1 – Pray for Wisdom
Ask God to give you insight and wisdom as you study His Word. The apostle Paul tells us that spiritual things are “spiritually discerned,” and the prophet Isaiah admits that we don’t always understand the thoughts of God. We need God to show us the message that He has for us in His Word. He is more than willing to reveal it when we humbly ask!
2 – Pick Relevant Passages
One way to choose study material is based on your current circumstances. What are you experiencing right now? On what topic do you especially need God’s guidance? Look for areas in Scripture that speak to your personal situation. Sometimes it’s ok not to stick to a strict reading guide! You can even seek out Bible-based commentaries and books on the topic that can help you understand and absorb what Scripture says.
3 – Ponder Even Little Questions
Allow yourself to wonder. When we’re reading different stories in the Bible, sometimes the unique details can be confusing or unfamiliar to us. How could Abraham almost sacrifice his son Isaac, or why did God use His finger to write the law in stone? Taking the opportunity to really think on the questions that come up in our minds gives God the opportunity to share new insights with us that we would have missed if we skimmed by these details.
4 – Pause to Reflect
Don’t speed through the reading. The Bible isn’t about an intellectual knowledge…it’s about knowing Jesus. In fact, John writes that knowing Jesus is what eternal life is all about. So read slowly to let God speak to your heart and impress upon you His love. Sometimes it helps to go back and re-read sections to let them really sink in. There’s always more God can reveal to us, even from the most familiar passages!
5 – Personalize and Apply
Spend time analyzing how each passage applies to you personally, and consider how you will integrate its message into your daily life. Maybe God is impressing you to offer more thanks than requests, or to steward your time more faithfully. Sometimes it’s hard to make these changes, but when God invites us to live more fully and deeply for Him, He always gives us what we need to do so!