Study the Bible with Purpose
If the thought of Bible study intimidates you, you are not alone. Many people tell me that they fear they will not understand the Bible, therefore they do not even try.
You can study the Bible on your own, you can understand it and you can get the message God wants you to hear. To deepen your relationship with Christ, you must read and meditate on the Word.
Why should we read and study the Bible?
Proverbs 4:20-22--Pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body.
John 15:3-You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
John 15:7-If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
Psalm 119:28-My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Get a Bible that you like. Easy to read--a study Bible with tabs for the books of the Bible if needed. Learn it –touch it, feel it. Study online if that works for you.
If you prefer, you can listen the Bible on CD or download to your iPod. There is no wrong way.
There are many “methods” or techniques-below is one to get you started.
1. In this method you will study an entire book of the Bible. A good starting point with a shorter book would be the book of James, Titus, 1 Peter, or 1 John . Plan to spend 3-4 weeks on the book of your choice.
2. Often people avoid Bible study because they feel that they are unable to understand it. Before you start each study session, begin by praying and asking God to open your spiritual understanding. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us " All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.”
3. Read through the book you have chosen several times. Do not be distracted by what you may not understand-keep going. Read through the book as many times as you feel necessary while looking for themes and life application. The book of James, for example, contains the life application of living out the Word instead of just reading or "knowing" it. (Putting faith into action.)
4. Embark on a deeper understanding by reading the book again--this time verse by verse. Use a Bible dictionary to begin understanding the key words in each verse.
5. There are many resources available to help you dive deep into the Word. You do not necessarily have to buy a Bible Dictionary, Lexicon or Concordance. All of these resources are available online and many of them are free. There is a wealth of knowledge available to you.
6. Jesus said in Luke 11:28, "But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice." Do not study just for study sake, but to learn and apply God's Word to your life. Live it out!
7. Once you've finished the first book, choose another one and follow the same steps. As you go, you will develop your own method and what works best for you.