Whether you fish, hunt, play golf, or whatever you do, tips can be helpful. Hopefully your list of activities includes Bible study and I hope these tips will prove helpful. Here are some guidelines:
To study the Bible you have to make time for it. This is the biggest obstacle for most people-they just can’t seem to find the time. The fact is we all have the same amount of time. Bible study is a matter of priority. If we attach the value to it that we should we will take time for it. Get up earlier, or stay up later, do what you have to do-but don’t neglect it.
When faced with verses they don’t understand most people run to a commentary. I suggest you pray instead. Talk to the Author of the Book before you turn to what man has written. I’m all for good commentaries, they serve a useful purpose, but they can’t take the place of the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Our prayer should be, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”(Psalm 119:18)
There are many ways to study the Bible. You can study books of the Bible, chapters, characters, events, topics, words, etc., but you should not neglect to read it through in the order it is given.
F.B. Meyer wrote, “No one would think of reading a letter, poem, or history as many read God’s Word. What wonder that they are so ignorant of its majestic prose, its exquisite lyric poetry, its massive arguments, its sublime imagery, and its spiritual beauty! These qualities combine to make it the King of Books—Let the whole Bible be your study, because ‘all scripture is inspired by God and profitable.'(2 Tim. 3:16)”
IV. PEN AND PAPER
This sounds so simple that some don’t take it serious, but this is one of the best things you can do as you study. It helps to mark your Bible-underlining verses, phrases, words, etc. It can also help to color certain verses and make notes in the margin.
It is also helpful to make notes on paper. Jot down your thoughts, observations, references, questions, etc. Some have employed the use of a journal with great profit. You can’t remember everything, so keep a pen and paper nearby. A blank piece of paper may be the best study tool you will ever use.
If your Bible study is to be profitable you must make it personal. As you read the Bible God speaks to you! Make sure you get the message. Learning about ancient Israel is well and good, but you need to see how their situation relates to your life. Not only should you know what the Bible says, you need to know what it is saying to you. As you read ask yourself, “What bearing does this have on my life?” It’s not enough to just get into the Word– the Word needs to get into you(Col. 3:16).
Don’t study the Bible as you would cram for a final. Take time to meditate on what you are reading. The Psalmist said, “Oh, how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” (Psalm 119:97). One of our problems today is that we don’t think deep and long enough.
Until we put what we learn into practice we don’t need to know anymore. Bible study should be a life-changing experience. It is more than just acquiring knowledge, it should transform us (Josh. 1:8). Our learning should affect our living. When you come to a command, obey it. When you come to a promise claim it. When you come to a glorious truth, rejoice. Tell others what you discover. One of the best things you can do to become a skilled Bible student is to teach others. Get into the Word, get the Word into you, and then get it out to others. Respond to the Word as soon as you can. Be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only (James 1:22). You will be surprised by how much you learn when you practice what you know.