How To Study Your Bible: A Guide for Anyone Wanting to Dig Deeper & Know God
Throughout the years, my Bible studying habits have been varied.
In my younger years & high school my Bible reading consisted of reading short devotionals and saying a quick prayer. Now, I’m in no way saying that this was a bad way to read my Bible or that I wasn’t following God right, but as I grew older I wanted to get more from studying, and this method just wasn’t working for me.
Wanting to dig deeper & learn more so I could really know God, I did what any high school/college girl does and searched on Pinterest for a new studying routine. Well, what I ended up with was an overload of information, studying methods, and systems that seemed a bit overwhelming. So I figured the best way to figure out what worked for me is try them all, and I did just that!
Over the span of several years I trialed multiple Bible studying methods to find what really worked. In the end, I ended up with my own mish mosh combination of different Bible studying systems, that I still love and use every day! The way I’ve learned to study has allowed me to learn more about God & form a relationship with Him, learning & knowing what His word says and using it in my life.
After several people have asked me questions about how I study my Bible or why it looks so colorful, I figured I’d share the way I study my Bible with all of you!
I’m listing below all the resources, tools, and tips I have for you, along with a video (scroll all the way to the bottom to see) that walks you through my studying routine for those of you who would rather see it than read it!
First I want to share with you my Bible study tools which are a few items that I believe are essential to digging deeper:
1. A Journaling Bible
This is a bible with a large single column margin that you can write in. This is super essential to studying as it allows you to record important passages, thoughts, connections, or define words. I use the She Reads Truth Bible and love everything about it!
2. Pens, Highlighters, & Sticky Notes
Any old pens you find lying around in your house and a few highlighters and sticky notes will come in handy when you’re studying. In order to be engaged with what I’m reading I constantly am highlighting, writing, and posting stickies on the pages of my Bible (see more on how in the video)
3. Outside Resources
Most days I don’t use any supplemental studies as I prefer to focus more on the Word’s of God instead of man and I find that sometimes I become too reliant on my Bible study material rather than the Bible itself. I do like to read a short devotional from Jesus Calling daily though as I do think it helps to center my mind and heart on Jesus, but this is not used as a replacement for the Bible itself! With that said, I still think that having outside study resources can be a big help in breaking down the scripture and applying it to your life. One of my favorite Bible study resources is SheReadsTruth which has a ton of free and for purchase studies that are wonderful. We also a few free study resources here on our site that I love to use to help me dig deeper like the James study guide that you can get here -> https://www.theboldandbeloved.com/free-downloads
4. A Journal or Notebook
As a more recent addition to my studying routine, I have invested in creating a bullet journal style Bible & Prayer journal. In this journal I track my studying consistency, write down prayer requests, have lists of self check questions & reminders, along with free flow journal, & a lot more. This Bible bullet journal has been such an awesome addition to my study routine in keeping me focused and creative at the same time. If you'd like to see more of my Bible bullet journal let me know and I'd love to share it!
Next, I want to share with you my method for studying.
1. Pray First & Check Your Heart
This is the first and most important step I take before studying my Bible. Praying that God will show you His truth through the Words you’re going to read is so important to making a difference in your life. Check that your heart is in a place where it’s ready to be focused on God – not the world. This is the time where I put my phone on silent and away, take a step away from all the thoughts of the days “to do’s”, and just try to take a breathe and talk to God. Once I feel like my mind and heart are in a good place, ready to focus on and learn about God, I begin my studying!
2. Pick a Book of the Bible and Start in the First Chapter and First Verse
I don’t know about anyone else but I always used to wonder how I was supposed to know where or what to read – was I supposed to just at random open up the Bible and bam there it is!? My suggestion is to start, pick a shorter book of the Bible and start in the very beginning of that book. Some good books to start with might be James, Ephesians, or Proverbs. No matter where you’re reading from the Bible it’s not going to be a waste and remember although the words may not have been written directly to you, they always can apply to you!
3. Ask Questions, Define Meaning, Make Connections
This step was the game changer for studying for me. While experimenting with different studying methods one I particularly liked was called the SOAP method. The basis of this method is:
Scripture – read it & rewrite it
Observation – who or what is this passage talking about
Application – how does this apply to me
Prayer – pray over the words you’ve read
Although I enjoyed this method, I felt a disconnect from my Bible as I would record this information in notebooks that, being honest, I never looked back through and eventually went into the trash.
So, I started to loosely apply this method in my studying routine by writing directly in the margins of my journaling Bible. I draw an arrow from whatever portion of scripture I’m looking at and record definitions of words, ask my self questions like “am I doing/being this”, make connections to other parts of scripture or my own life, and rewrite important phrases or instructions that stand out to me. There’s no set system for this – it really is based on me being engaged when I study and trying to apply these words to my life.
As you can see from my Bible, when writing in the margins things can get a little busy and full, as a solution to this I use highlighters to highlight the particular passage I’m focusing on and separate it out from other portions by highlighting the arrow to my note, as well as boxing in the note with the same highlighter color to keep it all connected. At times I’ll highlight sentences or single word’s – whatever I’m making a note on or that is really speaking to me I separate it out by highlighting it.
Lastly, I use sticky notes to record more in depth notes. I’ll use these stickies to make lists, write down steps, fill out comparison charts, or write extremely important reminders on and stick them right there on the pages as little extra tidbits to live by.
4. Apply It to Your Life
After reading through a portion of scripture (I usually read a few paragraphs to a chapter daily – around 30 minutes of studying) I look back over all of the notes I’ve written. I reread all of these notes and try to come up with one or several concluding statements that are the main idea I can apply to my life through this part of the Bible. I pray over these main ideas and how I can incorporate them into my day today.
I pray that this helps all you girls out there wanting to dig deeper & know God by giving you a method for studying your Bible that helps you to get the most out of the Word. Regardless of all of this, my best advice to studying you Bible is to just start! Don’t be overwhelmed and stressed just start reading and the more you read the more you’ll want to read and eventually you won’t be able to get enough.
Now let’s get to reading girls!
Find The YouTube Video Here: