By Carol Furman – Dayton, Ohio
Guess what? It’s time for Bible study! That means I get to study the Bible not I have to study the Bible!
If personal Bible study is a struggle for you, then maybe you need to change your approach. Shifting my mindset from I get to instead of I have to because I’m a believer and that’s what believers are supposed to do creates a joy and excitement about studying the Word of God.
What does that mean?
That means I get to spend time with God.
That means I get to spend time in His presence.
That means God is going to talk to me!
That means as I study, I expect God to say something to me.
That means my time of study is not going to be boring. My time of study is going to be filled with the presence of God and his spirit!
Bible study then becomes a joy and not a drudgery. How do I do that?
Experience the Joy
First, I come with the right attitude of heart. Coming before the Lord with the right attitude without a sense of obligation or duty is a game changer.
As I approach my time of study, I shift my attitude to one that God, the Creator of the universe, is talking to me as I study. He is talking to me because He loves me and He gets to talk to me!
Secondly, I come with an excitement! I come with the thought that I’m looking for treasure.
As I study, I’m digging for treasure, and that treasure will be found! It’s like finding a gold nugget in the middle of the desert.
“Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV
How cool is that—knowing that as I study, my hunger is going to be satisfied and it is going to be joyful.
You may be thinking – why should I even bother to study? Here are some strong reasons:
- Bible study is necessary to help us maintain and nurture our relationship with God.
- The truth of the Word is our weapon against the lies of the devil.
- Our true purpose is expressed in the written Word of God.
- The Bible reveals what life is all about.
- The Bible reveals our true identity.
Where Do I Start?
Where do I start, you ask? Always begin your time of study with prayer, asking God to reveal himself to you.
As you study, write down the things that speak to you. Look up the things that you don’t understand.
Choose a topic that is relevant to you or better yet, seek out the topic the Holy Spirit has been personally ministering to you.
Ask questions as you study. Study with someone else.
Whatever your method of study is, always end with practical application. Be sure that you implement application of your study into your personal life.
We live in an era that makes having the resources of Bible study so much easier than years before. A friend of mine told me that when she was in seminary, her professors told her that her study library should cost as much as her car!
We are so privileged to have resources available to us online and most of them at no cost.
Even if there is a cost involved, it pays to invest in your spiritual growth. What a great advantage to have online resources at our fingertips!
I personally am a fan of looking up Scriptures in different Bible translations. It gives different perspective, speaks to my heart differently, clarifies the meaning, and quite frankly, makes it easier to understand many times.
The Five W’s
Also as you study, use the five W’s – who, what, when, where and why:
- Who wrote it? (Who was the original audience, who are the people in the story–individuals, groups, cultures, languages)
- What happens in the story? (What were the actions taken by the people, what caused the actions of the people)
- When was it written? (Is the action currently taking place, when will the situation occur)
- Where was it written? (Where is the physical location of the story? What country are they in? For example, are they in the desert, on a boat, at someone’s house)
- Why was it written? (Was it written to show God’s compassion for people, to call us to repentance, etc.)
Be sure as you conclude your time of study that you ask HOW do I apply this to my life right now.
Joyfully, thankfully, and expectantly look forward to your next time of study!
Carol Furman is the Senior Pastor of Legacy of Love Ministries. Carol has been married to her husband Charles for 45 years and they have two sons and five grandchildren.
She has traveled extensively throughout the world teaching and preaching. You can see her preaching at Christian Family Fellowship by viewing “Progress!”