How to Read and Study Your Bible

It is easy to look at the Bible and think ‘Where do I start?’.  The Bible can be overwhelming and seem like a lot to try to understand and take in.  The amazing thing is you have all of your life to read it and understand it.  As Christians, we have a Book that gives accurate readings and directions, which allows us to go through life with confidence and always points us in the right way. We can trust it, and we can trust what it says.

2 Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Paul wanted Timothy to be a student of the Word, understanding it and applying it to his life. Like us, he was instructed on how to rightly divide the word and apply it to his own life.

When reading and studying the Bible, there are 3 questions you can ask.
The Bible is the inspired Word of God. In 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul says ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God’. In other words, God breathed it out, He spoke it to the writers and they wrote it down for us. The Bible is still accurate now too! No book in history has its richness. No other book even comes close to it! So, when you are reading a set of verses notice what is happening. Is it a story about Jesus or is it a psalm David was writing in a cave, take note of the details.
Some of the stories in the Bible seem too far-fetched to apply to our own lives today. Which is why context is SO important to remember when reading the Bible. We have to look at what was happening at the time when Scripture was written. Every verse is important because it was written for a purpose.  Be sure to look at what was happening before the verses and what happened after the verses. Additionally, if you have never journaled before about what you read, maybe this is a good time to start so you can remember what God is teaching you.
We have to finally look at what the Bible means personally. We have to apply Scripture to our own lives if we want to learn what God is teaching us personally. God may be wanting you to see something for yourself totally different than what your friend sees in the same Scripture. It doesn’t help us if we just read verses from the Bible and don’t pay attention to what it says. James 1:22 speaks of this, ‘Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.’ When we read something and God shows us something through the verses, we should act on them. No matter how big or small, we have an opportunity to respond to God and obey what He is showing us.
  • Is there something I need to put into practice?
  • What is this calling me to do?
  • Is there a specific prayer I should pray?
  • What habit do I need to begin?
  • Is there sin in the way of my relationship with God I need to confess?
  • How can I be more like Jesus because of the verses I just read?