How to Get Better at Studying the Bible

5 Mins read

The Bible is the most powerful way that God continues to speak to His people. With that in mind, it’s important that we know how to truly study Scripture so we can get as much out of it as possible. While it’s easy to quickly read through the Bible like you would any other book, it’s crucial to understand that the Bible is not just “any other book.” With that in mind, allow today to be the day that you gain a better understanding of how to more effectively study Scripture.

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

It has been said that “It is impossible to know God without knowing the Bible.” That statement can either bring you great peace, or it can be a source of stress. After all, knowing the Bible is a major task. The Christian Bible is made up of 66 books composed by dozens of authors over the course of thousands of years. There are different writing styles, some of the words are difficult to understand, and trying to keep up with the timeline can be daunting.

However, there is no denying that God wants us to truly know His Word. In the passage we just read from the Book of Hebrews, the unnamed author spoke about the power of Scripture. The first statement that the author made was the fact that the Word of God is alive. What does that mean?

The Bible being “alive” means that it is just as applicable to our lives as it was the lives of the people who we read about in Scripture. The problems that they faced aren’t all that different than the problems that we face. Yes, society has changed over the years, but if you look at what people in the Bible struggled with, you realize that humanity hasn’t changed all that much.

For instance, many people in the Old Testament struggled with the pursuit of power and the effects of pride. Can’t you look around and see people that you know who are struggling with the same things? Perhaps you’re struggling with the same things. That’s because the Bible is alive. Lust, anger, jealousy, bitterness, and any other number of emotions plagued people in the Bible, and we struggle against those same things today. The Bible is living!

Additionally, the writer of Hebrews said that the Bible exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. When you stop looking at the Bible as a piece of literature and start looking at it as a mirror, you can truly uncover what it means to allow Scripture to expose your thoughts and desires. This process isn’t easy, nor is it comfortable. However, it’s an important part of truly embracing a life of discipleship.

Now that we know why we need to study Scripture, let’s take a look at how to do so more effectively.

Make it a Habit
Matthew 4:3-4 (NLT)
During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, all of us are creatures of habit. We largely become what we do every day. You don’t have to look past the first 30 minutes of your day to learn that you are a product of your daily habits. When your morning alarm goes off, you probably do the same things in the same order until you get out the door to go to work. Perhaps you start by turning on the coffee pot, brushing your teeth, getting a shower, and then getting dressed. You then grab your coffee in a travel mug and head out the door. You probably take the same route to work, and when you’re there, you start your shift by doing the same things in the same order. Our entire existence largely revolves around schedules and routines. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it does speak to the importance of implementing Bible study into our daily habits.

Charles Duhigg, a widely renowned author writes that 45% of what we do every day is habitual. If you already have good habits, that is great news. However, if your habits are lacking, that’s bad news for almost half of your day.

It is crucial that we make Bible study a habit. Depending on what your schedule looks like, you may not have hours available to pour over Scripture while consulting commentaries and other pieces of literature that help us better understand Scripture. However, just because you don’t have hours doesn’t mean that you don’t have time.

One of the most important parts of Bible study is found in making it a part of your daily routine. Even if you only have 30 minutes between the end of your workday and taking your kids to an extra-curricular activity, you can commit that time to the study of God’s Word.

Scientists say that it takes 66 days to make something a habit. Is it a coincidence that there are 66 books in the Bible? Probably not. Make today your first day of making Bible study one of your daily habits.

Envelop Your Bible Study with Prayer
Colossians 4:2-3 (NLT)
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains.

Secondly, you should begin and end your daily Bible study with prayer. Before you begin studying the Bible, ask God to help you understand what it is that you’re about to read. Ask the Holy Spirit, who is the source of divine revelation, to help you grasp the ideas that are taught in Scripture. Once you’re done reading, ask God to help you see areas in in your life where you can apply the things that you just read about. When you bookend your Bible study with prayer, you truly involve the Author of the Bible in your study of it.

In the verses we just read, Paul was asking people to pray that he would have the ability to speak about the God’s “mysteries” which are found in Scripture. One of the most important parts of studying the Bible is the ability to share the truths found in Scripture with people around you. When you invite God’s presence into your study of His Word, you are positioning yourself to better understand it and share it with others.

Allow Your Study to Change You
James 1:22-25 (NLT)
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

Finally, Bible study should be an invasive process. Remember, the verse from Hebrews that we read said that Scripture is able to separate the flesh from the spirit. That means that it truly cuts into what we are.

The most important aspect of Bible study is treating it as an opportunity to change. When you study for tests in school, you’re studying so the information that you need becomes embedded into your mind. When you study the Bible, you’re doing the same thing.

Learning what God’s Word says and how to apply it to our lives is one of the most important parts of Bible study. Don’t simply read the Bible. Look for ways to change your life so you can better fulfill God’s plan for your life.

A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Word. Help me to make it a part of my daily routine. Help me understand it and help me to change my life according to Your Word. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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