By practical Christianity Foundation 01/14/2015
Taking our cue from our most recent article, what new action are we being prompted to take about or for ourselves? What new commitment are we encouraged to make? Could it be studying the Bible? Are we prompted to make time with God and His Word as part of our daily personal routine? May we have your attention please, we have some simple but helpful tips for your journey through the Holy Scriptures.
As the old adage goes, "Life is a journey." So is Christian living. The personal experience of the journey may vary for everyone. But the fundamental principles and the guiding precepts are basically the same. From our childhood, 'til the day when God calls us home, many feel that journey comes with more questions than answers. The truth is that God, the Author and Source of life, has provided the guiding principles for life in His Word the Bible: It’s the Light that brightens the path to life and it comes in handy at every step and stage along the way.
For many people, the thought of studying the Bible on their own can be quite intimidating. However, as Christians, we must take Jesus Christ at His word when He promised to send the Spirit of Truth Who will help us understand the truth. We trust the following tips will encourage you to pick up the Bible and open its pages for a personal study.
- Recognize that the Author of the Bible is God, and that He is revealing Who He is and what He does in and through His Word the Bible.
- Recognize who you are as God’s audience and that He will help you understand His Word by the Holy Spirit bit-by-bit and precept-by-precept as you grow in your understanding of the Bible.
- Realize that studying the Bible is not just an exercise in comprehension. It is a personal communion with God and receiving the Truth as it is gradually revealed by Him, the Author.
- Be patient. Prepare to read and reread passages until you understand the spirit and meaning. The Bible is like a fine chocolate; it's meant to be savored and pondered.
- No one can fully comprehend the bible or God at once or at any time. So, develop a study plan that is practical for you and is familiar with your method of comprehension. For example: Do you like to focus on small portion of verses for a day. Or, do you like to search Scriptures which speak to a topic you want to understand. Or, do you just want to memorize a verse and ponder it all day. Take small but consistent steps.
- Keep it in context. Remember to read passages in the context of the section where the text is located and the rest of the Holy Scriptures. Take into appropriate consideration of the time and the individuals referenced in the text.
- Ask questions. If you don't understand a passage, ask your pastor, a friend, or spiritual advisor to help guide you to the right understanding. Ask if they can direct you to good and dependable study guides.
- Open your heart. Look to God to speak to you through the words. Reading the Bible is an emotional and a mental experience engaging the entire person.
Studying the Bible is one of the most rewarding gifts you'll ever give yourself. It's the source of knowledge, wisdom, love, and enlightenment that will help you answer some of life's most challenging questions. It is also the only pathway which will keep you connected with God, the object of your faith. When you're ready to begin your studies, we invite you to contact us with your questions. We'll be happy to help direct you to the materials that will be most beneficial to your needs.