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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, August 31 2023

Three ways to jump start your Bible study habit

Studying the Bible can seem like an overwhelming task, especially when you’re newer to reading the Bible. How can we hide God's word in our hearts, like the psalmist David (Psalm 119:11)?

Heidi Braun

Whether you're new to studying the Bible or are trying to move from occasional study to a regular habit, hopefully the following Bible study tips will help keep you motivated. Perhaps it’s hard to find where a specific book is, or the stories you’re familiar with are buried amidst chapters of unfamiliar material.

There’s always something we can learn from God’s Word! The psalmist David once told God “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11). How can we hide God's Word in our hearts unless we take the time to read and study it?

Following are three strategies you might find helpful:

Topics

Some of the easiest studies can be topic or word studies. You might begin by picking, for example, the word “faith” and searching it in a Bible app, online or in the index at the back of your Bible.

Reading all of the verses about faith can be a study in itself. It may help to gain a fuller perspective on the topic, or lead to an intriguing scripture you haven’t noticed before. For instance, James 1:3: “knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” makes an interesting connection between faith and patience. You can enhance your study by researching both of these concepts to see how they fit together.

When you’re ready to get more in-depth, you can use a concordance to check what a word means in the original language. For example, there are multiple Greek words translated “love” in English, but they have different meanings for different kinds of love, such as agape (godly love) and philia (brotherly love).

Questions

When reading the Bible, you can also write down any questions you might have to research or ask about them later. You might not have time to address the question right at the moment, but the list of collected questions can become an excellent resource for future study ideas. This method also works for listening to sermons or even topics that come up in conversation. A great resource for helping to answer some of the questions you have is the Bible Questions and Answers page on the ucg.org website, or the bibleanswers.study site.

Journaling

In order to develop a daily Bible study habit, the author of this article also began a journal in which she wrote a page of notes each day. If that approach does not appeal to you in helping to ensure a daily habit of Bible Study, the author suggests exploring other approaches, such as a Bible Reading program.

Bible study is important for growing in knowledge of God’s way. The Bible describes a group of people called the Bereans who “were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11). We should follow their example and make Bible study a regular practice in our lives.