As a new christian back in the day, studying the Bible seemed to be a daunting concept for me. I didn’t know where to begin.
That’s why I have created some tips and tricks that I have discovered over the years that I thought I would share with you on easy ways to make your Bible study more productive and easier to navigate.
Tip #1: Slow down
I used to feel super stressed to feel like I had to get through an entire chapter, book, section, etc. a day in order to “fill the quota” that was necessary for me to be a good Christian. I found that when I went super fast and read a substantial amount, I didn’t remember nearly as much. I was in a God time one morning when God spoke to my heart: “Jill-slow down.”
That’s when Jesus began to lovingly teach me about the power of studying scripture-not just reading scripture. I learned that it is better to only read a few verses and really chew on them and understand them, than to race through an entire chapter or book of scripture and not gain much from it. So never forget my beautiful friends: Sometimes “less” is more when it comes to your God time. Give yourself permission to slow down and really digest what each verse is saying.
Tip #2: Ask Holy Spirit for help
God LOVES to help us understand His word! Whenever you come across a scripture verse or passage that confuses you, ask Holy Spirit to help you understand.
Tip #3: Study in the areas where you are struggling or need help
When I first started doing this, the results absolutely began to blow my mind. For example, if you are struggling in the area of finances, go study a bunch of scripture verses on finances. If you are struggling with negative thoughts, go study scriptures on the mind. Etc. Keeping all of these in one central location in a journal can be very helpful to pull out and speak when times get tough. Remember: the power of life and death is in your tongue. When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, He “fought” the devil by decreeing the Word of God. Speaking and studying scriptures in the areas where you need God’s help can help to increase your faith, and fast track your breakthrough.
Tip #4: Read a translation you can understand
People are very opinionated in this area. And yes-I love my good ol King James Bible. But if you cannot understand what a translation is saying, it defeats the purpose of studying. My best advice in this area is, keep a good reference translation on hand and find a translation that makes learning come alive for you. Referencing the Greek and Hebrew meaning of words is always your best bet if you are struggling to understand the accuracy of a passage or what it really means.
Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to highlight and write in your Bible
For some people, the idea of this absolutely freaks them out, but it can be a helpful tool for some. I like it, because it forces me to slow down and process a passage if I am highlighting the parts that stand out to me as I read. Writing notes can remind you of revelation from the Holy Spirit at a later date if you go back and read that same passage through in your Bible at a later time.
Tip #6: If you’ve never read through the Bible before, start in the New Testament
Matthew, Mark, Luke John, etc. are great books to start with if you don’t know where to begin because they are easier to read than some. They also offer a great deal of practicality. I find that the gospels can be easier to read for some people, and it gives you a good launching pad when you start to study the rest of the Bible. A passage from Psalms and Proverbs can also be incorporated daily into your Bible readings.
Tip #7: Do what works for YOU
I have a friend who truly enjoys reading through the Yearly Bible (it gets you through reading the entire Bible in one year). She loves it because of the accountability. This doesn’t work for me, because I like the option of being able to hop around. Is one better than the other? No. You need to do what works for YOU. Some individuals like to find a favorite devotional book and read it along with their daily Bible reading. This can also be good. My main point here is: Just because your friend is doing something different from you in their God times, don’t let it make you feel pressured to feel like you have to do exactly the same thing as then. Do what helps you to draw closer to the presence of Jesus and what works well for you.