Bible reading takes concentration. Effective study time requires quiet and diligence. And sometimes ten steps are too many for the time and space available.
So today, I’m going to share my own five-step study plan for a twenty to thirty-minute interval. You know, when you look at the clock and think, “The kids will be home in forty minutes which isn’t enough time for a nap.” Picking up your Bible during that time is another refreshing alternative to shut-eye.
Find a Study Guide
I heartily believe in independent, self-guided Bible study. But I also know that it takes more time and concentration than what many of us have in our day or week.
Isn’t a guided study of the Bible better than none at all?
I would say a hearty “YES!”
If you’re looking for something to help you live more purposefully, I recommend Finding Focus through the Lens of God’s Word. I know the author, and she’s given you a clear look inside her reality—with all of its ugly struggles.
I’ve also been impressed with study books written by Juanita Purcell, Elizabeth George and the “Becoming a Woman of” series of studies by Cynthia Heald.
A well-written study book will aid you in connecting with God’s Word. It also shortens the number of steps required because you can (hopefully) trust the author to keep things in context (step four) and define terms (step six).
Five Small Steps
Step 1: Is still Prayer. James 1:5 encourages us to ask for wisdom. And Psalm 119:18 can be prayed word-for-word from your heart.
Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law – Psalm 119:18
Step 2: Read the narrative from the study book and the verses it uses to support the lesson.
Step 3: Answer all questions in the guide honestly and openly. If you aren’t sure, skip the question and return to it once you’ve finished. Sometimes the author will give more hints as the lesson continues.
Step 4: Select one or more verses that jumped off the page. Copy them onto a 3×5 index card or into a journal. Spend time meditating on these verses each day (until you do the next lesson).
Step 5: Choose ONE action that you can take in your life right that moment to apply something from the lesson to your own life.
Make an Appointment
Like all important things in life, studying God’s Word needs to be scheduled.
You wouldn’t expect your annual doctor’s appointment to “just happen” without you making a call and setting up a meeting. Nor would those semi-annual dental visits occur without planning and forethought.
Take out your appointment calendar. Tap on the Google Calendar application on your phone.
Set aside a fifteen-minute block of time every day (or at least five days per week) and build upon it. Once you get into the habit of delving into the hidden depths of the Bible, you’ll soon find thirty-minute sessions seem too short.
The important thing about a five-step system is to take the first step. If you don’t start, you’ll never make it to the second step.
What system do you use for studying the Bible? Does it have fewer than five steps you can share?