Now that you have prepared to study your Bible, get settled in to your favorite place. For some that will be a comfy chair, for others it may be their favorite coffee shop. Maybe you like worship music playing, or maybe you like a quiet environment. Whatever you chose, make sure it is a place where you can focus and enjoy time with Jesus.
Here are 5 suggestions to get you started in Bible study:
1 – Give Jesus Your Best and Then Show Up
Most of us set aside time for reading and studying our Bible – view this as a personal appointment time with Jesus. When thinking about what time of the day to spend with God, consider giving Him your best. What time of day are you at your best? Most alert? Most focused? Consider this time as your tithe offering of your ‘firstfruits’ (Proverbs 3:9).
Once you make the commitment, show up! Can you imagine having a red carpet date with your favorite actor and then not showing up? You would never dare turn down that invitation! (You wouldn’t, would you?) In fact, chances are you would rearrange your schedule and do whatever was necessary to be sure you were in attendance at the big event, right?
You should also never miss meeting with Jesus. What excuse could you possibly try to give to the Creator of the Universe as you sit across from Him looking into His eyes?
Spending time in God’s Word is vital to our spiritual health, so set a schedule to study your Bible and stick to it.
2 – Pray for Understanding
Before you start your reading plan, take a few minutes to pray. Spend time thanking God for the blessings in your life and praising Him for Who He is. Then, ask His Holy Spirit to teach you understanding of the Scriptures as you read.
Nothing is worse than sitting across from someone sharing your heart and they are distracted. Could you imagine sitting down with the Savior of the world and not listening to what He wanted to say?
Distraction is one of the top reasons for being frustrated with Bible study and prayer, but they are almost certain to occur. We can take a few measures to help with our wandering mind:
- Tune out the world – place the cell phone in another room or turn it off. At the very least turn it on silent.
- Write down stray thoughts – keep a journal nearby to record any stray thoughts. This will help remove the distraction of trying to remember those things later.
- Ask God for help focusing
When distractions happen, don’t get frustrated and quit. Beating ourselves up won’t motivate us to keep going. We simply re-focus and get back to reading or praying.
If we will imagine our Bible time is like a personal meeting with Jesus, it might help us to be intently focused on Him, giving Him all of our attention.
4 – Listen Up
What makes spending time with our girlfriend fulfilling? Usually it is girl-talk. We share our hearts and we listen to them share theirs. Conversation deepens our relationship.
If we were having a sit-down with Jesus, we would want to know every word He wanted to say to us.
When spending time with God, be sure to give Him some silence space – time for Him to speak to us. Quiet yourself and wait for Him to speak.
5 – Stay Until It’s Over
We would never think of walking out on a meeting with our boss, especially if the reason was just because we felt like it should be over. No, we would stay until our boss was finished and we felt released.
When spending time in God’s Word, we should wait until we feel a sense of release. Give every opportunity to read, understand, and apply the Word to our lives. Not every meeting may be revelatory in the moment, but we are guaranteed His Word will accomplish what He intended for it to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11).
This information was inspired by Scripture Engagement – © Phil Collins, Ph.D., 2014.
Scripture Engagement is a partnership between Bible Gateway and the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement.