6 tips to create a consistent Bible study (that you love!)
Do you want to experience a powerful bible study where you’re growing closer to God and learning more each day? Me too.
If I’m being honest with you, my method of studying the bible was really pathetic. And by bible method, I mean closing my eyes, asking God to reveal the right scripture to me, and opening my bible to wherever it would land. Ha! Maybe you’ve been there too. ;)
I’m sure you have heaps of questions rattling through your mind:
When is the best time to read my bible?
What book should I read?
Do I read an entire chapter or is it OK to read a smaller section?
Should I use a daily devotional?
I get it. Reading the bible can be hard, confusing, and downright overwhelming if you don’t know how to study it well.
So today I’m taking you through the exact steps I use to ensure I have an effective bible study every single time, including the simple study method that completely changed the game for me.
Schedule your study time
I’m sure you’re familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s statement ‘if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail’. Well, the same rings true when it comes to your bible study time. Did you know that one of the keys to making a habit stick is to committing to the action before you do it? So if you want to create a habit of daily bible study, you’ve got to plan ahead.
Block out 30 minutes of dedicated bible study time in your calendar each day. If you don’t think you have extra time in your day, make time! Wake up an extra 30 minutes earlier or remove something from your schedule. Your bible study time is too valuable to miss.
My favourite time to study my bible is in the morning, either after a workout or first thing in the morning with a coffee in hand. I hate missing my morning bible study time, because when I miss it, I’m usually irritable and stressed out for the rest of the day. But when I study my bible in the morning, I am focused on God and his direction for my life, I feel less anxious and much more at peace, and I also find I’m so much more productive throughout the day.
Choose a book of the bible
If you’re just getting started with reading the bible, choose a book to study. I recommend you start with one of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) because they detail Jesus’ life on earth. I particularly encourage you to read through the Gospel of John because it really focuses in on the character of Jesus and who he is as our Lord and Saviour. You can get started with my free 21-day bible reading plan through the book of John here.
Last year, I re-read the book of John and started making my way through the rest of the books of the New Testament in chronological order. It’s been great to grow in my knowledge and understanding of Jesus’ life, the new covenant, as well as biblical principles for every-day living.
Gather your tools
You’re going to need your bible (this is mine) or a bible app (I like YouVersion), a notebook, some pretty pens, and a commentary or bible commentary app. I’ve compiled a list my essential bible study tools here.
Read a chapter each day
I recommend reading one chapter of your chosen book each day. However, if you find that one chapter is too much for you, or if there is too much in that passage to analyse and understand in one sitting, then simply break the chapter down into a couple of sections. Most bibles already break each chapter into sections using headings, which is a helpful guide.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to read everything! It’s much better to have a quality bible study where you actually learn something than rushing through a chapter and missing key messages. Sometimes less is so much more. This isn't a race to the last page, it's a time to dive in deep and grow closer to God.
Start in prayer
Before kicking off my bible study, I turn on my favourite worship music (at the moment, I’m rotating between Phil Wickham, Bryan and Katie Torwalt and Bethel Music) and pray, asking the Holy Spirit to help me understand God’s Word and reveal new things to me.
Observe and analyse scripture
I use the S.O.A.P method to study my bible. This is a really simple guideline that has completely changed the way I learn from the bible. S.O.A.P stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Simply follow each letter in order, writing down the following things:
S (Scripture): The chapter you are reading, plus any main verses that stick out to you.
O (Observation): Write down what you observe about the scripture. This could be a word, verse, idea, action that catches your attention.
A (Application): Write down how you can you practically apply the observation so that it impacts your daily life.
P (Prayer): Write a prayer based on what you have learnt and ask God to help you to apply it to your life.
This method will help you go deeper with your understanding of the bible and its application to your life.
Comment and tell me your favourite bible study method or if you’re going to give this one a go.