1. BE ACTIVE, INVOLVED, & SERVING IN A LOCAL CHURCH THAT LOVES JESUS AND PREACHES THE BIBLE
Be active, involved, and serving in a local church. If you are faithfully apart of a healthy church, you will sit weekly under preaching and teaching of your pastors from week to week. This is a blessing from Jesus to you, so receive it as one. Jesus has called and qualified faithful men (pastor’s) to lead, feed, and guide you through the Word of God. The Apostle Paul says this to young Timothy, who is a pastor, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
Furthermore, if you are actively involved and participating in a local church, you should be in some sort of small group that pray’s for one another and works through the truth of the Bible together in community. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).
2. GET A GOOD STUDY BIBLE
I recommend the ESV Study Bible. Read through the study notes after you read through a certain passage of Scripture. It will help give you clarity on the Word and help you catch things you may have missed. It has introductions to each book of the Bible, giving you information about the author, date of writing, theme of the book, layout, and historical information.
- You can purchase a hard copy from Amazon for around $28
- You can purchase it on Kindle for around $10
- Watch a 4 minute video on the ESV Study Bible
- See what Christian leaders are saying about the ESV Study Bible
3. HAVE A READING PLAN
Don’t go at reading the Bible by opening it up and reading a random chapter. That’s not sin, it’s just stupid. I suggest reading through the Gospel accounts or Acts, a NT Epistle- anyone from Romans-Jude. When you finish books, maybe read through the OT starting with Genesis. I recommend you to always be reading something from the Old Testament and the New Testament. I enjoy reading Psalms and Proverbs as well as an OT book and a NT book. Always read a chapter a day whichever books you’re reading through. Whatever book you’re reading, start by reading the introduction in a Study Bible (make sure it’s a good one) so you know the context of who’s writing the book, who’s receiving it, what the purpose was, what the theme is, etc.
Here are a few reading plans that might work well for you
4. COMMIT YOURSELF TO STUDYING THE WORD
Have a friend help hold you to it and remind you why you are wanting to read it in the first place- to know Jesus and to make him known, for his glory.
5. STUDY FOR REVELATION, NOT JUST INFORMATION
Don’t approach the Bible simply as words. Approach it as the living and active Word of God delivered to mankind to know him, love him, know what we’re created for, and to be strengthened and governed by his truth in the gospel.
6. STUDY FOR GOSPEL, NOT JUST ADVICE
There is definitely a lot of advice on how to live and how we should live in light of the gospel, but that’s not the main point of the Bible. The Bible reveals the glory of God- namely through Him saving us sinners by what Jesus has done in our place. Read everything in light of the good news that Jesus has come and set free all who would come to Him through faith. Fight to dig deeper into the text and pray for God’s truth and glory to be revealed to you. And remember, the whole Bible is about Jesus. The Bible is namely about the Christ, not the Christian.
7. SHARE AND DISCUSS WHAT YOU READ WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Don’t be alone in studying the Word. Talk with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, and friends about what you have read, what questions you have, what stood out to you, and revelations that God has given you through His Word.
8. PRAY, ASKING & DEPENDING ON THE HOLY SPIRIT TO OPEN YOUR EYES TO THE TRUTH OF THE WORD
Pray like the psalmist in Psalm 119 “Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from your (Word).” 1 Corinthians 2:9-13 tells us that for all of those that are truly Christians, the Holy Spirit searches the depths of God, reveals the truth of God, and interprets God’s truth to us. Depend on Him. Pray and ask for revelation from the Holy Spirit- through the living and active Word of God.
9. BE A DOER, NOT MERELY A HEARER OF THE WORD
James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
For God’s glory and your joy, I pray this helps you see and savor Jesus Christ more everyday. As you pour over the Word, my hope is that God will be pouring into you. As you read the word, my hope is that you will find that it is actually reading you.
*Pastor Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church recently released some tips on how to study the Bible. This might be of further help, as he is far more along in his sanctification than I. Glory to Christ Jesus!
Always seeking your joy,