“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” – Theodore Roosevelt
You can never just read the Bible. We should want and need more. Whether you read your Bible before dawn, over midmorning coffee, or at the dinner table with family, we need to read and listen to what God is telling us. The Bible is one of the greatest tools we have at our disposal to grow closer to God. But, we often don’t use this God-breathed tool to its full potential.
I think I can guess your reaction: “Marty, I use my Bible daily or even weekly, so why would I say the Bible is under-utilized?” Reading the Bible is a good thing, but is often an item to check off on our obligated-to-do list. But there is a difference between reading something out of duty and getting something out of what we read.
Something happens when we study and absorb the Bible rather than just a daily chore. The Bible becomes a source of comfort and understanding. Suddenly, we are reading verses that speak to our circumstances, to our concerns and problems. So instead of going through the motions, we read with questions, meditate on verses that stick out, write notes and look up cross-references. The more time spent studying, the more easy it is to realize and experience the very real power of God’s Word to transform, to comfort, and provide real wisdom for real life. A real appreciation for God’s Word will lead to spiritual growth.
Maybe you’re a new work-in-progress believer who is just starting to study the Bible. Maybe you have been a Christian for some time but the busyness of life keeps you from studying the Bible as much as you like. Or maybe you are somebody who does read the Bible, but wishes that you knew the Bible better.
I have learned over the years that the more you invest your time and energy into studying the Word rather than just reading it out of a sense of duty, the more you’ll experience the abundant Christian life that God has planned for you. Matthew 4:4 says, “…People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Psalm 119:9-11 says, “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you—don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
So what is the best way to study the Bible? Treat it like you would any other text that you are going to be studying. Get serious about it! Don’t just read a verse and walk away. Ask questions about that verse. Find a Bible study method that really works for you.
- Do you have a process/system for studying the Bible? Does it work for you?
- What can we do this week to improve our study habits?