How Can I Study the Bible Better?

One of the most common resolutions in a new year is to study the Bible more. Unfortunately, many people fail to make good on that resolution. While some may fall victim to bad priorities or “busy-itis” some fail to read as they should because they simply aren’t getting much out of it. It doesn’t seem to be helping them any so they abandon it.

What if you could do some serious Bible study in 15-20 minutes that would make a real difference in your walk with God? You’ll have to be determined. Satan will do his best to keep you from these twenty minutes but if you are committed to Bible study you can overcome every excuse and get something done that can be soul-changing. Let’s see how.

One idea would be to use a planned devotional book, like are discussed in the article on page 1. However, if you’d like to just read the Bible here is a plan I’ve adapted out a plan of study from Earl West’s book, How to Study the Bible. This plan has worked for many, and by using it you will quickly see what a difference it makes to use a plan in your Bible study.

This plan of study can make that difference for you. If you’ve studied the word of God before and not felt that you were learning anything - take heart because this plan is for you! However, if you are currently involved in a way of studying and it’s working, by all means stick with it! The old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” certainly applies well here. But again, if you’re trying to study the Bible but find that you aren’t getting anywhere or you don’t currently have a study system established then give this a try.

		Suggested Study Schedule For Daily, 20-Minute Study 
			</tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>1 minute</td>
			</tr><tr><td>2 minutes</td>
			</tr><tr><td>12 minutes</td>
				<td>Rapid Reading</td>
			</tr><tr><td>5 minutes</td>
				<td>Taking Stock</td>
			</tr></tbody></table><p>Let’s examine each part of this plan individually. Then we’ll be ready to apply our new found skills to God’s word!</p>

First, we must pray to God. It makes no sense at all to try and study God’s word without asking His help to begin with! Furthermore, we are guaranteed that help in James 1:5: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” So, to begin with, let’s briefly, humbly, ask God’s help in our studies.

Secondly, we should preview-review. This involves looking back over previous notes or reading matter, so that we can reacquaint ourselves with where we are and what’s been going on. This helps get in our mind in gear for profitable study. Then, thumb ahead about as far as you can expect to read so as to take note of the general subject matter to be studied. Bible study is not like reading a mystery - it’s okay to peek at the end! Why? Because we can learn much more if we are familiar with the territory in front of us.

Thirdly, read rapidly as far into the new material as you can. Read with a pencil in hand to mark words who’s meaning you do not know and to which you will want to return. As much as possible this should be an unbroken period of reading.

Finally, we must take stock. Summarize what you have read in some kind of written notes. Look up unfamiliar words. Re-read parts that were not clear. Think of the significance of what you have read and how it relates to other Bible facts. These final minutes are the most important minutes in this plan. If you fail to apply what you have read to your life then you will gain nothing no matter how much of the Bible you read . “I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways” (Psalm 119:15, NKJV). Taking written notes as you go can be a tremendous help to this process. We remember much more when we read and write down than when we just read it. This is also important for your reviewing each day. If you will follow this plan everyday you will be shocked at how much you will learn in a very short time. In as little as a year your knowledge of God’s word will double or even triple. You will have found new confidence and be ready to progress to deeper studies. Most importantly, you will be building a habit that will serve you for all of your life, and be pleasing God, “a workmen that needeth not to be ashamed.”