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As Christians, we know that reading and studying the Bible daily is important to our walk with God. There is no substitute for getting to know God through His word. However, I know that beginning a Bible study can be intimidating, especially if it is your first time.
If you are a new Christian, this can be hard to grasp. Check out the things I wish I knew as a new Christian.
Going into 2023, I am going to be starting a new type of Bible study. I’m a little nervous, and I am going to be breaking one of the first tips I am giving you. I’ll explain when I get there.
Some of these Bible study tips are going to sound like common sense, and they are, but we don’t always do what we know we should.
Bible Study Tips
Bible Study Tip #1–Begin with Prayer
Every time you get ready to read and study God’s word, you should begin with prayer. Ask God to direct your heart and mind to what He wants you to learn from the reading that day.
Pray for direction, if you aren’t using a specific study program. God can lead you to the verse or verses He wants you to read and study for the day. Even if you have a Bible study that you are using, allow God to take you to other places in His word where He has something specific for you.
Ask God to give you information for your current season in life, and allow Him to show you how you can help others with what you are reading, learning, and studying that day.
Bible Study Tip #2–Don’t Wait
Don’t wait for a new year, month, or week to begin. Grab your Bible and begin reading. Start with a story you already know, like Daniel in the lions’ den or Abraham taking Isaac to sacrifice.
Read your favorite verses from the Bible, even if they are in 10 different books.
God will use what you are reading to help you see something He needs you to know.
This is the tip that I am not following for myself, but I have a good reason.
I am currently reading through the Bible in one year. For Christmas of my senior year of high school, I was given the One Year Bible, and I have used it to read through the Bible a few times already. As of writing this, I have fewer than 7 days left in it because 2022 is almost over.
I love using it, but for 2023, I have a new study I will be using (and sharing with you).
Bible Study Tip #3–Start Anywhere
Although Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning,” it does not mean you have to start there. The Bible is compiled like one book inside one cover, but it is actually a library of books and writings.
To read the Bible for yourself, you do not have to begin on page 1. You can begin at any point. The following tips will help you to choose where to begin if you don’t want to start on page 1.
Bible Study Tip #4–Choose a Relevant Topic
The Bible has so many topics that are relevant to our lives. Choose a topic you want to study.
Some examples are:
Life of Jesus
Use the Concordance or Glossary in your Bible to find the verses about that topic. You can also use online resources like Bible Gateway (not sponsored). I love using this site to help me find verses when I can’t locate them myself, but I also use it to search by topic when I need help.
Bible Study Tip #5–Study a Character
Is there a specific character in the Bible you want to study? Now is the time.
You can choose from any of the people of the Bible, like Matthew, Luke, Mary, Judas, and Lazarus.
Ask questions about the person:
Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
What did God promise this person?
How did he/she communicate with God?
What trials did this person endure?
How did he/she know Jesus (or God)? [This could depend on when the person lived.]
Bible Study Tip #6–Write Notes
As you are reading through your Bible, write down what you are learning. This can be things from the scripture or things from the Holy Spirit.
Use a journal or notebook to keep all your notes, thoughts, ideas, and prayers together.
When you write down things from your Bible study, you are showing respect for those things. God will show more to you when you show this kind of respect.
Bible Study Tip #7–Study with Someone Else
Having a friend to read with always makes it better. It can make it easier to do because it causes you to have accountability.
Read with someone. If you don’t read together (online or physically) at least discuss the reading with another person. You will each probably have questions to which you can find answers together.
Bible Study Tip #8–Look Things Up
If you don’t understand something, look it up.
You can use a Bible dictionary for terms. There are Bible apps and websites that allow you to search electronically.
Find online communities (like on Facebook) and post questions there. A word of advice for this is to be sure to check their sources and verses before you just believe what you are told.
One of the best Bible study tips I can offer is the information that you won’t understand everything all in one day. It will take time. Although I have read through the Bible a few times, I have new questions every time I read it.
Bible Study Tip #9–Pause and Listen
As you are reading God’s word, slow down, breathe deeply, calm your mind, and listen.
Allow time to meditate on God’s word and what He wants to show you or teach you that day. God can enlighten you through His word, but you have to be willing to pause and listen.
Bible Study Tip #10–Stay Calm
Studying the Bible can be intimidating in the beginning. Just about anyone who has ever tried to study God’s word alone, for him/herself, has experienced this.
Don’t allow yourself to get upset or discouraged. If you miss a day, it’s ok. When you get the feeling that you don’t understand any of the words you read, that’s ok too.
God doesn’t ask for perfection. He is pleased with the effort. All you have to do is make the attempt to read and study His word, and God will help you. It will get easier as you do it more.
Bible Study Tip #11–Choose a Plan
If you want a plan or method to follow, you can choose one. There are a lot out there.
In 2023, I will be using The Daily Grace Co. Eden to Eternity. I am excited to begin using it.
It arrived a little over a week later after I ordered it. That was impressive to me, considering it was during the holidays.
If you don’t want to take on a year-long study, they also have other, shorter, studies available. Check those out.
Another option, which isn’t a structured study, is to use one of the many Bible study methods. You can do Bible journaling. There are other things like REAP, ACTS, POWER, and SOAP that you can try out.
Just so you know, I have a post coming up to describe those in a couple of weeks.
Bible Study Tip #12–The 5 Ps
Priscilla Shirer offers the 5 Ps for Bible study. I think they can be very helpful for you.
Position Yourself to Hear from God
Pour Over the Passage and Paraphrase Major Points of What You Read
Pull Out the Spiritual Principles
Plan Obedience and Pin Down the Date
There are so many tips and tricks for studying God’s word. You can try some of these and others to see if they work for you.
Keep these Bible study tips in mind:
Approach study with a teachable spirit.
Start small with one chapter a day or a specific amount of minutes a day.
Study daily to get it to become a habit.
Choose supplies you find helpful. (Some are listed in my journaling post.)
Schedule time for your study.
Don’t set rules for your Bible study routine.
Never read one verse in isolation; read the surrounding text as well.
These are some simple Bible study tips I hope help you to get started in your reading. They are important to remember as you start.
Two more things to remember on this journey:
Every part of the Bible points to Jesus.
The Bible is written for us but not to us.
If you are a veteran of studying the Bible, what are some tips you have? Drop those in the comments. On the other hand, if you are new to studying, ask questions.
If it is something I can answer, I will. If not, I will try to find an answer. I love to research.