A new year can encourage you to try new things or start old things up again. Here are some Bible reading tips we put together for the start of 2018.

1) PRAY PRAY PRAY

It can be easy to pick up the Bible, skim it, and never actually participate in a conversation with God. So, before opening your Bible, form the habit of starting in prayer. Take a deep breath and remember that you have been invited to commune with the Creator of the universe.

Pray Before Reading

What should you pray about? Here are a few ideas in case you’re stumped:

  • Confess any anger or bitterness
  • Share your doubt or frustration
  • Ask for help (for you or others)
  • Acknowledge God’s power, love, and faithfulness
  • Ask God to help you experience His power, love, and faithfulness
  • Give thanks

Look for Answers

This part can be crucial for our walk with the Lord. So often, we ask God to move in our lives… Then, when He does, we forget what we asked for and figure it all worked out because of circumstance or coincidence.

Keep a list of the things you are praying about. It could be as simple as a sheet of paper or you could keep track with your notes inside our app. Praise God and be encouraged by His presence when you see an answer.

2) LOOK TO JESUS

Maybe it sounds surprising, but there can be many reasons to study the Bible: seminary assignments, sermon prep, a love for history, because you feel like you have to…

But honestly, the best reason to read the Bible is to get to know Jesus. The other two members of the Trinity are also important, but Jesus came so that we could know God. He said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Jesus is the lover of our souls, our best friend, our redeemer, and our savior. If you’ve been feeling dry about reading the Bible, or about Christianity in general, slowly read through the gospels. Take notes on Jesus characteristics, the things he does, and the people he talks with. Get to know Jesus again.

3) ASK FOR INPUT

The Bible doesn’t speak directly to you and your circumstances alone. It is a historic book that is for God’s people! It can be dangerous to rely solely on how you interpret it. Instead, here are some ideas of who to ask for input:

-Your spouse or housemates
-Children (a unique perspective!)
-A pastor or mentor
-Bible study group
-Study Bibles
-Commentaries
-Other passages of Scripture (really important)

4) HAVE DISCERNMENT

It’s a balance to allow input into your life while also having discernment on what to believe and accept. Ask questions and hear answers from the above list, but also make sure to think critically about their response. And, to bring this blog post full circle… PRAY about what you learn. Ask God to reveal truth to you. If it is good, pure, lovely, gracious, self-sacrificial, and resembles Christ, you’re probably on the right track.

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What are your Bible study tips for 2018? What’s the #1 piece of advice you would give someone just getting started? Let us know in the comments below.

17 Comments

  1. Chisomo Sakala Reply

    Your article is insightful and very helpful. Thanks for sharing. May be you could add reflection so as to allow for an appreciation of the Word.

    Chisomo.

  2. Thanks, very insightful article. I would add that we should be expectant that God will speak through His word. So on top of journaling prayers and answers to prayers, we must journal what the scriptures say to us.

    • Excellent point. I find that when I journal what I learn from the Bible while reading it I actually learn a lot more. It helps me think, it helps me notice what God is telling me through his word, and often he brings other verses to mind that tie in and illuminate the verse/passage I am reading.

  3. I would also add this. When you pray before reading the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and He will and ask God to speak to you. I always do that and it is amazing how the Holy Spirit guides me through the Bible and highlights certain verses and I have learned to understand when He speaks to me. Amazing!

  4. Pearl Tantuan Reply

    Wow! Thank you for this article. It will help me read my Bible properly.

  5. Roneld Youtham Reply

    This article is very encouraging for us to read the Word of God with reverence and hope to know more of God. And we should separate consciously some time for such readings.

    But some times when we are travelling or involved in such activity and getting sometime to read the Bible, we should start reading the scripture immediately if we want, how short time it may be. The ideal process should not be a hindrance for such readings.

    Thanks a lot.

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