Study Your Bible, Don’t Just Read It!
Why should you engage in Bible study? When you go to church, the pastor reads verses from the Bible out loud right? So, you must be thinking, why should you do Bible study yourself? If you are still waiting for the Bible to be shown in a movie format so that you can sit back and enjoy it with popcorn and soda, well, good luck with that because you could end up waiting a long time. It doesn’t matter how great a sermon is, it will not make up for the Bible study you do on your own after the sermon to better have an understanding of the lesson that was taught. Not to mention that you need one-on-one time with God each day.
People who were very close to God wrote the Bible centuries ago, under God’s direction. Every word written in the Bible is God breathed and is profitable. The Word of God is called the “living Word” because each time you read the Bible, or even the same verse, you get something different out of it as God draws you closer to Himself through His Word. So, wouldn’t you rather study the actual words of God than watch a movie of the Bible interpreted by screenwriter?
Once you begin Bible study, know that the Bible is the word of God. Hurriedly reading a chapter in the Bible just because you want to get it over with is the wrong approach. Assume you were told to deliver a baby using only a training manual, you would be sure to pay great attention on what is written in it and not just browse through it assuming you comprehend it enough to deliver the baby. Can anything less be done with the Bible, the manual that was passed down from God?
• Find the right time and a quiet place where you can study. Distractions such as kids running about, TV sound in the background and the likes should be avoided. If need be, get up earlier than usual or reserve some evening time before going to bed for Bible study.
• Make preparations beforehand by getting a pencil, highlighter and a notebook ready.
• Prepare yourself mentally by quietly sitting, relaxing and focusing on spending time with God.
• Pray before you start for God to grant you wisdom and guidance as you study.
• Don’t just simply open the Bible and begin reading randomly, you should begin with reading from the beginning of a book. Start with the New Testament if you are just beginning. The Gospels are Mark, Matthew, John and Luke are in the New Testament and are a great way to begin to understand the Grace of God. You can also add in a verse of two from Proverbs and Psalms each day.
• Study for just 10 to 15 minutes. Do not force yourself to read a specific number of verses or chapters. The aim is to learn not cram.
• Keep an open mind as you study. When reading the words of God, the Holy Spirit speaks to us, so you should listen.
• Use the highlighter to mark the verses that communicates with you. When you return, they will pull your attention.
• Take notes! It is important to out down your thoughts on every verse or chapter that you read. Perhaps there is a question you would like to ask your pastor? Write down whatever comes to mind.