BIBLE PLANS | RESOURCES | STUDIES
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Ps 119:105)
Regularly set aside time for studying the Bible with meditation, reflection and prayer. In this way we build intimacy with God as we hear His voice through His word and internalize deeply His thoughts and plans for our lives and for our world. The bible says “Be diligent (study) to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15.
How to study the Bible?
Many people approach reading and studying the Bible in a very arbitrary way and often times it’s because they don’t know where to start or how to go deeper. Particularly if you’re new to reading the Bible, it can be intimidating. Also with busy lifestyles, we may sometimes take quick bites. A daily bible verse or short devotional is definitely better than nothing, but it is important to go deeper. Then there are some of us who read very quickly. Maybe you are one of those people. With an engaging book and some free time you devour it in a couple of hours, but you perhaps find some areas or topics in the bible too difficult to quickly navigate and are thrown off, sticking only to the more familiar topics and verses. Then again perhaps you are someone who feels like you’ve lost your way on your faith journey and would like to resume your spiritual pursuit to know the Lord. However, the fog of guilt and fear of conviction keeps you away from His word. Which ever category you fall into, be encouraged to press on!!
For bible study, using a bible study plan is very helpful. Fortunately, there are a number of bible study apps available for Apple and Android devices. Here are some guidelines to get you started:
- For daily study, you can start by downloading and setting a phone bible app to send you a verse daily or sign up of one of the Bible study plans they host. Then wake up a little earlier in the morning before the day gets noisy for some time to read, pray and meditate.
- Read the verse or devotional, but don’t stop there, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into the truth of how it pertains to you. Reflect and also quiet your mind to listen! Use your voice note recorder, notes app or journal to record what you felt God was saying to you through this time. It may be a paraphrase of verse as it applies to you or something specific God said or revealed to you. It’s important to record what the Lord says in those moments as later it may be forgotten. In those times He reveals himself and the things that are vital to our progress in Him. This can also be done later in the day when work is finished or before bed.
- Taking it a step further, you can use the verse of the day to go deeper into the biblical theme it captures. Further explore the whole chapter for its scriptural context and also cross reference with other verses that feed into that theme. Most bibles will have some type of cross-referencing footnotes or you can use a study bible. Also you could use an online bible commentary and Hebrew/Greek dictionary to study the root meanings of certain words and how bible scholars interpreted the scriptures. It’s also very useful to examine its historical context. Again, make notes, record what you are learning and what God is saying to you.
- It’s also important to move from the personal and ask the Lord how His word applies more widely to family, church, nation and global events. This type of activity takes us beyond just thinking of our own needs and personal growth to the bigger picture and how we can pray or be used in it. God cares about all of His children.
- For longer, more in-depth studies of a particular theme, ask the Lord to reveal the area(s) that require more of the light of His word. For example it may be that you or others around you need emotional or physical healing, it may be about finances or hearing God’s voice, growing in spiritual gifts, loving your children or a spouse or getting to know Him better. For these why not set aside a longer time for focused study. Decide to invest perhaps 1-2 hours a week for a number weeks to research and pray about the topic, don’t plan to hustle through it. This type of focused study, adds weight and depth to our spiritual growth in a specific area. Again use a bible commentary or study guide, read the writings of others who have studies these topics. You can easily purchase a book or bible study series on various topics on Amazon or other online book store.
- Taking it a step further, why not start a bible study group and invite some of your friends and neighbors to go on this journey with you? As others feed into the journey and add their perspectives, you get a broader sense of how the word of God applies to various situations and to others. Your church may also be hosting bible study series..make every opportunity to participate in these as you can.