Do you want to see a transformation in your life, but you don’t know how to make it happen?
We live in a world of fast-paced instant gratification. We’ve lost the critical ability to discern our wants from our needs. No matter how much time we spend on social media trying to “connect,” no matter how many material possessions we acquire, we thirst for something more.
We need real answers.
I want to encourage you to step into God’s Word. Submit your thoughts to Him. He will renew your mind and help you ride those waves of circumstance with a smile on your face and peace in your heart. The key to discovering peace depends on your ability to see life through God’s perspective.
Do you find it hard to make time for Bible study?
Life gets busy, but when we don’t take the time to sit with God and study His Word, we are like boats without an anchor. I felt that way for years. When we have no sense of who we are in Christ, self-doubt and insecurities flourish.
I spent years of my life searching for answers to questions like: “Who am I?” and “What am I called to do?” Guess what? While I was waiting on God to give me answers, He was waiting for me to grab ahold of the promises He made to all of us 2,000 years ago!
Developing a Routine That Works For You
Do you want to study the Bible but feel overwhelmed?
If the Bible is a book that is new to you, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There is so much! You will need a plan. Here are a few practical tips that will help you feel prepared, not overwhelmed. Be kind to yourself. Remember, God doesn’t ask you to be perfect, so you shouldn’t either.
How to schedule time.
Set a date and time for your Bible study. Put it in your calendar and treat it like you would treat any other commitment.
How to pick a place.
Do your best to avoid the things that might divert your attention. Turn off the T.V., or, better yet, sit in a room without a T.V. Place your phone in another room and turn off the ringer. Find an “inner room” where there are few distractions. (I know the mothers reading this are chuckling.) Mothers are on call 24/7. I have five children, and my prayer closet was our bathroom. Do your best to find a prayer closet. Ask God for guidance.
How to develop a routine.
Once you pick your place, set up camp. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, favorite pen, and tools like a highlighter, journal, and Post-its. Your routine will help train your body and mind and let them know it’s time for Bible study.
How to forgive yourself.
There will be times when you just cannot focus. It happens to us all and God understands. Let it be an exercise in humility and an opportunity to realize how much we all need God’s grace.
Pray and Ask for God to Guide You in Bible Study
Pray before you begin your study and when you are finished. Before you begin, quiet your mind, and ask for God to guide you and teach you. After all, that is what Bible study is—a private lesson with God. How cool is that! This isn’t a math workbook or a Shakespearean sonnet that you will be quizzed on. Don’t be stressed about Bible study; you won’t be graded. God isn’t marking up your Bible with a red pen. This is a date, a time set aside to foster a loving relationship with the One who created you. In doing a weekly Bible study, you are showing your love for God and caring for yourself.
God will pour out His love for you through His Word.
Guidance, strength, knowledge—whatever your needs are—God knows them and will provide them. He is for you! But you have to be open to what He tells you and humble enough to accept His guidance.
You are God’s child, and He loved you so much that He made a way for you to have eternal life in His Kingdom. However, it is up to you to seize it. Every day you open your Bible, you are closer to seeing God’s promises unfold in your life and discovering what God has called you to do.
Practical Tips for Developing a Format for Your Bible Study
How long do I spend in Bible study?
Once you have a date, a time, and a place, you will need to figure out a format. How long do you want to spend? Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to study. Start small. Twenty to thirty minutes is a good, reasonable amount of time to study your Bible. Bible study is about quality, not quantity; it’s not about how many chapters or verses you read, it’s about what you take away from it.
What are my goals for Bible study?
Intention is everything. It’s important to know what you hope to get out of your Bible study time. Are you seeking greater biblical knowledge, insight for personal healing, or a more intimate relationship with God?
Here are a few simple steps that will help you make the most of your time:
Write in your Bible. Use Post-its to mark pages; highlight interesting words or passages. Some of the most brilliant people I know are the ones with the messiest Bibles.
Keep a journal.
Write insights, reflections, questions for yourself, or questions for God. It’s a really special feeling when God leads you right where you need to be in your Bible. Just a heads up: it happens a lot! Mark down those memories in your journal. When you go back and read it, you will see how faithful God has been.
Don’t start your Bible study with unforgiveness in your heart; it will clog your spiritual pipes!
Don’t let a bad day be an excuse.
A bad day only gets worse when you cut out your alone time with God. The devil wants to slow you down and get in your way. Make a choice to rejoice and pick up that Bible!
How to Include Others in My Bible Study
How do I include my family in my Bible study?
(link: https://drenda.com/articles/the-significance-of-your-family-private-life text: God made us for family). Family is where God wants new generations to learn values and how to discern right and wrong. God wants to impart wisdom to you, so you can carry it into your family, and teach you how to be a light to others!
(tweet: Every day you open your Bible, you are closer to seeing God’s promises unfold.)
Ask God for restoration and transformation as you move forward in your Bible study. He will identify areas for growth in all areas of your life, including your family.
How do I get my friends involved in my Bible study?
Sharing faith with your friends is not only important, it is your call. Remember, Jesus often engaged His disciples in small group study. Christianity is about community.
Don’t give up.
Don’t be discouraged if they say no. Pray for God to soften their hearts and create another opportunity; you will know when the time is right.
An investment in God is an investment in yourself.
Group Bible study is an invaluable tool. It provides you with encouragement in tough times and insight on how to share your faith with others. Committing to a group Bible study is an investment in your spiritual growth.
Learning How to Apply What You Learn in Your Bible Study
Your success in Bible study depends on your discipline. Notice the words disciple and discipline are similar? This is key! When you are disciplined in your studies, you will truly be a disciple of Christ, thinking righteous thoughts and performing righteous acts. There is a difference between reading God’s Word and living God’s Word.
Put future goals in front of you as you study, and you will live more deliberately. God has plans for you that you can’t even imagine, but you need to learn what He wants to teach you.
- What does this mean for my life?
- What is something I can start doing?
- What is something I want to stop doing?
Our greatest testimony is not in our words but in the way we live our day-to-day lives. By your actions, others will know to whom you belong. John 13:35 tells us, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (NIV). If you are truly seeking transformation and a closer relationship with God, you need to take biblical teachings and apply them.
The Bible is not just a book, it is our inheritance as children of God. Your actions should reflect the humble acknowledgement of that precious gift.
Be Bold and Take Hold of God’s Promises
God will restore your dreams, if you dream with Him, not apart from Him.
After years of trying to figure it out for myself, I finally “GET IT,” and “IT” came when I received God’s Word into the depths of my being and it saturated my soul. I chose to break free from worldly thinking and invest in God’s eternal wisdom. It remains the greatest intimacy I have ever known. And it never stopped! It’s still working in me today.
(link: https://drenda.com/articles/it-s-time-to-clear-the-cobwebs-and-get-out-of-the-lull text: It’s available to you too!) God will teach you how to weather any storm. His Word is our compass for living life with an attitude of gratitude. Every time you open your Bible, you are one step closer to the promises of God. He is the Master Designer; He has a fail-safe plan for your life. God will show you who you are, what your purpose is, and make sure that you flourish in it.
Isaiah 58:11 tells us “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (NIV).
As your sister in Christ, I want you to feel supported, encouraged, uplifted, and loved.
I want to encourage you to ask God for guidance in all areas of your life. God wants to help restore your joy. He wants you to prosper in all areas of your life!
God is not waiting for you to accumulate a certain number of hours in Bible study before He imparts knowledge to you. The promises are there, and God is simply waiting on you to take hold of them!