What motivates your desire on how to study the Bible effectively? Why is a personal Bible study so important to you? How can you implement a practical study plan without getting bored or tired along the way? I hope to help you find answers to these and many other questions even as you continue reading this blog post on how to study the Bible effectively.
The Bible contains 66 books, which are divided into two sections. These are the Old Testament (39 books) and the New Testament (27 books).
“Merely reading the Bible is no use at all without we study it thoroughly and hunt it through, as it were, for some great truth.”
Sometimes, picking up the Bible to study for yourself could feel so boring and overwhelming. You wonder where to start the study, how to navigate the Old Testament stories, and what Bible character should come first in your studies. All these concerns could make a Christian lose interest in a personal Bible study plan. Hence, the desire to study the Bible gradually wanes off. This why I will like to recommend to you a perfect guide on how to build self-confidence. It will help you become more self-driven about whatever you choose to do.
Now, I understand that what motivates you to learn how to study the Bible effectively is a desire to know God more. We are in a time where life ordeal, circumstances and situations around us threaten our belief in God. But, our victory over these challenges is in the knowledge of God’s word we have through a consistent Bible study habit.
Sadly, many Christians do not create time for Bible study.
According to a survey carried out by statista.com, it was estimated that the percentage of Bible reading among adults in the United States of America reduced drastically over the past three years. In 2019, only 16% of American adults studied their Bible every day. However, the data published in December 2020 shows that the number had significantly reduced to 3%.
Of course, the fall in Bible reading among adults within the space of a year is because people do not find Bible study interesting. And if they do, most of them had not learned the step-by-step guide on how to study the Bible creatively and effectively.
There is no better way to boost your faith than a consistent Bible study and prayer lifestyle. Faith is built over time. My foremost desire for you through this blog post is that you develop an effective Bible study plan that would help boost your faith, trust and belief in God.
Effective Bible study helps you internalize God’s word to create faith in you. It makes you believe and trust God more than ever before, especially in challenging times. Studying the Bible gives you the encouragement you need to face life challenges and this builds in you a strong defense against sin.
Quickly, let me walk you through the step-by-step guide on how to study the Bible effectively. Below are the outlines I have used over the years, which I believe will help you too.
- Create a Personal Bible Study plan
- Have a Study notebook
- Meditate and pray with the Scripture
CREATE A PERSONAL BIBLE STUDY PLAN
The first thing you must have to create a Bible reading plan is the right attitude. Having the right attitude is all that is needed to make any plan and execute it.
Many people only wish they could study the Bible, but they truly do not see a need for it. But, it would help if you do not let this be your attitude.
The right attitude to an effective Bible study starts with a quest in your heart to know God. A Bible study plan is essential for your walk of faith with God. Once the attitude is right, the action will be correct and consistent.
Now, how do you create a Bible study plan?
It is simple.
- Include Bible Study as Part of your daily Schedule- I understand that you could be very busy with your profession or taking care of the family. But, I also know that no one is too busy not to attend to what is important to them.
If your faith walk is important to you, I believe that apportioning 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 1 hour each day for your study would not be a bad idea. Pick a specific time frame convenient for you.
- Schedule a Bible study time- While some prefer to study their Bible in the day, others love the nighttime. However, I often use my early waking hour as my Bible study time and preferably do more Bible meditation at night.
I choose the morning hour for my study because of the freshness that comes with the morning time. However, I use the nighttime more for meditation and reflection, with less study.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Bible meditation is simply mentally engaging your mind to think over a particular portion of the Bible you had studied. You should not ignore the power of meditation as it is the process that builds faith in your heart when studying the Bible.
- Map out what to study first- The major challenge people face when learning how to study the Bible is knowing where to start.
Interestingly, a Bible study plan could begin with learning about a Character of interest in the Bible. For instance, you can choose to start with learning about women like Esther, Ruth, Hannah, Deborah and the likes, or you could choose to start with events in the Bible, a Bible topic of interest, or specific books of the Bible.
If you would like to study the Bible by books, I will recommend you start with the New Testament first before studying the Old Testament. This way, you would have understood better that the whole Bible is about Jesus Christ, including the Old Testament.
- Write down your study plan- Planning in your head will keep you going for two, three days and after few days, you will relapse about your goal of learning how to study the Bible. However, once you have the desire to study, you should put all the plans on paper. Mark your calendar and follow through with these plans. Why you need to write down your Bible study plan is that it helps you monitor your progress.
HAVE A BIBLE STUDY NOTEBOOK
Now that you have a personal study plan and ready to implement it, you will need something more. Yes, you will need a customized Bible study notebook. Let me ask you, what purpose is learning without jotting? It is not enough to memorize Bible passages. You might forget. Have a notebook to write down what the passage means to you.
Writing keeps the study fresh in your memory.
You can ask yourself questions as you study and write down the answers you get from the same study.
Some of these questions could be;
- Who is the author in the Bible passage you are reading?
- Who are the audience?
- What was the situation surrounding the events?
- What can you learn from it?
MEDITATE AND PRAY WITH THE SCRIPTURE
Earlier in this post, I mentioned meditation as one of the processes that build faith in your heart as you learn how to study the Bible. The ultimate goal of your Bible study is not just for knowledge sake but to develop a faith-based Christian lifestyle. Your faith is what keeps you strong amid the storm. It is your power in difficult times and the fuel that enhances your walk with God.
However, faith is not abstract. It is a product of consistent Bible meditation. You can achieve meditation by ‘worrying’ about what you have studied in God’s word. Meditation allows you to shut out your mind from any other activity and focus your attention on what you have learned in God’s word.
Create a solitary place and time where all you do is to meditate on God’s word. As you meditate, you empower your spirit to believe more in what God’s word says and trust Him to do for you just the same way He did in the Bible.
Lastly, always accompany your Bible study with prayers. Study with anticipation of using what you had studied as a prayer point afterward. Your Bible study becomes effective when you seal it with confession, declaration, or requests through prayers.