Bible Study Tips & Practical Ideas
Every Christian needs to read the Bible, but finding a path that's coherent and meaningful will differ with each individual. The Scriptures, inspired by the Holy Sprit, were written by many authors over 1600 years and fit together like a glove when taken in the overall context. However, for daily study and devotions, you may wish to concentrate on books that you need more familiarity with or refresh your memory with books that uplift and inspire you. Reading the Bible from cover to cover may be a great way to get through it, but not necessarily the most effective in ministering to your unique needs.
New souls in Christ do well to concentrate on the four gospels at first, to better learn and comprehend the ministry of the Savior. Mathew, Mark, Luke and John tell a similar account of the same situations, but bring there own perspective to each respective event.
Psalms and Proverbs are food for life and should be read and meditated on daily. In addition to your regular Bible reading plan, try to add a passage from both the Psalms and Proverbs for wisdom and guidance for daily life. One good way to get your daily dose of Proverbs is to read the chapter in accordance with today's date. There are up to thirty-one days of the month and a likewise number of Proverbs chapters, making it a good match for day versus chapter.
The Old Testament is very important to Christians as it gives us a deep understanding to the mind of God and how he dealt with his people, the Jews. By studying the Old Testament, we learn how the Lord expects us to react under similar conditions and are privy to the endless bounds of His love and guidance. According to the book of Romans, the Christian is grafted in to the original olive tree (the Jews) and we stand to share in all that God promised them through salvation and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. As you grow with your studies of both Old and New Testaments, you will clearly see the parallel between the two peoples.
One book that is often overlooked is the Book Of Revelation, located at the end of the New Testament. It can be difficult to understand at times, but ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding as you carefully apply yourself to the doctrine. This is the only book in the Bible that the Lord has promised a special blessing to all those read it, so be sure to get your fair share of blessing and search Revelation as you would any other book of the Bible.
(Revelation 1:3: "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that understand the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand").
Between breakfast, fixing school lunches, preparing lunch and deciding upon dinner, it’s hard to find time for yourself. Basketball practice and recitals fill the evenings all through the week, followed by homework that needs to be monitored, completed and then checked. Once the baths are done, stories have been read, covers tucked and the last sips of water have been passed out, finally, you have some time alone, but you’re tired and ready for bed. For busy moms, finding time to read is a like a treasure hunt, and trying to find time to study the Bible as a busy mom is almost impossible, unless you know some tricks.
The Word tells us as Christians to “seek ye first the kingdom of God”, and “study to show thyself approved.” But learning how to study the Bible as a busy mom will take some perseverance and commitment.
Tip #1 – When
Mornings before anyone else is up is a priceless and precious time. Although your days are long and tiring, and sleeping in is a rare gift, training yourself to get out of bed forty-five minutes to an hour earlier than normal and setting this time aside for you and God will quickly become a habit you won’t want to live without. Use this quiet time to speak to God and allow Him to speak to you. He will have your full attention, and you will have His.
Tip #2 – Where
Although the kitchen table may seem to be ideal, it may be better to find a place away from your normal daily tasks to have your Bible study, like a spare bedroom, the basement or family room. Somewhere quiet and secluded.
Tip #3 – How
As a busy mom, learning how to study the Bible is not a difficult task to begin. If you don’t have a Minister you can speak with to help you get started, the internet has site after site that can suggest a studying track you can follow. There are even some bibles that will have study guides in them. Some suggest beginning in Genesis, or the first book of the Bible, and simply reading through to Revelation which is the last book of the Bible. Other guides will give you a breakdown of books to read in succession. There’s no right or wrong way to study the Bible. It’s all about personal preference. You can even just open the Bible and start reading.
Tip #4 – What
Study tools. Having study materials can be a big help. There are Bible dictionaries, concordances, commentaries and various translations of the Bible that can aid you in your Bible study. As a busy mom, your time is very valuable. Utilizing these tools to help you better understand the Bible will increase your knowledge as well as your desire to learn, and make better use of your time.
