Spiritual growth is impossible without God’s word (1 Pet. 2:2). The Bible tells us to study (2 Tim. 2:15) and meditate (Ps. 1) on God’s word on a regular basis. Because Bible study is so important, it is also important that we know how to study effectively. Here are some suggestions that may help your personal Bible study in the year(s) to come.
Utilize a Bible-reading plan. The benefits of reading the Bible are many and Christians should dedicate time to read God’s revealed will daily (c.f. Acts 17:11; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; John 20:31; Ps. 119:97-104). There are a number of systematic Bible-reading plans available. Some take you through the Bible chronologically and others topically. Consider contacting WVBS to ask about their yearly bible-reading plan or accessing one through the bible app on your smart phone.
Memorize scripture. The only way to truly hide God’s word in our hearts is to memorize it. Admittedly, memorization is easier for some than others, but everyone can do it. Start by memorizing one passage per day. Write it down on a piece of paper or an index card and take it with you wherever you go throughout the day. Read it routinely and recite it aloud. There are a number of different methods and even websites and phone apps that will help with this process. Remember, the key to memorization is repetition.
Study topically. Choose a topic like love, joy, or peace. Get out a pen and a notepad, then open up the Bible and look for passages that deal with that topic. Write the passages down and categorize them. Once you have finished that step, organize your notes to see the full picture of how the Bible discusses the topic. Then commence meditation.
Study textually. Choose a text. It can be a small section, like a parable, an entire chapter, or a book. Read it several times (preferably aloud). Look for key words and phrases. Look for passages to memorize. Look for transition words like “therefore,” and petition verbs like “urge” and “beg.” Ask questions about the text. What is the historical background? What is the main idea of the text? What is main point being emphasized?
The New Year is now upon us, which means new goals, plans, and ambitions. But, the most important thing to consider this year, and every year, is spiritual growth. Consider employing these suggestions to help you grow spiritually in 2021.