Reading the Bible can be confusing and overwhelming especially if you do not have the correct foundation and/or tools to have a fruitful study. Just reading the words on the page is not enough to have a life changing transformation from the inside out.
Let’s take a look at some helpful tips to having a fruitful study.
When reading the text in the Bible we need to look at it for what it is- know the historical and cultural settings of the scripture you are studying. Read the actual words of the text as they are used in the context. Let the passage speak for itself in it’s original settings.
Next we need to figure out what it means. Within Bible passages is a main idea or a spiritual truth that is meaningful in all ages. These truth’s are not bound by time or to an era of hundreds of years ago. The truth’s can be applied to life in every time period. God is the same today as he was yesterday, thousands of years ago, and in the future. God and spiritual truth’s do not change because our society’s culture changes.
Then we will need to look at the text and discover how it applies to our life. Asking ourselves- in what ways should my life change as a result of studying this passage?
The Holy Spirit is our helper in this. When we allow Him into our lives- His Holy Spirit will start to work in our lives from the inside out. Changing our thoughts, speech, and behavior to reflect the spiritual principles found in God’s Word.
Once we have an understanding of what the text says and means, we then need to take time to digest our spiritual meal. Processing and pondering on the newly learned spiritual truth or guidance. Allowing it’s words and meaning to permeate deep within our being.
When we read the Bible it is very easy to find ourselves “skimming over” the Word and missing the “bigger picture”- the significance and meaning behind what we have read. Jeremiah tells about how he felt joy and had a rush of rejoicing when he would “ingest” God’s Word.
Another way to ensure your study time is fruitful is by writing down key verses, your reflections, and any questions or ideas that come about when you are studying. This will help you to memorize scripture and will also be a great tool to look back on as you grow and dig deeper into God’s Word.
Writing down questions or ideas that you have can open doors for you to further your study in search for answers to your questions and ways to build on your knowledge.
The final thing I want to discuss is prayer- Prayer is how we respond to God.
Giving thanks in prayer is a way of gratefully responding to God for gifts and blessings He gives you or already has given to you. Daniel’s prayers permeated with the spirit of thanksgiving as he made his requests known to God.
Thank you God for Your many blessings and gifts that we receive each day. Your mercy and love for me is simply amazing. Without You I couldn’t be where I am today. Lord forgive me for being ungrateful and not always recognizing that no matter what struggles I face, I still have many things to be thankful for. God help me to pray like Daniel with the spirit of thanksgiving and to actively seek Your Word. I ask that Your Holy Spirit would help me to understand what I read in Your Word and know how to fruitfully apply it to my own life. God, I want to have the rush of joy and rejoicing as Jeremiah talks about. Thank you for this message and help me to apply these tips to my study time with You in Jesus name I pray.