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Sep 29 2014

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An Easy Three Step Bible Study Plan

An Easy Three Step Bible Study Plan

The Bible is intended to be a light for our path and a sword able to expose our inner most thoughts and desires. As a believer, it is an essential element in growing in faith. If it is so important, why do so many Christians struggle with taking time to study the Bible? One reason is that they don’t have a plan or that their plan is unrealistic and complicated.

If You Need a Plan

There are plenty of Bible study plans. If you go to BibleGateway or YouVersion, you can look there for devotionals and reading plans. Sometimes knowing where to start is the biggest hurdle.

Unrealistic and complicated

Another reason believers don’t consistently study their Bible is because their plan to study the Bible is unrealistic and complicated. Just like people who go to the gym and pull all their muscles or wear out their bodies on the first visit, it is possible to set oneself up for failure.

 

The Bible isn’t intended to be solved, resolved, or checked off on our list. Taking time to study isn’t intended to be long and complicated. And, in the same way, it isn’t intended to be a quick answer sheet for the questions of life. Can someone spend hours studying the Bible, yes? Is it practical for a mom of three little ones to plan on hours of study every day? No. Are there answers for the questions of life in the Bible? Yes, but the Bible is intended to be God’s tool in our hearts and lives to be answering the questions we need but may not asking.

 

Unrealistic and complicated goals tend to get squeezed out because they cannot be maintained. Realistic and simple is one way to keep a goal. Studying the Bible daily is a great goal, a life-transforming goal. Here is an easy three step Bible study plan to get you started.

 

Three Steps

  1. Pray — Ask God to help you to pause and listen with your heart. Ask Him to help you understand what you are reading and to show you what it is He wants you to see. And when you are done, pray again asking Him to help you apply what He is teaching.
  2. Contextual reading — Read the passage (from your plan) taking in the whole picture. If you are reading one or two verses, this is a good time to read the chapter in which those verses are containtained. Context is important. This time of reading is big picture.
  3. Focused reading — Read the focused verses or passage slowly and with intentionality. Look for key words or phrases asking God to show you what is important for you to hear today. (Repeat the focused reading again, if necessary, until a key word or passage stands out.)

This is a great start

This is not intended to be an exhaustive Bible study plan. It is a simple plan that is easy enough for anyone to maintain. I have found the focused rereading help me to listen with my heart. I don’t always have ah-ha, earth-shattering moments, but the passage stays with me. And it creates in me a desire to dig in deeper. It gives me time to be curious and ask questions like:

 

  • How do that read in another translation?
  • How is that word used in other places in the Bible?
  • What does that word mean?

Is there more?

This easy three step Bible study plan is just a beginning. Keeping a journal of your key words and phrases as well as your reflections is wonderful if that is something you want to do. (God Quotes is often my reflective writing after the three steps.) Don’t add that as a requirement. Keep the three steps as your base. As your desire for God’s word grows and you have time, expand your plan to include other elements.

 

Be encouraged

You can do this. God’s word is powerful. God wants to use the Bible to lead you to life found in Him. This in an investment worth making.

 

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