As we go into the new year, many of us will have the New Year resolution to read our Bibles more. It makes my heart so happy to think about all the good intentions behind this resolution. However, I know from experience that this resolution will very quickly be a failed attempt to know God deeper if all it is is another resolution. This in no way means that you should throw that resolution in the trash and give up on your Bible reading intentions. It simply means that if Bible reading is only going to be another task on your to-do list, then it may very quickly get bumped off your to-do list because life get's busy. The Bible says that we will seek God and find Him when we search for Him with all our heart ( Jeremiah 29:13). Maybe your New Years resolution should be getting your heart in the right place with the Lord, and from that a desire to seek Him and grow closer to Him will spring forth. God wants to be the purpose for which we live our lives, not just a box to be checked off our todo list.
With that being said, it is important that we are very intentional to seek the Lord. Life is busy and it can become all too easy, even with the best intentions, to forsake seeking the Lord. Below are some of my favorite tips to help you be more intentional with Bible Study. If you want to dive deep into this topic, our Bible Study Guide may be right for you!
Tip # 1: Block off the same time each day to read your Bible.
This is a concept that must be applied anytime we want to be consistent with anything. If you workout, you probably have a time each day that you go to the gym. For the most part, that time remains the same because that helps you remain consistent. Others will learn that at that time, you will be at the gym and can't be disturbed. Maybe you have a set aside time each day that you shower, or watch TV, or start dinner. As humans, we are naturally on a schedule. When you truly want to do something, you set aside the time for it. Set aside a time to read your Bible. As seasons change, that time may have to change. There will be days that you have to be flexible due to circumstances out of your control, but if you can designate a certain hour to be your Bible study hour, then you are much less likely to rush through it or be disturbed.
Tip # 2: Strategically choose where you want to study.
We have all grabbed our Bibles, randomly flipped it open, and started reading at the first place our eyes land. While I am guilty of doing this, I don't recommend this being the way you approach your Bible study. Be intentional with where you read. Maybe that means you need to find a solid reading plan and stick to it. Maybe that means you pick a book of the Bible and start in chapter one, or you pick a topic and find verses that relate to it. For those who are completely new to the Bible, I always recommend one of the four gospels. If you need help choosing a place to start reading in the Bible, check out this blog post. The Bible will make more sense if you intentionally pick a place to start or a topic to study and go from there.
Tip # 3: Implement the way you learn and study into your Bible study.
When you are studying for school or work, what do you do? Do you take notes, draw pictures, copy things down? Implement that same method of study into your Bible study. There is no rule that says you can only open the Bible, read it, and then close it. We should be interacting with God's word. If you are artsy, draw a picture of what you are reading. If you are organized, take color coordinated notes of what you are reading. Not only will this help you study, but it will also help you memorize God's word.
I hope these three tips will help you as you establish a routine of Bible study. Remember, it is not until our hearts are in a place to begin seeking God that we will truly find Him. Spend time in prayer before you begin your Bible Study and ask God to open up His word to you and give you a desire to know Him deeper.
If you have tips that have helped you study the Bible, comment them below!