Make a commitment and stick to it and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see the benefits of your time with God and His Word.
Finding time to study the Bible in the hectic life of a teenager can be quite a challenge. However, it can be done! Following are some ideas to help make it more reasonable for the teen's lifestyle.
First, you will need to find a time which works for you most of the time. Some people enjoy getting up a few minutes early to have extra time for Bible study before the day gets too out of hand. Others prefer to read just before going to sleep at night. If a lunch break is long enough it might be that a short study can be squeezed in with eating lunch. Set a time which works for you. Then try to keep that time free of other activities most days so it can be a steady Bible study time. Protecting this consistence will help ensure Bible study gets done most days.
A good devotional might be a useful aid to Bible study. Most will give a scripture or passage to read and then follow it with thoughtful commentary. This is generally very well organized and topical. After reading the designated passage and thoughts write down some of your own thoughts on the same topic. Include any scriptures you may recall from earlier studies or group studies you have participated in.
Since there are 150 Psalms and 31 chapters in Proverbs it works well to read 5 Psalms a day and one chapter in Proverbs. Deviate on the day you read Psalm 119 and read only the one chapter in Psalms. In a month you will have read all of Psalms and Proverbs.
When in a corporate setting, jot down any passage that sticks out to you when you hear or read it. Then in your personal time reread the passage. If you have a reference Bible use it to run any references to other scriptures. When a particular topic is encountered several times, make it a matter of study. Using a concordance look up scriptures which discuss the topic. Keep the references on a notepad for future reference. When you hear something on that topic, go back and add it to the notes.
Choose a book of the Bible. Read one chapter each day at your designated Bible study time. It won't take long until you have read the entire book. When you are reading each chapter underline or write down key phrases that seem particularly interesting. After you finish reading the book, take one study time to go back and look at the things you underlined when reading it through.
Reading large quantities of scriptures is not the primary objective of effective Bible study. The key thing is to be consistent. Every day read something, even if it is just one verse or passage. Make it a primary goal to set and keep your Bible study time each day.
Studying the Word of God is enlightening, inspirational, and at times can be a life raft. Understanding what is written in the Bible can be somewhat difficult for beginners, but with time, effort, an open mind and receiving heart, the Word will begin to reveal itself to you and you will find yourself wanting to read more and more.
You and a couple of friends have decided you want to study together, but how to study the Bible in small groups is something none of you really know anything about. Don’t worry; it’s easier than you think. A good place to start would be your local Christian book store. They have preprinted study guides geared specifically toward small group study. They also come in different levels for newbie’s as well as seasoned Bible students. They cover men and women of the Bible, history of the Bible, the Psalms, the Gospels, etc. as well as individuals such as Paul, David, Moses, etc. There are even study guides that were created for people who have never even picked up a Bible. Be careful to start at a level each one in your group is comfortable with.
It’s not necessary to actually select a “leader”, but in the beginning, it may make it easier for a small Bible study group. The leader basically does the same as a business meeting mediator. They make sure the study stays focused and moving forward. As for topics for Bible study, since the group is small, each participant can bring suggestions and even questions if you’ve decided against preprinted material. Presenting questions and having the group research to find what they believe the answer to be makes for some of the best Bible studies. It is a good idea to have someone included who is knowledgeable regarding the Word. If one is not available, this is where study guides can be are very helpful. There is usually an instructor’s book along with the study guides to provide answers and insight to the lesson.
Another good idea is to search the internet for Christian sites. Many Christian sites offer Bible study topics, and will include information that you can download and print off for the group. If you decide to have your Bible study group meet at your local library, for example, each of you can actually visit the same site at the same time and have your study there.
Small Bible study groups can also use prerecorded DVD’s. The public libraries carry a large selection of such materials available for check out. This way, you are guided through a study, and still have the opportunity to interject, pose questions and search the Word for yourself.
Just because your group is small, Bible study can still be a very rewarding experience. Pray and ask for guidance and insight and be prepared for a wonderful and hopefully long lived experience.