Good morning! I wanted to share some tips today about how I study the bible. I am currently reading through the bible from Genesis to Revelation (and have been for about a year and a half) and am currently in Jeremiah. I have learned a few things along the way and wanted to share in hopes that any of these tips may help someone else.
When it comes to faith, we cannot do anything outside of God. No matter how smart we are, we will never understand God’s word if he doesn’t first open our eyes to it. Before I start reading I usually say a quick little prayer asking God to reveal himself to me. I ask him to open my eyes to what he wants to teach me today and to help me see him in the text. I think this is really helpful because it reminds me that reading God’s word is important because it is about Jesus and that the reason I should be reading in the first place is to learn more about him.
This one may sound a little silly but I think it is the step that helps me stay consistent with reading my bible. What I mean by this is to create a little space that you feel comfortable in. For me it’s at my desk, with a cup of coffee, and sometimes with a candle lit. I look forward to mornings where I get to do this.
Don’t expect yourself to sit down and read half of a book in one sitting. This is what kept me from staying consistent for so long. I had it in my head that I had to sit down and spend so much time with God and read as much as I could at a time, but the problem with that was that I barely ever had a large chunk of time to do this. And while I definitely think there is a time to sit down and spend large chunks of time studying the word, maybe this isn’t a realistic thing to do every day. Instead set a reasonable amount of scripture to read as a standard, maybe a chapter or two a day. I set out to read two chapters a day and it really helps because I don’t feel overwhelmed by it.
Get A Bible You Enjoy
We are always more excited about doing something if it involves something that we really like. I just bought this Coloring Bible last month and it makes reading the bible fun. It’s also important to get a Bible with a translation that you can understand very easily. Having a Bible that is confusing will definitely make it harder to want to stay consistent.
You can either journal about what you just read in your Bible or about what is going on in your life at the time, or a combination of both! Either are really helpful honestly. I usually just journal about what is going on in my life and how God has answered prayers. This is such a special thing between me and God because I can look back in a year and see exactly how I was feeling and how God showed up. If you don’t do this now I highly suggest that you do. It’s so so awesome.
Try your best to be consistent about reading. You will get the most out of understanding what is going on if you read every day. But I also noticed that if we try our best to be consistent, it gives God the opportunity to really show up. I think it’s important because it’s showing God that he is most important in our lives. Obviously I’m not saying that if you don’t carve out time for him every day then he isn’t your priority because I know myself that there have been seasons where I just really struggled with that. What I am saying is that if we give God the time to show up, even if were skeptical if he will, or if we’ll really understand what we’re reading, I’ve come to learn that he shows up in ways that we would never imagine. Sometimes it’s just giving you a great mood to start the day. Sometimes it’s just opening your eyes to things in a way you’ve never seen them before. Or sometimes it’s just opening our eyes to the blessing that are already in our lives. If you commit to God to show him that he is most important, he will show up, that’s all I do know.
Give Yourself Grace
While staying consistent is obviously important, I think it is equally important that we give ourselves grace when we fall short too. God knows that we aren’t going to do this perfectly and we shouldn’t expect ourselves too either. At first it might be really slow going, you might only read your Bible once a week, but the key to this is don’t give up because you didn’t meet your goal. God will still show up. Keep at it until it becomes a habit.
These are just a few tips that have helped me along the way. When life gets busy, I usually tend to not be as consistent with reading my bible. But at the same time, if life is so busy that I don’t have time to really spend with God, I know that sometime has to change. It’s important to do whatever we can to make sure God is our priority because he really is our lifeline and if we don’t have time for him, everything else in our life is going to suffer as well.
What tips do you have for Bible studying? I’d love to know!