Yesterday marked the first completion of reading the Bible through in a year for me. 2019 was a great year of faith building and growth in Christ and I believe this was largely due to a consistent time with God in His Word and in prayer.
Here I’m compiling five things that made the most of my time studying the Bible.
The earlier the better.
I realize this option is not ideal for some but is by far better than waiting until the last part of the day when all energy has been spent.￼ Set an alarm and pray every day that God would wake you up and speak to you specifically from your time together in the morning. It works!
This all requires time but it is an essential part of hearing from God. I recommend spending the first 10 to 15 minutes in prayer which will seem like five hours when you first start. It is a discipline worth cultivating.￼ Here is a post I did a while back on using the Psalms as a guide to prayer.￼ Of all the recommendations, I swear by this one. Failing to pray before, during, and after reading the Bible is to short circuit the entire discipline.
Get on a reading plan WITH friends.
For the last two years I’ve been on a reading plan from the Youversion Bible app with friends from church and social media. The upside of this is logging in to see others on the same plan with you, highlighting verses from the study, and hearing their thoughts in the comment section provided. It’s amazing how a group of people can read the same passages of scripture yet have God speak to them in an individual way￼￼ specific to their time with God. Here’s the plan I’m on this year. You’re more than welcome to join us!
Same place, Same Time
I have a “Jesus chair” in my living room that I use daily for this time specifically.￼ I get up around 4:30 in the morning on most days, make a cup of coffee￼, and spend the first quiet hour of the day here. I even put it on my google calendar marked “Coffee with Jesus”.￼
Bring Study Tools
Study Bible – I’ve use the John MacArthur Study Bible for years, and I love it, but there are so many options out there for you to choose from. I highly recommend the ESV Study Bible, the CSB Spurgeon Study Bible (my new personal favorite) or the HCSB Study Bible, just to name a few.￼
Pen – There’s something special about writing down your thoughts with a nice pen. I would recommend even rewarding yourself with a Bible study pen to make it the sacred time as it is.￼ I recommend the Pilot Metropolitan, a LAMY standard (both are fountain pens), or a Pilot G2 .78 on the budget.￼
Journal – This is good for capturing verses of Scripture that stood out to you, Observations about those verses, Application points to your life specifically, and a place to write out your Prayers, otherwise known as the SOAP method. I recommend a nice moleskin which can be purchased at target for around $10-$15.￼
At the end of the day, all you really need is a Bible and some time. These other things are nice but not necessities.￼
I hope 2020 is the year for you to have the best devotional time in your life to date! I’d also love to hear your comments below about tools and methods you’ve used for a better Bible study.￼