Heyo sweet friend! I hope you’re doing so well!
Today’s post is one I have been SO excited about for SO long now… it just took me forever to get my act together and put it to paper! Anyway, I thought it would be so fun to do a post about how I like to study the Word… so here you have it!
The Bible can seem super daunting, there’s no doubt about that. It can be challenging to understand and sometimes difficult to focus on what you’re reading. But over the past year or so I’ve learnt that reading the Bible really is a must for following Jesus and that with the right resources and routine, it’s not as complicated as one might think!
So, let’s jump right in!!
The first thing I like to do when I begin my quiet time is gather all my resources so that I’m not running around to find a pen or a sticky note once I’ve started reading. If you’re interested in what resources I use to Bible journal, I have a handy little post about that here! I also like to put my phone on silent/ night mode so that the screen doesn’t light up if I get a notification.
Side note: I use the Bible app and a commentary on my phone (more on this later) which is why I keep my phone with my when I’m studying the Bible. However, if you’re not going to be using your phone during your quiet time then you could also leave it out of the room for even less distraction!
Then, I’ll often pray to begin my quiet time. I like to write down some of my prayers to help keep me focused, but other times I’ll pray them in my head. I don’t pray anything complicated… just something simple asking God to speak to me through His Word and to help me stay focused and learn from what I read.
Once I’ve prayed, I start reading. I normally read 1-2 chapters but depending on how much time I have, I sometimes read less/ more. In these photos I was studying Romans 6 so to begin with I read through the chapter. After I’d read it once, I read it through a second time and started highlighting key things that stood out to me. The highlighting part isn’t essential but I find it helps me concentrate better on what I’m reading.
As I begin to highlight, I also like to make notes on what stands out to me. After I’ve jotted a few things down, I’ll often turn to a commentary. The two that I use are the Enduring Word Commentary (an app) and The Bible Speaks Today (a book). From the commentaries I’ll make notes both in the margins of my Bible and also in a separate journal. I note down key context, any explanations, quotes from theologians and any application from the passage to my life.
Side note: I rarely use both commentaries in one quiet time… The Bible Speaks Today tends to be broader and more in depth… sometimes I’ll read a chapter if I have more time. Enduring Word is usually verse by verse so if there’s one section I need input on I can go to just that section instead of reading a whole chapter.
Another thing I like to do to make notes and to further understand the passage I’m reading is to looks at other translations. I use the NIV translation but I have the Bible App on my phone, so sometimes I’ll read the chapter I’m studying in another Bible translation. I will normally use The Message version for this because it is a nice paraphrase and can make complicated passages a bit clearer.
Another thing I like to do is note down any key verses on an index card. I store these in the back of my journal and I use them as reference if I ever need some quick Bible wisdom. You could also use them as memory verses… something I’m working on getting better at, haha!
As I come to the end of studying the passage, I’ll sometimes note key takeaway points into my journal. I find that this helps me to remember better what I learnt from that passage, and is helpful if I ever want too look back at it.
Then, I like to have a little prayer time. I sometime put some worship music on for this, but other times I like to sit in the silence. Sometimes I write in my journal and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I do ‘posters’ in my journal of things I’m thankful for, other times I just sit in silence. It really depends on how I’m feeling. One thing I do know, however, is that our Heavenly Father loves it when His children talk to Him, so however you want to pray is good- there’s no set way!
There you have it, sweet friend! How I study the Bible!
I think it’s super important to note that my quiet time doesn’t always look like this. I don’t always do every part of it that I’ve talked about above and I don’t always have a long quiet time each day. Sometimes I just open the Bible app on my phone a breakfast and read a few verses and say a quick prayer. I’m not perfect, my routine isn’t perfect and my heart isn’t perfect either. I will never be perfect either, but I can try each day to be more and more like Jesus, and one of the best ways of doing this is to read the Word.
So, sweet friend, regardless of what your quiet time looks like and how you like to get close to the Lord, make reading your Bible a priority. Jesus is CRAZY about you and He loves spending time with you through reading the Bible and prayer.