Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Back to the Basics: Bible Study

The best way for me to pay attention to what I'm reading in the Bible is to sit with pen in hand and pray my way through the verses. I can mark words, write in other references, and even jot down notes on paper or my phone to remember things. It's really easy to tell when I'm not doing these things. Reading tends to get a little stale. Or I start to fall back asleep while I'm reading.  

It's better to read one chapter and spend time with Jesus than to doze through four chapters.  I want to read to learn more about Jesus. I want to read to know the Bible inside out. And I have to be awake to do that. Unfortunately I can't learn through osmosis. 

I need the Bible. How else am I going to know who God is or what He wants me to do? I'm going back to the basics when it comes to my Bible study. I seem to have to do that every few months. Focus on the Word. Pray throughout my day. I want to be talking to Jesus in the little moments instead of carrying on those conversations in my head. You know the ones; you have them too. 

Here's what I'm changing. 

1. Quality over quantity. I'd rather read one chapter (or even one verse!) and learn something from it than to read four or ten chapters just to say I did it. I'll sit up with my pen and pray through my Bible. 

2. Motivation. I want to spend time with God. I know this life is too big for me to do on my own. My  motivation isn't to check quiet time off my list. My motivation isn't to seem like a super Christian. My  motivation isn't even to get things from God. My motivation is to spend time with my Savior. 

3. Mental energy. I want to use my mental energy well. I don't want to waste it rehearsing conversations I think I'm going to have; I want to pray about them instead. I don't want to go throughout my day thinking about how impressive the way I do my work is or is not. I want to pray over my work and over my family and for others too. 

4. Write it down. I need to write it down. If I'm learning I'm writing. Even if it's just scribbling down ideas and references in my Bible margins. (I'm not holding everyone to that. It's just something I know to be true for myself.)

So here's to the basics. Today. Tomorrow. The rest of my life. 

What helps you in Bible study? 


  1. This is a good reminder, thank you. I'd say writing stuff down/notes help me but so does conversing with my husband regarding what I am reading to help me process it, if he is available. Then I can voice my questions or confusion and often learn more that way too. In terms of thought conversations, I will catch my self actually planning what I am going to say to our Father rather than just saying it, that is when I know I've strayed when I am planning a convo vs having it. It is helpful to know I am not the only one who struggles with this internal/mental battle, when I just start praying about stuff and stop planning my "prayer list" my day is much less frantic.

    1. Yes! I find myself thinking it out instead of just talking to the Father about it too! Worthwhile things are usually a struggle, aren't they?

  2. Yes Yes Yes to Quality over Quantity. Sometimes I think we're so tempted to not start reading the Word or a Bible Study simply because we are intimidated by Quantity. But that's just not what it's about! It's ok if we study and let one small set of verses ruminate for days or a week, etc.

    Found you via the 31 Days FB group and saw you were from KY, too!

    - Lora

    1. Yay for Kentucky! And yes, we are much better learning and applying one small thought than skimming great amounts!