Do you ever feel like Bible study should come naturally to you? Maybe you think you are behind because you struggle with it. Can I come alongside you and tell you that you are not alone!
Finding time to sit down and make your Bible study a priority is tricky enough, and then you add in the fact that the book was written by multiple different authors over 2,000 years ago, to an entirely different culture… Bible study can be HARD.
But it doesn’t have to be. God has given us all the tools we need to understand His Word, we just have to take the intentional step towards Him through our study time. Studying the Bible is the best way to get to know the creator of the universe, the God who loves you dearly.
One of the ways that I like to study the Bible is to approach it with four questions in mind. These four questions quiet the noise and help me focus on what is really important in my Bible study time – getting to know who God is!
4 Questions to Simplify Your Bible Study
1. What is the background?
Have you ever had a conversation with someone without knowing their background info? Things can get really awkward, really fast. That is why it is so important to ask people about themselves before you start making assumptions.
The same thing happens with Bible study. Instead of making assumptions about the text based on what we think, it is best to learn the background information.
It’s important to note, no one expects you to know the background information off the top of your head. There are several resources out there to help you get started like blueletterbible.com or a good study Bible. When you look up some background information before approaching the text, you will see how it transforms your Bible study.
2. What happened?
Have you ever gotten to the bottom of a passage of Scripture and realized that you didn’t comprehend anything you just read? It’s like your eyes glaze over and you don’t recall them landing on a single word. That happens to me all the time. When that happens, I go back, slow down and ask myself, what is actually happening?
We can also read a passage of Scripture, and just because of the way it was written, struggle to understand exactly what it is saying. That is where slowing down and going verse by verse can really help. Our goal is to know God better through studying Scripture, so it can be helpful to pay special attention to what God does and doesn’t do in the passage.
3. What did I learn about God?
I have said it once, and I will say it again: when you are studying the Bible, the goal is to get to know God. We want to know Him, love Him, and see how He is working. If we were simply to look at our observations and walk away, that would be okay, but reflecting on those observations to relate to God totally and completely changes the game.
Studying the Bible shouldn’t be only an academic exercise, it should also be a heart exercise. Taking what you learned and translating that into what you now know about the character of God will help you to see just how truly wonderful our God is.
4. What does this change?
So we know the background, we know what happened, and we know what that means about God. Now what? We don’t want to stay the same, but we want our Bible study to change the way we live our lives. In fact, James tells us that it is a sin to know what we should do and then not do it (James 4:17). Yikes!
Taking action from what you learned won’t look the same each time. It could be an attitude to change or adopt, a specific step to take, or even just a prayer to pray. But ending your time in the Word with an action step will ensure that you truly are living out your faith.
Now, it’s time to try it!
Pick a passage of Scripture (or better yet, pick a whole book and break it down chapter by chapter) and move through these questions. I know you will see a tremendous impact on your relationship with God by implementing them into your study time.