I don’t know about you, but I want to know the Bible like the back of my hand. I want to be able to quote verses from every book. I want to know the scriptures, but not for the sake of knowing what it says, I want to know the character of it’s author: God.
How do we study the Word of God? How do we put it into our minds in such a way that it will stick and not be loosened for the life of it? I have a few suggestions that seem to be quite helpful in studying the scriptures. Whether you’re a senior pastor, a student in seminary, an average bear who wants to know his Bible, or a youth member whose Bible is covered in duct tape, I cannot recommend these tips enough for anyone who wants to buckle down and learn.
1. Try a Bible reading plan. This could be as simple as devoting yourself to a few chapters a day, or perhaps a chronological Bible reading plan from the internet. Reading all the books of the Bible is a good idea.
2. Journal about what you’ve read, or perhaps bring it up a couple of times in conversation. Repeatedly bring your mind back to that day’s reading.
3. Highlight with purpose. This suggests highlighting verses in the Bible that have a theme behind them. An example would be to highlight all of the scriptures in the Old Testament that are quoted in the New Testament.
4. Take notes in your Bible of scriptures that seem to relate to one another. For example: at the bottom of the page in Hebrews I wrote these references: (Hebrews 13:15, Hosea 14:2) (NIV). The relationship these verses have with one another is just one of many verses that link the Old Testament with the New. If you prefer not to write in your Bible, a booklet or notepad would also work. By doing this I have noticed some incredible, paradigm-shifting themes throughout the Word of God.
5. Copy down books of the Bible. Perhaps you need to open up a word doc in your notebook and copy the book of Jeremiah or the gospel of Luke word for word. Not for everyone, just an idea.
6. Memorize scripture via fun flashcard game. Make flashcards of all the versus in Proverbs 31 and study, study, study.
These are just suggestions of ways to study the Bible in your personal devotion time. Everyone excels in different learning styles, as for me I learn best when I write things out. Most importantly though, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the Truth. Get on your face and beg him daily to make His Word a living and active part of your life. Say to him in the place of prayer “Not as I think thou art, but as thou truly art.” Remember Proverbs 2:6, “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” (NIV). If we ask for the right way to go, God is faithful to show us reality, and the closer our mindset is aligned with reality, the fewer unanswered questions we have.