By Micaela D.
Many Christians find studying the Bible intimidating. God has made His Word accessible to us, and He wants us to spend time with Him soaking it in. With a few pointers to get you started, grab your Bible, and let’s go!
Have a plan.
Find a time and place that you can be consistent and focused. Then decide where to begin. Set the goal of reading a book in its entirety because it will give you the best chance at seeing the themes and main points.
- Because all Scripture ultimately points to Jesus, if you are just beginning to study the Bible, start with Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, or John to really get to know Him first.
- The epistles (letters) from Romans to Revelation are helpful in discovering how Jesus impacts every part of life and how we can live in light of His second coming.
- The Old Testament is wonderful for seeing God’s faithfulness towards his people and his promises take shape ultimately in Christ.
Read with focus.
The question that should frame any study of the Bible is this: How would the original audience understand what they are reading?
- Before you begin a book, read a little bit about the background of the book and the author. This will help you understand the audience and the author’s purpose.
- As you read, try to identify what the main points of the book are and how the rest of the verses support those themes.
- A study bible would be a great tool to help with these goals. Also, thebibleproject.com has great resources to make Bible study easier.
Apply what you learned.
This requires prayer and meditation but is more than just following commands.
- Remember, all Scripture is primarily about God, not us.
- Therefore, ask yourself: What does this passage say about God?
- Who should I realize that I am in light of this?
- What should I do and how should I think in response to seeing God in this way and seeing myself in light of His truth and attributes?
Reading the Bible requires humility and persistence, but it is life changing. Being in the Word regularly is a habit worth establishing, so start somewhere and stick to it. God will honor your efforts by revealing himself more to you and changing you in the process.