PRACTICAL TIPS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
The Bible says, “All Scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable.” (2 Timothy 3:16). Reading the Bible is profitable. But there are many Christians who don’t know how to read God’s Word. I believe it’s so important for Christians to learn how to study the Bible for themselves. If you’ve never read your Bible before, now’s a good time to start. Here are some practical tips to help make your Bible study a little bit easier:
1. CHOOSE A MODERN, EASY-TO-READ TRANSLATION:
There are many different English versions of the Bible available today. Unless you understand the Old English of 1611 really well, then you will have a hard time getting something out of the King James Version. I recommend a modern version like the New Living Translation, because it is easy to understand. Get a good study Bible – the notes will help you understand how the Bible applies to your life. If you have problems reading, or just don’t like to read, then get the Bible on CD to listen to, or get someone to read to you.
2. WHERE TO START READING:
Eventually you’ll want to read every word of the Bible; however, it does not need to be read straight through from page one. Since it is a library of books, you can begin almost anywhere. If you are new to the Bible, here are some suggestions to get you started. Start your reading in the New Testament with the book of Mark. It is a short, fast-paced account of the life of Jesus Christ. This book will give you a dramatic introduction to the events that changed the world and can change your life. Studying the life of Jesus will help you get to know God better, because Jesus said that when we see Him, we see the Father.
3. PRAY BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR BIBLE STUDY:
Because God is the author of the Bible, He can help us understand what we read. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth. This is a prayer I often pray when I read my Bible: Father God, please give me spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that I might grow in my knowledge of You. May my heart be flooded with light so that I can understand the wonderful future You have promised to me. Help me to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance You have given to me as one of your children, in Jesus‘ name, Amen. (from Eph. 1:17-18)
4. TAKE NOTES ON WHAT YOU’RE READING:
This helps keep your mind active in the learning process. It forces you to think about what you read and it helps you to remember what you’ve read. Ask yourself questions as you’re reading through the Scripture, like – what does this verse teach me about:
- God’s nature (what He is like – loving, holy, etc.)
- My nature (the nature of human beings)
- God’s Promises (what God has promised to do for me)
- God’s Commandments (what God requires of me)
5. APPLY THE WORD TO YOUR LIFE:
This is the most important step in your process of Bible study. Don’t just be a hearer, but a doer of the Word. Look for ways to apply the Word to your life – this is the ultimate goal of Bible study. For example, if you read a passage on loving others, look for ways to show love. The Bible was not written just to be studied, but to change our lives.
Pastor Chris Jordan