II Tim. 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
We are commanded to study the Bible. But how does one study the bible to good effect?
Here are SIX steps to studying God’s Word meaningfully:
- Read It Carefully: Systematic reading will lead to knowing the Word of God. Don’t just go dashing here and there through its pages, but read book by book, and possibly some books ought to be read once a day for a week. Don’t jump to hasty conclusions or try to shape it to what you think it should mean. Let God’s Word be a veritable gold mine as you dig out eternal truths and gain wisdom for your life. Dig deep, don’t be a flighty Bible reader. Reading Proverbs 2:1-11 will help you see the wisdom of this.
- Meditate On It Daily: Take time to really drink in the Word, to enjoy the water of the Word. Stop and think about what you are reading, consider deeply what God is saying and how it relates to your own life. Let its promises feed you with heavenly nourishment and strength. It will build armor around you and will become a sharp two-edged sword for your daily battles. Psalm 1:1-3 gives us direction and His promises as we meditate on the Word. Those who take time to meditate will be prepared to resist evil thoughts, and actions. Don’t allow the devil to catch you off guard. Memorizing what you meditate upon will give you answers for the temptations, trials and burdens of each day. (Psa. 119:7-9; 1:1-3)
- Study It Thoroughly: Be serious about taking God’s Word into your heart. The daily ingesting of spiritual vitamins of His Word will help you gain wisdom and get prepared to serve the Master and know and walk in His will. Consider that you are in God’s classroom to learn the Word. Success or failure in everyday challenges will depend upon being equipped with His strength and wisdom. Don’t just read it, have a plan to study it even when there is no particular person to whom you are accountable or only if you are preparing to teach some class. (II Tim. 2:15)
- Believe It Completely: Doubting God’s Word will always lead to defeat and weakness adding to Satan’s opportunities and plan to defeat you. Satan loves for the believer to question and wiggle out of God’s Biblical commands. Failure to understand some portion should not lead to doubting the Word. We are told to “Search the scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39) You need to rest upon its promises, embrace its commands and warnings, and treasure its principles. Remember God does not lie. And He will never, never, never let you down. (Hebrew. 13:5-6)
- Obey It Constantly: Consider, stop and think, is it not true that every mess you ever got into was not the fault of God, but the lack of obedience to the Word of God, or the lack of its wisdom? Samuel said to Saul, “To obey is better than sacrifice” (I Sam. 5:22). When the Creator of the universe says something the wise follower will move in obedience. God knows what will work and how to get about it in the best way. His Word is like a compass to set the course of your life and a road map to guide you daily steps. Life is made up of a multitude of steps… be in His will in the steps and all of life will be guided by Him. (II Tim. 3:15-17) Don’t try to reason as to what you should do, but just embrace His clear direction. (Prov. 3:5-6; Psa. 37:4-5) God says that “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” (I Sam. 15:23) We must not choose our thinking and do our own thing as we see it.
- Apply It Personally: Our own personal response is that God desired. “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light into my path. I have sworn and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.” (Psa. 119:105, 106) It is easy to give scriptural instruction to others while neglecting to apply to ourselves. It is personal application that brings change. If we are clothed in His righteousness then we will be protected from the sinful, wicked elements of the world. Then we won’t stray off the path of daily guidance, have fainting fits, or practice sin. (Consider James 1:21-22).