A personal Bible study practice can take on many forms.
Published on: 01-01-2020
At my recent annual physical, my new primary-care physician looked at my history of broken bones. She wasn’t too impressed with my litany of good, reasonable explanations for those eight broken bones, and sent me off for an osteoporosis test. You guessed it: I have osteoporosis.
No matter that osteoporosis is not really reversible, I’m attacking
it with a vengeance. At least I can keep it from getting worse! Prescription-strength vitamin D, kale or broccoli just about every day, vitamin K, lots of exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise, calcium supplements and tofu.
Forty-five years ago, when Steps to Christ helped me discover that my connection with Jesus needed help, I started Word supplements. He’s the “calcium” I need to avoid breaking our relationship again. With a new year and fresh slate ahead of us, this is a wonderful time to start or reinvigorate a personal Bible study and devotion time of your own. The following tips work for me. There is nothing inspired in this particular way of ingesting the Word of God, but I share these ideas in the hope they may be helpful to you.
I start my day with reading my Bible in four places—two chapters from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, and a couple pages from both Psalms and Isaiah. Sometimes I use a commentary, but
I usually just talk to God about what I’m reading and wait for His response.
Laminated verses—I put them in my purse, in the car, in the bathroom, on my bedside table. I’m trying to memorize more Scripture. The laminated Scriptures help me with my goal to scroll less on social media and watch fewer cat videos. This is one effective way to get in the habit of ingesting the Word. You doubtless have some habits that work well for you.
I could tell you I exercise while listening to audio Scripture through my earbuds. But I don’t. I do have old-school CDs of narrated Scripture, though, and on a road trip (or long commute) I often listen for a while.
I keep key rings with Scripture promises in my coat pockets. I like to flip through them while walking, kind of like studying Greek vocabulary, but far more gratifying!
My husband and I do a soup supper, followed by Bible study, every Friday night in our home, with seekers and new believers. We use a simple format of Bible studies I wrote for teens.*
We chain-reference texts in our Bibles. This time is precious. Our highly diverse group has bonded. We talk about the texts. We talk about how those texts might change our previous understanding of the topic; we talk about how those texts might change us. Then we pray that the Lord will write His Word on our hearts in the week to come.
There are many ways to study the Bible. By topic, by inductive or deductive methods, by book, by the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, John—though the gospel is on display throughout all of Scripture. My exercise TV coach says, “Just do it! Don’t quit!” The Spirit says the same.