How to Study Your Bible or How Not To Be Force Fed

I love my Lord Jesus and when I post here on topics that I share with you I don't want to force feed the Word of God to you, I want to open your eyes to it and make it come alive for you. I can't be with you always, so perhaps this short tutorial will help you and then it may not. The one thing I know is that reading or studying the Bible is a very personal thing and each of us while we can learn from one another, we each learn differently for a variety of reasons. Just like learning a new job or skill, it is why we are learning it that makes it interesting and personal.

Are we learning it because we were told we had to, or is it something we really are excited about? I have read the Bible several times from cover to cover, because as a Christian we are told we should all do it... read the Bible in a year.

Honestly? I find I get nothing out of it that way, because I feel it is expected of me as a Christian to say...I have read the Bible from cover to cover. Not to mention, when it comes to the begatting section, I check out or skip that section altogether.

I feel that reading it this way, I have entered a church sponsored speed reading class to see who wins the prize for finishing first. Not a good attitude, but an honest one. I love reading so this shows you if I feel forced to read, I can do it, but I won\'t walk away with much!

We should be reading the Bible because we want to learn more about Our Lord and what He has to say and each one of us will walk away with different things at different times. Read 1 Corinthians 13 and see if you don\'t see something differently each time you read it or when you read it. I sure do!

When do you study? Morning, Afternoon, Evening? We all have different internal clocks when we are more alert and can absorb more information. For me, my brain and mind is wide open right after I work out or take a walk. So while I awaken each morning and pray and do my devotional reading, it isn't a good time for me to study.

Lunch time is good for me because I can study and eat at the same time and it is usually quiet. Mid-afternoon is also good for me, but evening time I struggle, because I am tired and find myself waking up with Bible in hand. You know your body better than anyone else, so let it tell you when is study time!

Okay, I have my bible and I am ready to study, but how do I study you may be asking? Here is the way I have learned to do it and this is only a guideline:

  1. Choose a small book from the New Testament and read it once through for reading purposes, then read it again slowly to being to see what it is about and then read it a few more times and start picking out the topic the writer is speaking on.
  2. Have a journal or note pad handy and take notes on the things you feel God is talking to you about, a word that you don't understand, a passage that opened your eyes, what is the message of this book? Take your time, study it word by word, sentence by sentence. Don't rush, don't get in a huge hurry, enjoy it like a good meal after all, you are being fed by the King!
  3. Utilize on line and hardcopy tools: Bible Concordance, Dictionary, Study guide, Bible highlighters (any others will bleed through the pages), a study Bible and one that makes sense to you. I currently use the Ladies Spirit Filled Bible New King James Version. But my all time favorite is the New American Standard Open Bible. It is really your preference, not anyone elses. If you own a Nook, Kindle, IPad, Tablet, whatever choice you make, it is your choice!
  4. Don't want to read it this way? You can read it topically. The Bible is full of topics we can study. Ever wonder what the Bible says about the tongue? Oh my, if you struggle with this one as I do, you can spend more time on this one topic alone? Love, it is in there? Divorce, it is there as well. There are even books just on women such as Esther & Ruth. Deborah was a judge (yes, way back when, women were judges, land owners and so much more!). If you are into crime and punishment, there is plenty to be found in the Old Testament!
  5. Lastly, I would say, get an audio Bible for your car or purchase a downloadable one for your IPOD, MP3 Player and when you are walking, exercising, waiting for your child during practice, turn it on, take notes.

There is no magical way to learn the Bible and while many of us have learned over the years certain scriptures that mean something to each of us, the only way you are going to truly learn what is inside, to be able to bring it to yourself and make it come alive, is to O P E N it up and read it. Only when you open it up and read it will you find it enjoyable!

So, if you need to find your Bible and dust it off, do so, but each and everyday, set aside time for you and Jesus to spend time together and read what He has to say to you. I promise when you do, you will feel stronger, you will be happier and you can climb over those hurdles the devil tosses in your way because you will be equipped to overcome and help others to overcome.

Lastly, find yourself a Bible study group, you will be surprised how much you will learn and how supportive the members are. I know I sure did! Share with me how you study, I am always open to learning something new!

Jean Kester resides on the beautiful coast of Washington state with her husband and three grandchildren they are raising. Jean has learned that to truly be understanding and compassionate towards others, we have had to walk through our own trials and fire. Jean lost a baby when she was only 23 and he was 18 months old, the growth she did over the years and the amazing testimony of how God brought her back to His arms has helped her endure through lifes trials. Jean's faith has carried her through having 3 sons all in prison at the same time, a son whose chosen life is on the streets consumed by alcohol, loosing her mom to breast cancer and her dad to ALS all within a few short months. Jean quilts for charities such as 911 Cares, Made with Love, Victory Junction Camp and passes quilts out to the homeless in her area. No matter what life gives her, she keeps moving forward. Working full-time as a police dispatcher, she completed three college degrees and holds a Masters in HR which she says with that and five bucks she can buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. The love of her life is her husband Jerry for whom without his love, strength and support she wouldn\'t be where she is today. God sent Jerry to Jean at a time when she needed to feel Gods love the most! Her family attends church in Grays Harbor and Jean volunteers in many areas of her grandchildrens life! The grands just love Jesus and it shows to everyone they meet!