I am no Bible scholar, just a woman who loves her quiet time in the Word of God. I’m guessing a lot of you are like me, wanting to get the most out of your Bible study no matter how much time you have set aside. I would prefer to have several hours a day to read, pray, and study, but as a mom of three, that just doesn’t happen. I have to prioritize and plan my time well to get the most out of my Bible study.
I have fallen in love with the She Reads Truth studies, so I wanted to share today how I approach my Bible study time with the current She Reads Truth study of Titus as my example. I have no degrees or training in how to study the Bible, but I do have experience in trying many ways and this is what has personally worked for me!
I always start my Bible study with a short prayer asking God to reveal His heart and will for me in the words I read. This helps me focus and pay attention to the nudging of the Holy Spirit as I read the passage.
Read the Bible passage before anything else
This is the step that has changed things for me. Often during Bible studies, I would read the devotion first and then read the Bible verses. I found this was affecting my ability to process the passage through what God wanted to say to me. Instead, I had the thoughts and conclusions of another human in my mind as I read the verses. When I read the Bible, I want GOD to speak to me, not another person. Sometimes what God wants me to learn is completely different from the Bible study topic and I don’t want to miss what He has to say!
Underline and journal any significant verses
Underlining and writing down Bible verses helps me remember them better. And even if I forget them, I know have made a special note in my Bible or journal that I can refer back to when needed.
Reading the Bible study devotion comes later in my process, but it is still very important. As I said before, I want God’s Word to be the foremost thing in my mind. And many times He has something specific He wants me to catch in that reading. But other times, I need a little guidance or inspiration. After having read the verses myself, I love reading what others gleaned from the passage. Often it is different than what stood out to me, but that makes the time even richer! The She Reads Truth studies have been challenging for me and inspired lots of growth. My notebook usually has two sections of notes – what I got from reading the Bible for myself and then additional thoughts, questions, lessons from whatever devotion I’m reading. It works the same when I read Spurgeon or go through a Naptime Diaries journal.
These prayers are inspired by the reading of the day. Because of the She Reads Truth workbooks, I’ve been writing down these concluding prayers and it is very focusing for me. I like bringing all my loose ends, questions, broken pieces, and big dreams and laying them at His feet to tie up this sweet time with my Lord. Writing it down helps my mind to not wander and for heart to be left totally in His care.
This is another practice I’ve added because of the She Reads Truth workbooks. What do I need to act on from this time of study and prayer? Are there practical applications? Steps I need to take next? Reminders I need to place around my home to keep a certain truth in front of me? I never ever want to walk away from my time with God and forget what He has just shown me. Often this section is full of questions I write to challenge myself to grow in Him, but other times there are people I ned to connect with or things I need to walk away from that are jotted down in this area.
Some days, this process moves quickly. Other days, I want to linger over a certain passage or prayer. But even when I am short on time, I still try to stick to this plan, and if I have to set it aside to come back to later, I just pick up where I left off. Each of these steps have helped me to find a greater love for the Word. The more I read and study this way, the more I want to read and study the Bible! It has honestly become one of my favorite things to do, learning and growing through His love letters to us. I don’t think it is a magic formula, but it works for me!