Learn to Study Scripture

I work as a high school youth minister, and over the year’s one of the questions I get asked over and over again is, how do I read the Bible? For most of my high school students (and I would expect many of you) reading the Bible often seems like a tedious task. Sure, reading isn’t that hard, but making a habit of daily scripture reading, that is another story.  For many reading the Bible often comes with the familiar questions of, “where do I start?”, and “how does this apply to my life? “If those two questions aren’t answered it makes it quit difficult to want to incorporate God’s word into your daily life.

 

 

I must admit that reading the Bible wasn’t always a part of my every day routine, instead I would make every excuse in the book (no pun intended) to avoid my personal devotion time. I tried lots of different study methods:

  • Read the Bible in a year…. Lasted 2 weeks and fell WAY behind
  • Make flashcards of my favorite verses- My hand cramped up and it felt like a Spanish final
  • Open the Bible and read the first thing I saw- read some very weird verses out of context
  • Bible Journaling- well my drawings look like a preschoolers… I’m a non-creative.

The list could go on and on- I think you get the point. Regardless of my many methods, I never craved the Word of God. It became like a chore rather than an extreme privilege. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized it was because I approaching my Bible Study like it was a geometry homework assignment.  You know the ones I mean right? Those math assignments that teach you skills you are positive you will NEVER need in real life. Well that was just it, I treated Bible Study like an assignment that didn’t really apply to my life.  I was reading passages so quickly just to say “I read it”, that I was missing what God was trying to communicate to me. Beloveds, if you can remember one thing about the Word of God it is that is abundant and totally sufficient for all of our needs. “2 Timothy 3 16-17 says “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  This means that all scripture is given by God and makes us complete! The Bible is meant to empower and fill us, not to be checked off our daily list! Once I realized the pure gift His Word gave me, it became a personal journey rather than an obligation.

So you may be thinking… where do I start? Well I don’t recommend opening up the bible and pointing. This isn’t a magic show- this is your almighty creator. Remember that every word has the power to change you, not just the ones you want to hear. I vouch for creating a reading plan that works for you. Pray and ask God what it is HE want you to hear most right now. Do you need to spend more time praising? Perhaps start with palms. Do you need learn more about living a fruitful and productive faith? Pick up any of the letters from Paul. Do you need to see jaw dropping examples of men and women who did amazing things through the power of God? Read the Old Testament. Or maybe you’re like me and you need a constant reminder of how Jesus paid it all for your brokenness. Then read those words of Jesus in the 4 gospels over and over.

No matter what you read in scripture, read it with a purpose.  Ask God to breath into every word you read. If you are ready to get started, follow some of these tips to really get the most from your Bible Study! At the bottom I am providing you all a free Scripture Study Printable! I use this every time I read my Bible and it helps me center my thoughts and identify how God is moving! It’s like keeping my own personal journal.

  1. Start Small- Reading through the Bible in a year is wonderful, but it’s a lot to digest. I suggest that you break up your daily reading into a chapter a day. If even that is too big do a verse a day! Really focus on how you can apply that one verse to your life!
  2. Ask Questions- So many people get intimidated by the Bible because it can be so confusing. If you have questions that is GOOD! If you understood everything you’d be God… and you’re not. Sorry 😉 So whenever you come across something you don’t understand write down the question, star that section, make sure you note what question you have and keep reading until the end of your section. Many times questions in scripture answer themselves if you read the context of the situation! If by the end you are still confused, then look for answers. If you need a quick answer google your question. Chances are you are not the only one who has had that same question. You can find so many commentaries and great resources. If you are really curious ty emailing an expert! Most Christian colleges have theology professors you can email and they always have great commentaries! I’ll attach my list of bible study resources that I use! After researching you should always pray about it. Ask God what he meant… he knows better than any man.              https://www.restoredreality.com/my-bible-study-resources/
  3. Look for GodGod is in the Bible. No duh. But, I often miss God’s hand when I’m reading too quickly. God is present in every passage of scripture, you just have to be looking for him! The book of Esther is a great example, God is never mentioned in the whole book! Yet, if you read about the strength and courage that Queen Esther had you see God working constantly! So I challenge you, with every verse you read take a moment to stop and ask how God was present in that passage. You’d be amazed at how much God is moving. By doing this you really start to notice how personal God is…soon you’ll be able to see him not just in word but in flesh.
  4. Take Action I know you are thinking ok I read it Erica, now what? Now you take action! As you read your chapter or passage, ask the Holy Spirit what this scripture means for you. How is god calling you to action? The moment you put scripture into action is the moment you start to live. The Bible is still relevant today, we just got to be actively listening to what is says!

 

Sisters, I hope this helps you begin to see reading the Bible as more than a chore. Trust me when I say I get it.  I have been there for the frustrations, and the moments of realization that I am not an artist and if I bible journal it will look like an insult to God! [HAHAH JK;) ] I am providing you with a free scripture study printable. This has a resource I use daily. I didn’t want to use something that felt like homework and I wasn’t creative enough to draw so instead I approached it like a diary. Each passage is a new diary entry between God and you. Express your doubts and frustrations but mark down how God is moving and the truths each passage brings!

 

I’ll be praying for each one of you that your journey into scripture brings you nothing but love, joy, and Truth.

 

<3 Erica

Scripture Study Printable