
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). The Bible exists to be read and understood by followers of God, but this doesn’t mean that reading and understanding will always be easy. There are people who have spent a lifetime studying the Bible and still find new meaning in the passages. With God’s mercy, anyone with a spiritual hunger can cultivate a deep and spiritual knowledge of the Bible. In it is Life, after all. Are you ready to start living?
Contact Us to learn more about how to get started on your journey in God’s Word.