Monday, July 30, 2012

7 Helpful Hints For Developing Your Personal Bible Study Time


Most Christians believe they should read God's Word. Most Christians believe they would benefit from spending time every day in God's Word.

Few Christians spend much if any time reading the Bible on a daily basis.

Here are seven steps you can take to help you develop your own time of reading, studying, and living out God's Word.

1. Lengthen Your Day

If you don't have time to read your Bible, make more time.  Set your alarm clock to wake you 30 minutes earlier than normal. You can still shower and make your coffee first (that way you'll be awake when you sit down to read), but you now have 30 minutes you didn't previously have. This is a minor change that allows you to not give up anything, but still start something new.

Before you complain that 30 minutes early is really inconvenient, think for a minute about what you're trying to do. You're trying to find time to read the most important words ever written in the history of mankind... You can't wake up 30 minutes early?

2. Write and Review The Goals Which Define Your Success

How will you know when you are having success? Decide how much you want to read every day or every week or every month. WRITE IT DOWN. Then review it every day. Make a note if you are ahead or behind schedule, and take the time to catch up.

3. Plan Your Morning Reading in Advance

What if the last thing you did every night was to write a note to yourself, planning out your reading time for the next day. Not only would you wake up to a reminder of what you are reading, you would go to bed with God's Word on your mind. It's a Win-Win!

4. Concentrate

When you sit down to read, sit down with nothing other than your Bible (and a notebook if you need that). While it is fun and convenient to read from a phone or ipad, be careful that you've turned off your notifications so you don't get beeped or buzzed while you are reading. Don't answer the phone or texts and turn off the TV and radio. Eliminate as many distractions as possible so you can simply concentrate on the important task at hand.

5. Listen to Audio Recordings of the Bible

Some people don't enjoy reading, or struggle to focus while reading. The Bible has been recorded in many different languages, and you can listen to many versions for free. If you are an auditory learner, why not listen to the Bible every morning? Check out esv.org, youversion.com, or biblegateway.com for options.

6. Ask Yourself Questions Every Time You Read (or listen)

Asking and answering questions is one of the best ways to ensure you have internalized the information you've read or heard. After you spend time in God's Word, take a few moments to ask yourself some or all of the following questions:
  • What did I learn about God?
  • What do I now understand about Jesus?
  • How was my conscience disturbed?
  • What part of my life needs to change?
  • For what am I grateful?

7. Take it With You

Don't be like the man in James 1 who looks in a mirror then walks away, forgetting what he has seen. Once you have seen God's revelation, take it with you the rest of the day. Maybe you need to remember one verse you read, or one truth you discovered. Maybe you need to follow up on a relationship or a conversation. Maybe you need to write down a promise on a card to carry with you. Whatever you need to do, don't leave God's Word lying on a table in your house; take it with you for the rest of the day!

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