Have you ever been caught saying to yourself, “The Bible is so big. How do I even study it?” Well, I have and I can tell you it is not a funny situation at all. Usually, in the process of trying to figure out how to get into Bible study and attempting to learn, it’s like we lose it altogether. So, in this post, I put together a few tips that you could use. These are Bible Study strategies that I have used, and that I am still using till this day. One thing you should do is to try to figure what works best for you and go with that. We good? Okay, enough chit-chat, let’s get to it.
4 WAYS TO STUDY THE BIBLE
- Character Study
A number of people like to get into the nitty-gritty of Scriptures by studying the lives, actions and personalities of Biblical characters. This could range from characters in the Old Testament to those in the New Testament. For instance, you could choose to study the life of Jesus. By doing that, you search through scriptures for what Jesus did, the values he held on to, the words he spoke etc.
2. Chapter Study
This works well too. You could do a chapter by chapter study, where you study each chapter of a book e.g the Book of John on a day to day, or an every other day basis. For instance, you study John 1:1-28 the first day, and then verses 29-51 the next day. Another thing to note while studying scriptures is to ask questions and ensure you are not just brushing through the words. If all you can settle down to understand and meditate on, for the day, is one verse, then do that. The purpose is to get the Word of God in your heart, not to read the whole Bible and forget what it’s talking about.
3. The S.O.A.P method:
If you have researched how to study the Bible at some point, then you may have come across this. I got to learn it online too as a Bible Study method. S.O.A.P stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. For Scripture, you have a verse or chapter that you are working with e.g. Psalm 23:6 which says, “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever” and you are expected to write that down or note it.
Next is Observation, and what you are to do here is to look out for words which stand out to you as an instruction, a promise, a command etc. You might even look out for double meanings and all that stuff. So using Psalm 23:6, you can observe that God’s promise is that His goodness and unfailing love will always be with you. In the above translation (NLT), it says these things will “pursue you” and you could observe that to mean that wherever you go, this love and goodness of God is running after you in a “I am here for you” manner.
Then we have Application where you should figure out how to apply God’s Word to your life. In our Psalm 23:6 example, the Psalmist says, “I will live in the house of the LORD forever” and your application could be “I will not depart from God’s Presence wherever I find myself, and I should always be excited to go to church.”
Last is Prayer based on what you have read. Using the same verse, you could pray, “Father help me to live in your Presence all the days of my life. I thank you that your goodness and unfailing love is always with me. Help me to be conscious of this with every breath that I take, in Jesus name. Amen”
4. The God-Follower Method
Now, this is one I just discovered last week from one of my YouVersion Bible plans, and it’s why I came up with this entire post, because I wanted to share with you. This Bible Study method can be done with a single verse or an entire chapter. You get to ask yourself two questions after reading your verse or chapter:
a. What does this passage tell me about God?
b. What does this passage tell me about being a follower of God?
For instance, last week I read Psalm 73 in the TPT version and I saw it in whole new light! Answering the questions of this Bible Study method led to the following (directly from my notes):
a. God knows His own people, and His ways are the best.
b. As a follower of God, I shouldn’t envy the heathen or the wicked, because, in actual fact, they are the ones on a slippery path, even though their lives seem to “glow.”
I hope I have explained to detail the different ways you can study your Bible. If you can, try to take notes on your phone or in a book (separated for Bible Study), so you can always go back to learn and relearn, and remind yourself of your commitments and of God’s promises. Are there other ways that you study your Bible? I love to hear and learn from you. So, please leave a comment to tell me how you get the juice from Scriptures.
An addition to studying your Bible is that you should always pray for the Holy Spirit to help you understand and to reveal His Word to you before you begin to study. After your study, pray again that the Word remains in your heart and is reflected in your actions. Also, try as much as possible to read scriptures in different versions. My current love is the TPT (The Passion Translation) version. I am also a huge fan of MSG, NLT and AMP. Reading Bible verses across these versions will definitely open up your understanding even more.
A DAILY PRAYER
This is the second aspect of today’s post. It is a prayer I discovered in one of the YouVersion Bible plans, and I plan to pray it everyday for as long as I can. It goes like this:
God, I dedicate my mind to you. I want to think on things that are good, right, pure, and excellent. I want to take captive any thoughts that aren’t from you. I want to remember your past faithfulness when I am tempted to doubt.
Today, I dedicate my eyes to you. I want to see others the way you see them. I want to view my circumstances through the lens of hope and faith. I want to look at life as one who is confident that you are with me.
Today, I dedicate my ears to you. I want to hear your voice above all the others clamoring for my attention. I want to listen to you and to honor others by listening well to them.
Today, I dedicate my mouth to you. I want my words to be life-giving. I want to speak honestly and sincerely. I want to think before I speak. I want to let others have the last word.
Today, I dedicate my heart to you. I want my heart to be pure and undivided. I want to master my emotions, not serve them. I want my dreams and desires to please you.
Today, I dedicate my hands to you. I want to work hard at whatever I put my hands to. I want to touch others in love and goodwill. I want my hands to be open for whatever you want to give me and willing to to release anything you want me to surrender.
Today, I declare my feet to you. I want to go wherever you send me. I want to walk toward the messes, not run from them. I want to stand firmly upon the truth and not stumble.
The most important relationship I have deserves my greatest expression of worship: a dedicated life.
by Elaine Scott.
Okay Royalty, that’s it for today. Don’t forget to leave a comment – tell me if you learnt from this at all, and remember to share your own Bible Study strategies for everyone. We definitely need each other!
With Overflowing Love,