Bible Study Tools
Have you ever heard the saying, "A Bible that's falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't." (Charles Spurgeon)
We believe that. When you're in your scriptures, God has a way of putting your life together and helping you find purpose that is nothing short of miraculous.
But sometimes understanding the Bible doesn't come easily the first time. If that feels like you, don't worry, you're not alone. We get asked this question all the time, and so have rounded up our top 7 Bible Study Tools and Tips to help you be more deeply rooted in God's word.
Tip 1: Ask the Author
Have you ever read a book and thought, I wonder what the author meant by that? Well, believe it or not, you have 24/7 access to the author of the scriptures, God! Remember James 1:5, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not." It's true. You can ask God anything--about a verse, a story, a book, or the entire thing, and He will liberally give you the answers. Pray about what you're reading, pray and thank God for your reading, pray throughout your day about your questions and desires, and watch your scriptures come alive!
- Some of our favorite prayer resources include:
- Val Marie Woerner has great resources including a course on prayer and a prayer journal, and some great free content too (check out her house prayers, so good!)
- This 27-day Prayer Guide is full of 27 devotionals to help kickstart your prayer life.
- Check out a few of our favorite sermons on prayer, here, here and here.
- This song by David Archuleta about our simple prayers has been a source of hope and comfort for us.
Tip 2: Find a Study Buddy
If you're struggling getting into the scriptures, find a friend to help. In physical workouts, people who have a workout buddy are 200% more likely to workout harder and, on average, double the time they spend working out. It works for time spent in the Bible too! Find someone who already studies their scriptures and ask them to help, or find someone who would like to be more regular and help each other stay accountable.
- One of our favorite companies, Multiply Goodness, has great study guides that are amazing to use with friends. They have resources on small study groups that have been game changers for us.
Tip 3: Write, Write, Write
Did you know that writing helps you remember more, increases the likelihood you'll achieve your goals, lowers anxiety levels, helps you unlock your subconscious, and helps you remember and recall more? Write your questions, your insights, your feelings, and your answers as you study. You'll be amazed to see how much more clearly you hear God's voice and see Him answer your prayers. Our favorite place to record, the Disciple of Christ Study Journal, has transformed the way we hear God in our lives. We see his hand so much more clearly as we're intentional about writing and recording. Whether you have our journals or even just a blank notebook, you will see a huge increase in your ability to hear the Lord as you write!
Tip 4: Be Patient
We get it, no one loves the answer "be patient", but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, and trees don't grow overnight. Gaining great faith and knowledge take time too. Trust that little by little a little becomes a lot. Do your part, and leave the rest in His hands.
- Having a hard time being patient? We love this article for the waiting times.
Tip 5: Get Creative
There used to be a time when Bibles were big and heavy, and scripture study was usually limited to where your Bible was. Not today. Not only can you carry your Bible in your pocket via your phone, but you also have access to thousands of other resources by way of apps, audio books, podcasts, video trainings, and on and on. If you're struggling to find a time or get into Bible study, ask God to help you get creative and help you find ways to make it work in your life. Some creative ways we've heard are:
- Listening to the scriptures while you're doing other things--i.e. driving, working, gardening, working out, or walking.
- Sign up for a study course
- Start a small group of friends in person or on Marco Polo, Voxer, or a text chain to share what you're learning and keep the dialogue about the scriptures going
- Start sharing your own insights with others in person or online, committing to share opens the doors for more insights
- Here are a few of our favorite podcasts:
Tip 6: Read for Answers
In the Disciple of Christ Journal, we begin our study by writing down the questions we have for God. We do this because years ago we realized that when we come with questions, the scriptures come alive! Reading the scriptures for answers--whether for hope, for peace, or (our favorite) for specific direction--unlocks God's word. God has said that His word is a lamp unto our feet. When we come with questions, we are more likely to recognize that light that He has for us in the scriptures.
Tip 7: Meditate on the Word
In Joshua we're taught to meditate on the scriptures day and night, so that we can do the things we've learned as we study. The promise is that as we meditate on his word, we will be made prosperous! We've seen this in our lives. When God's word isn't just a small part of our day, but it infuses into what we think and who we are, our lives align more with God, and we find more peace, purpose, perspective, and joy. Meditating daily can look like memorizing verses throughout the day, putting up verses of scripture where you can see them, making a scripture your phone lock screen, or doing our Christian meditations. These mental practices will give you added insights into the scriptures, help train your mind to a disciples mind, and let the Lord change your heart to a disciple's heart.
- Check out our Christian Mediation starter pack here!