Every believer is admonished to know and study the Bible. However not everyone is given a game plan for how to do it so that it’s meaningful, memorable, and enjoyable. Bible study is essential to the Christian’s spiritual growth. It’s a discipline that accentuates a believer’s faith, prayer life, witness, and effectiveness in building the kingdom of God. Those who make Bible study a natural part of their lives find greater strength in times of weakness, trials, and tragedies.
Make these 7 essential habits a part of your Bible study time:
#1) Begin with prayer and keep talking to God throughout the study. “Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, Lord, according to your laws” (Psalm 119:149). Bible study is more than just gathering knowledge and information. It’s hearing God speak to our hearts and responding to what we hear within. We pray before, during, and after our Bible study time so that we are in constant communication with God. Prayer is the conduit of understanding between God and us as we dig into the Bible.
#2) Keep an open mind to what God to what GOD is speaking to you.
The Lord reveals truth to His people through the study of the Bible. The revelation revealed through the Holy Spirit requires us to willingly broaden our mindsets and expectations. While we want to be careful to not take scripture out of context, we understand that God’s vision or dreams for us will always stay within the confines of the written word.
#3) Write down or highlight any verse that really speaks to your heart.
“I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees” (Psalm 119:149). Once we have finished our time of Bible study, it’s easy to get distracted and busy with our lives. Therefore, it’s important to write down key concepts or ideas that we receive during the study. We don’t have to write a lot of information, but it’s good to even write out certain scriptures as they will become more imprinted in our minds.
#4) Repent if you find a scripture that is revealing sin in your heart.
“Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me” (Psalm 119:133). There’s a risk to intentional and honest study of the scriptures—we will find times of conviction in our hearts. As we study, we remember where we have taken the wrong path of selfishness or spoken a harsh word. In good faith, we must at that moment of recognition, confess and repent of our sin to the Lord.
#5) Meditate on key passages for a period of time.
“I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes” (Psalm 119:99). The reading of God’s word at one point in time may not be a quick fix for all of our problems. Rather we are to reminisce key scriptures over and over again until it becomes a fixed part of our thoughts and reflections. There’s no substitute for meditation of God’s word and those who practice it regularly find themselves more resolute in their faith to trust God in the storms of life.
#6) Resist mental distractions that turn your focus away from God’s word.
“Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word” (Psalm 119:37). The moment we decide to give serious and thoughtful study to God’s word—our minds are bombarded with thoughts about everything else from family, work, church, or community responsibilities. While these things are not bad of themselves, they can distract from the study and we can lose the opportunity to learn insightful mysteries about God. We must train our thoughts to focus entirely on God’s word and let everything else have its time later.
#7) Walk away with a plan of action for what you studied in God’s word.
“My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end” (Psalm 119:112). The worst thing we could do after a time of study in God’s word is to shut our Bibles and do nothing else until the next study. It’s the practice of what we’ve learned in Bible study that gives us the power to move in faith. Our obedient actions help us grow up spiritually so that we become stronger in our gifts and discernment.
(c) Hear It First