It goes something like this. You grab your Bible and boldly dig in with all the enthusiasm you can muster. You have a new “reading plan” in front of you and a highlighter nearby. So far so good.
Then it happens. You struggle to understand it or fail to remember it ten minutes later. Sound about right? You’re not alone.
In this extremely digitized, mach speed world we live in it’s difficult, if not almost impossible, to focus on anything for very long.
I want to give you a few simple strategies for getting the most out of your time in God’s Word.
When I first became a Christian, there was one verse in the Bible that I couldn’t escape. It became the first verse I ever memorized. I think even then The Lord was preparing me for a life in the ministry. The verse was 2 Timothy 2:15
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
That verse, nearly twenty-five years later, still reminds me of the importance of careful and diligent study of God’s Word. Let’s see how you can get more from your time in the Word.
HOW TO GET MORE OUT OF GOD’S WORD
To get the most out of God’s Word, there are some fundamental principles to keep in place. If you’re like many, you know the benefit of reading and studying the Bible. So what’s the problem? How many times have you sat down completely determined to take it all in and struggled to get anything out of it? Could you be going about it all wrong? Here are 3 tips to help.
1. STOP READING!
Yep, you read that right – STOP READING! Well, not right this second. I want you to read this article, but stop reading your Bible. Wait, what?! I know, you’re getting a little nervous about where I am going but hear me out. Stop reading and start listening. Before you dive right in stop and pray about what you’re about to do. It’s God’s Word. Ask Him for understanding and help from the Holy Spirit.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a familiar passage only to find brand new understanding. One preacher told his wife one morning after reading, “Honey, I believe God slipped in this house last night and put a brand new verse in here!” I have found that by praying and seeking Him before reading, my spiritual ears are more in tune to hear what He is saying in His Word.
2. START FEEDING!
Treat God’s Word like the greatest meal you’ve ever eaten. Savor every word. Notice every nuance. Think upon every character. Take time to enjoy God’s carefully prepared meal. It’s the greatest sustenance you’ll ever take in!
Matthew 4:4 (KJV 1900)
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
3. START QUESTIONING!
There are 2 primary questions you must ask when studying God’s Word.
WHAT IS IT SAYING?
This is a matter of interpretation. What is it saying within its context? Never remove the Word from its setting to prove a point or position! Allow the Word to tell you what it means. Interpret the Word BY the Word. Before you consult commentaries, dictionaries, or scholars, give the Word its rightful authority.
WHAT IS IT SAYING TO ME?
This is where application comes in. How does this affect me? Does this passage require a response on my part? Am I being challenged, convicted, or commanded something? Every word in the Bible has been divinely placed there on purpose. If you do not plan to obey it, it will continue to have little or no meaning to you.
I do understand that this article only scratches the surface. There are many, many, methods for proper study. My only intention is to add a bit of help to those who desire more from God’s Word. Put these simple principles into practice and let me know what a difference it makes.
Leave me your results in the comments section.
One more favor: I would love for you to forward this article to everyone you know. I’ve made it super-easy in the share bars on the top & bottom of this article. Encourage someone to plug into the community and let’s grow together!