More often than not, I find myself right back here, reading this page before every study. It is good for us to remember why we are doing these Bible studies.. because we want to grow in Christ! With that in mind, here are some things to prepare you for your study of God’s word:
1. Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted, for at least 30 minutes. This can be a challenge, but it is so worth it!
2. Pray. This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how much more you can take away from a study if you ask God to reveal the truths behind the passage.
3. Have a concordance or online searchable Bible handy, like BibleGateway. It is important to be able to look up words you might not understand, or phrases that might be found other places in the Bible. By comparing other scriptures you can grasp deeper study.
4. Read the entire passage of study before you begin to dissect it. Read it over and over until you feel like you have really grasped what is happening. It is good to know the overall story line and message.
5. Once you’ve read the passage ask yourself the background questions of:
- Who – who is the main character of this passage, and who is it directed to?
- What – what is going on, and what is the goal of what they are doing?
- Where – where & when is all of this taking place?
- Why – why are they doing what they are doing?
- How – how will they accomplish what they are doing?
6. Then ask yourself these application questions and if they apply to you:
- Is there a promise or principle to remember?
- Is there an example to follow or a command to obey?
- Are there attitudes that needed changing, or an error to avoid?
- Is there a sin being revealed?
- Does this make you want to pray for someone or yourself?
7. Don’t seek out the main point until you have asked the background questions. Then, find a statement that summarizes the lesson and/or application you are getting out of the passage.
8. Write down what you are learning in a journal or personal blog. This will help you see how you are growing, and help you in your prayer time to know what to pray for.
**A principle is the truth or doctrine that you are deducing from the passage of scripture by following the steps above. The application is how you can apply what you are learning from the principles that are being drawn out of the text.
**Most important of all: Don’t take what someone else has learned and think that is the end of the lesson. God speaks to each of us individually, and the applications I take away from the passage may not be what you take away. Remember there is only 1 interpretation – the Bible says what it says – but there are endless applications.
“16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3