I get many direct messages from people who want to know how I study my Bible. Because I share so many pictures of my Bible on Instagram, others ask me questions like “Where do I start?”
It is a joy to be an inspiration for others to open the Word of God and find Him there. So, I have decided to share some tips that I personally use when studying my Bible.
Firstly, I am no expert, by any means, when it comes to studying the Bible. There are books upon books of different methods. So, this way of mine is not the perfect way to do it.
Some people really like listening to the Bible. Others, do intense inductive Bible reading. Some, go back to the Hebrew and Greek Words. Some, like to do word studies. Many, read a Psalm with their other plans.
So, my way may not resonate with you. However, you can go to Pinterest and pin away!
I have basically found a mesh of ideas from others and have created my own thing. So, I am glad to share this with you.
The Bible that I have is a Single Column Journaling Bible (I messed that up in the video below). There are many translations as well as many colors and textures to choose from. You can get them online and in bookstores.
I prefer to use the ESV translation, but you can choose your favorite. I love this Bible because of the amount of space in the margins. There is plenty of room for note taking!
I think it is very important to have a full picture of the Scriptures. So, I believe that it will be helpful to have you read every book of the Bible. However, that is very daunting to think about all at once!
So, if you are new to Bible reading, I do not suggest you start in Genesis. It isn't until the Gospels in the New Testament that you see Jesus in His humanity on earth.
Therefore, I would suggest reading the book of John first. There, you will get to see the character of God the Father, through Jesus Christ, the Son. You will learn about the concept of redemption, as you read about the Savior’s death, burial, and resurrection.
Once you have read that book, you should prayerfully ask God to lead to you where to go next.
It is very easy and even widely taught that we are to go to the Bible starting with focusing on ourselves. However, the lessons of the Scriptures are about God and who He is. Then a relationship, considering who we are as a reflection of Christ, can be developed and walked out for His glory.
We must realize that the Scriptures are inspired by God and are therefore written by both God and the human writers. We have to consider the context of the Scriptures.
Who were the Scriptures written to at that time? Why were the Scriptures written to those who would have read them during that time? What were they to learn from the author?
Asking these questions are usually helpful when reading the letters of the New Testament.
As you read the Gospels, consider how God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit can be seen in that particular text? Ask how the information that you have learned, can help you adore and love God more?
How is Christ magnified there? What lessons can be learned from the teachings? How are you to respond practically to the lesson that you have learned?
PICTURES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT!
In the Old Testament, Christ is not blatantly spoken of, though He is all throughout the pages. There are pictures of Christ everywhere. Ask God the Father to show you those pictures and seek to find them as you read.
Many times we see ‘huge characters’ of the Bible and try to apply them to our lives, not realizing that those characters are usually pictures of CHRIST. An example is the story of Moses.
Many people say they have the ‘Moses Blessing.’ Meaning they are going to be used to set free many people! However, if you take a closer look, that story is a picture of Christ. Just as the Israelites were chained and in bondage, so were we in our sin.
Christ came as our Savior (like Moses) and set us free from that bondage. He is the Moses of the New Testament. We are not the saviors. In fact, We tend to get into lots of messes when we try to be the little saviors!
Sure, there are many aspects of that story we can learn from. But, we are not the ones who are the savior. Christ is! There are so many other examples, but I will leave it there for you to discover!
DEPENDING ON THE HOLY SPIRIT!
We must ask The Holy Spirit to open our eyes to see things that we cannot normally see on our own.
HOW I TAKE NOTES!
When people see my Bible, the first thing that sticks out to them is all of the writing and color! Oh, I love to mark my Bible up! I do realize many people see the text of the Bible as sacred and holy and just cannot write in their precious Bibles!
I honored that thought. If you are one who has that conviction, you can do all of this in a journal. I have also heard of those who have a Bible specifically for writing in, and another one specifically for reading. It works for them!
THIS IS MY BIBLE!
I like to choose one book of the Bible to read through. There are some who prefer to read one chapter at a time. However, I tend to read verses!
So, I don't have a set amount of text I plan to read, whenever I pick up my Bible. I just read until I feel I should stop.
As I read, I underline verses that stand out to me. After I finish reading that passage. I then consider those scriptures I underlined in the context of the full text.
Many of us pick and choose verses that encourage without considering the entire context, That is a no-no!
I will write notes on my beloved margins. After I write those notes, I will make a box around the note. Then, I will draw a box around the verse/s that corresponds to that note.
I then draw an arrow from the boxed off verse to the boxed off note in the margin. This is to help me find the verses and notes later. I then take either a colored pencil or a colored pen and go over those boxes and the arrows.
WHY THE ARROWS?
After I have studied and have made notes, it can be confusing to find how everything relates to one another. This is why my Bible is filled with different colors. And if I run out of space, I use sticky notes.
MEDITATING AND PONDERING!
Then I spend some time meditating on the notes and the passage, prayerfully. I ask myself how what I read might affect my day. There you have it, that is my coloring system… If you should call it a system.
Lastly, if I don't understand something I will look it up in a commentary. Now, this doesn't mean you have to have a bunch of books at your house. It just means you need to have access to the internet, and if you are reading this, you do!
There are so many different commentaries. I would recommend looking at Matthew Henry's commentary. There is also a website called ‘Ask Questions.org’ Click HERE to explore. Also, John Piper has literally written a sermon or a blog post on every subject. That might be helpful. Click HERE to check it out.
WHY I WAIT LAST!
I like to look at a commentary last because I don't want to become dependent on other people’s thoughts, though they are wise! I want the Holy Spirit to teach me first!
Sometimes, I might still not understand, even after researching. So, I pray that God will help me understand, and I don't worry about it. He will show me If He wants to.
One hang-up I find to be a hindrance is that sometimes we might not close our Bibles with a specific or personal message from God. That is okay! Sometimes you might walk away not really learning much that is new. That is okay as well!
What is most important is getting in His Word daily. It renews your mind whether you realize it or not.
I sincerely hope this has encouraged you to get into God's Word for yourself! I would love to hear from you. You can comment below, direct message me on Instagram HERE, or email me. Also feel free to pin this.
If you want to learn more, watch the videos below, where I talk about all of the steps I've mentioned. You can also download this freebie of abbreviated steps of studying the Bible!
FREEBIE- HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE DOWNLOAD
Many Many blessings to you! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!