Steps to Effective Bible Study (Part 1)
By Rick Warren
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18 ESV).
Studying God’s Word will change your life if you put what you learn in practice — but it all starts with your willingness to study his Word.
The Bible says, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18 ESV).
God has so much he wants to show us, but we must be willing to look into his Word with open eyes.
So how should we study God’s Word? Effective Bible study, no matter what Bible study method we use, has five parts. I’ll look at two today and three tomorrow.
1. Ask the right questions. Learning to study the Bible means learning to ask good questions from the text. There’s no limit to how many questions you can ask of the Bible, because there’s no limit to its wisdom and insight. The deeper you dig, the more gold you’ll find.
Asking questions of the text you’re reading will help you look at the text through a whole new set of eyes. Suddenly, every time you pick up God’s Word to study it, new truths will jump out at you.
2. Write down your observations. Never study the Bible without pen and paper in hand (or a keyboard if you prefer). When you ask your questions and find your answers, write down what you learn. You can read the Bible without writing something down, but you can’t study it.
Dawson Trotman, who was the founder of the Navigators ministry, used to say, “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and the fingertips.” In other words, if you can’t say it and you can’t write it, then you haven’t really thought about it. Even if you don’t see anything in the verse, write down that you don’t see anything. Just the act of writing that down will open up new thoughts.
Talk It Over
- Consider the place where you study God’s Word each day. How does it help or hinder your focus?
- To whom can you take your questions about the Bible? With whom can you share the insights God reveals to you?
- What tools do you need to make it easier to write down your observations during Bible study?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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