One of the most extraordinary experiences for a Christian is holding your brand new Bible in your hands, knowing the exciting spiritual journey that awaits you. The reason you got the Bible was so that you would study it and get to know God more intimately. Some Bibles have spaces for writing notes, while others have side messages that help your bible study. You may be wondering where to start with your Bible study and the best way to get the most out of it.
There are different study methods for Christians to study the Bible, and there is no right or wrong method. Instead, it is a matter of finding what method of bible study works for you and your Christian life. Studying God’s Word regularly will fill you with God’s wisdom which will help you navigate the issues of your daily lives. The Bible has the answers you seek for various situations you encounter, and it will shed light on things that puzzle you.
James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God, and He will give it to us without reproach. God gives us His insight as we read His Word and study it. Joshua was the man God appointed to take over the responsibility of leading the Israelites to the Promised Land after the death of Moses. God gave Him the advice to succeed on the journey: to read and meditate on His Word (Joshua 1:8). The same applies to us today if we want to live a godly and prosperous life and gain a heart of wisdom.
Below are 4 ways to study the Bible.
Study a biblical character
The Bible is full of exciting stories of people and what they did or didn’t do. We see how they related to others and God. Sometimes we see ourselves in these characters, which becomes an opportunity to learn about ourselves.
Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt but never got to the Promised Land due to disobeying the Lord. Then there was Queen Esther, who delivered her people from destruction by an enemy. Not forgetting King David, who went from being a shepherd boy to one of the most fabulous kings of Israel. Finally, there was the apostle Paul who persecuted Christians and, after salvation, became a preacher of the gospel.
When studying a biblical character, look at how they related to God. Next, look at the person's positive and negative actions and how they handled each situation. Finally, ask yourself what you can learn about God and yourself through the person’s life.
Study a Bible verse(s)
Some Bible verses capture our attention and seem to tell a profound story. Yet, you can learn so much from one verse when you meditate on it and draw out its meaning or the revelation God wants to give you.
The first thing you can do is write the verse and read those portions of scripture aloud. Read it more than once and notice the word or phrase that captures your attention. Next, get the verse's general meaning and study it until you get a deeper meaning. Finally, read the verse within the context of surrounding verses to get the correct interpretation. Many people have misinterpreted what God said because they did not understand the context of the Bible verse they were reading. They then took action based on the wrong meaning of the verse and got disappointed.
You can read a passage of scripture in different Bible versions and take note of the words used so that you can get different perspectives and examine the difference in meaning. Then, once you understand the message God is trying to communicate, you can ask Him to show you what the life lessons are that you need to apply in your Christian life.
Study a passage
Another way to study the Bible is by reading and meditating on a key verse or parable. You will not always find a story of someone. Sometimes, it will be an event that has lessons for us. If it is a parable, you can read it and the interpretation that Jesus Christ gave for a deeper understanding of the scripture.
You cannot understand some Bible verses as a standalone because they are part of a passage. An example is a passage where King Solomon made a wise ruling on two women who were claiming the same baby in 1 Kings 3:16-28. Another example is Jesus Christ's parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-23.
Passages have several lessons for us to learn, and it is, therefore, essential to understanding the overall message before going into details.
Study a topic
One way of getting the most out of studying the Bible is starting with a topic. The best way to tackle a subject is to go by areas you are struggling with in your life or something you need to know on a deeper level. For example, you can choose to study forgiveness, love, anxiety, purpose, work, salvation, etc.
When you study a topic, you build your knowledge and wisdom in that area, and it bears fruit in your life. For example, when you learn a subject like a prayer, you will get to know its principles and what causes your prayers to sometimes go unanswered. By the time you finish studying, your prayer life will change because you will learn how to pray according to God’s will.
God guides us on the topics to study because He knows what we need to learn to grow in our faith. For example, sometimes we need healing, and God leads us to study verses on His promises of healing.
Daniel was one man who studied the Scriptures and knew the prophecy that led to the seventy years of captivity of the Israelites in Babylon (Daniel 9:1-2). Armed with the knowledge, he knew how to pray for them accordingly.
There are other ways you can study the Bible, for example, learning a book or starting from the beginning to the end of the Bible. You can also read related Scriptures from different parts of the Bible. Pray and ask God to teach you new and exciting things in His Word and give you a greater understanding of scripture as you practice your bible study.
As you study your Bible in a quiet place, allow God to enlighten you and reveal more of Himself to you. Sometimes you will get a revelation from a Bible verse or passage as you go about your day. Be open to how God communicates to you as you study His Word.
Find a method that works for you and get the most out of your Bible study today.