(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
While one can “fly by the seat of their pants” or “be spontaneous,” a plan provides clarity, direction and a focus. We have plans for school. We have plans at work. We have plans for something we build. Why? Because we desire a certain outcome and work towards that.
Let me encourage you to do the same for you Bible study.
Tip #9 Plan out a method of Bible study.
Perhaps the challenge is the infinite plans that can be created to study the Bible. However, just pick one. A random approach can be difficult as it may be challenging to get a flow of thought and determine context if you study the Bible by randomly choosing what you are going to read.
Perhaps choose a book of the Bible. Choose one you know and one you don’t and work through them. Reading through a whole book at the time gives a sense of progression through the book. Have a journal or make notes in the Bible. Another way to approach study is topically. Pick a topic and then look at all the passages in the Bible that deal with that topic. Online Bible sites like “Biblegateway.com” or “YouVersion.com” are helpful tools to search on different topics.
As you are reading, you may journal or think through S.O.A.P. This is a way to get more out of what your read. Simply put, here it is:
S- Scripture – choose the section of Scripture you are reading (verse, chapter, book)
O- Observation – Simply observe things about this section. Ask the “reporter’s questions”: Who? What? Why? When? Where? To Whom? Notice repeated words or phrases. Note what questions it creates (future Bible Study topics!).
A – Application – What is the truth God is bringing to you? How does it affect your life? What does it lead you to confess? What does it teach you to do or not do? What impact does it have for you.
P – Prayer – Perhaps the most important to pray through and about the words of Scripture. Let your prayers be molded by what you read!
This method will help you with the last tip of the week:
Tip #10 Meditate on what you read.
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
The Bible is unlike any book you’ve ever read. Therefore we don’t read it like we would read a novel or a newspaper. You want more than simple knowledge of what it says. You want to use what it says — to apply what it says to your life. Focus on every word. Ask yourself questions like, “What do these verses tell me about God? What does this tell me about myself? What here makes me happy — or sad? How does God want to use this portion of his Word to change me to be more like him?” Throughout the day, turn that portion of Scripture over and over in your head. As you study, don’t be afraid to take notes or write in your Bibles. It helps reinforce what you’ve read. And don’t be afraid to come to your pastor with any questions you might have.
So there you have ten tips on getting more out of your Bible study. I pray you picked up one or two new ones to help you grow in your knowledge of and love for the Word of God. May God bless your study of his Word. May it equip you with the tools you need to get through this life. May it fill you with joy as you realize you have eternal life!
Apply: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org the tip that you are going to try in your Bible Study. Also send me tips that you have used to make Bible study more fruitful in your life.
Prayer: Open our eyes to see the wonders of your Word! AMEN.