If it is true that “The Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.” Then we should strive to be interacting with the word on a daily basis. So many people I know struggle with taking the time to study the word on a personal level. So they struggle in life because they walk about in darkness.
For some it is because they have never been taught howto have a personal Bible study time. For others it is busyness. Or maybe even laziness. The list could go on and on. If you, or someone you know has struggled with maintaining a consistent Bible study time then I would like to offer some ideas to maintain consistency.
Here are 5 ways to set your personal Bible study time on fire
1. Be consistent. – You immediately think, “Right! that is the problem. I am not consistent.” A great way to develop consistency is to set aside the time and guard it with great tenacity. You may be a morning person. You may be an evening person. Whatever is best for you commit to a specific time that you will study the word. Write it on your calendar, save it in your phone, and then guard it like a dog guards his favorite bone. Do not let this time be taken away. I wake up early and give 15 to 20 minutes each morning to personal time in the word.
2. Have a Plan – So now that you are guarding the time to be consistent you have to have a plan. A plan that guides your study time. You can search the web to find specific Bible reading plans. Some take you through the Bible in a year. Others take you through specific topics in scripture. I would like to recommend that you simply pick a book to work your way through. I just finished up 2 Thessalonians. Pick a book and get to studying.
3. Write out the Scripture – It is good to read the word and to underline or highlight it in your copy of the Bible but there is something to be said about writing out the passage you are working through. I normally work through 8-10 verses per day in the book I am working on. This is very manageable and allows me to remember what I have studied for that day. I have a designated notebook that I write in. You can write wherever you want and you can write out as many verses as you want. Try this for a week and you will be surprised at what takes place. The Lord will begin to enlighten and enliven your Bible study time.
4. Underline, Circle, Highlight – Another advantage to writing out the word is that you can then mark it up in any way you like. I normally write the passage in one color pen and then mark it up in another color pen. This allows me to see the areas that the Lord showed me were important during my study. There is no real process to this. You can underline, circle, and highlight in any way that helps you remember and act upon the word. Remember, being in the word is not just about information but also about relationship development with the Lord. The word of God will change you and marking it up will help identify those areas where you need the change.
5. Ask questions and write out the answers – A good way to know what to mark up and underline, circle, or highlight is to ask some questions about the passage of the day. These questions can help identify important information that will lead to transformation. There are many questions you can ask of the passage but I would like to share 4 very simple and straight forward questions with you.
- What does this passage say about God?
- What does this passage say about man?
- What does this passage say about sin?
- Should I change anything in my life based on this passage?
These are five very simple ideas to help you see your personal Bible study time set on fire. There is nothing more powerful than sitting before the word of God and allowing it to inform and transform your life.
For some additional insights into how to have a quality Bible study time as well as ideas on journaling the Bible check out Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S Whitney. I revisit this book each year as it provides valuable insights into consistently being in the word and allowing it to inform my life.