Sunday’s sermon centered on how we can live powerfully in this new year. Four ways were given for powerful living. If you missed it or your memory needs a little refresher, they were: Be filled with God’s will, Walk worthy, Be fruitful in good works, and be strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit. Today we are going to discuss an aspect of the second one. Being filled with God’s will requires studying the Word of God. In order to know His will we have to know and understand His Word. How can one study the Word of God effectively? That is the question that will be answered in this post.
In school there were the natural students, those whom some referred to as “nerds”. These students could ace the tests that others struggled to pass, without cracking a book. When it comes to God’s word, there aren’t any natural students. We all have to study, not for a grade, but for understanding, wisdom, and Power. If your study skills have gotten a little dusty, allow me to share a few ways that you can make your Bible study more effective. 2 Timothy 2:15 commands us to “study to shew thyself approved unto God….”(KJV), Joshua 1:8 encourages us to meditate on the Word day and night so that we are able to live accordingly, and Proverbs 4:10-13 details how studying Scripture will help us with everyday life and overcoming temptations. These three scriptures and many others related to studying the Word of God confirm the importance of Bible Study for powerful living.
Time and Space
Effective Bible study begins with a time and place. Choose a specific Bible study time and location. There is no right or wrong, choose the time and place that works best for you. For me this time is in the early morning, anytime between 4:30-6:30. The house is quiet at this time and there will be no distractions from ringing phones, doorbells, or anyone wanting your attention. If you are not a morning person, before bedtime might work better for you. Location is key for so many things, including your Bible study time. A quiet, distraction free room is the most important element for your study place. I typically study in an upstairs room that is TV, phone, and electronics free. Regardless of what time and location you choose, be consistent. “Same bat time, same bat channel”.
Tools of the Trade
Some tools you may want to have handy to aid in your study are:
- Different Bible Translations (The New Living Translation, New International Version, Amplified, and Easy to Read Version are a few easily understood versions you may want to try) or if you prefer to utilize technology there are various apps that you can use to access the Bible in various translations on your smartphone or tablet.
- Highlighter for marking important words or anything that stands out to you. If you are using a Bible app, they have highlighting features as well.
- Concordance for looking up the meaning of words-hard or paperback or can be accessed online.
- Journal or notebook to record thoughts, ideas, or questions that you have about the scriptures that you have studied. If you prefer the more modern way you can use your phone or tablet to do this.
Once you have a set time, designated location, and your study tools on board, then it is time to focus on some scripture study specifics: Read the verse(s) out loud initially, to hear the words then reread silently to meditate on and draw understanding, if a specific word or verse stands out to you highlight and/or write it down, think of ways that the particular verse(s) apply to you or how they can be applied to your life, if you have any questions about what you have read write them down and seek answers from Pastor, Associate Minister, Deacon, or Sunday School teacher.