Does your growth in Jesus feel stalled? Does your relationship with Jesus lack the passion that you once had when you first became a believer? If this is you, intentionally studying the Bible can begin a revival in your heart and restore that passion.
This might feel overwhelming—and you may feel like you have to be a scholar—but you can do it by knowing some Bible study methods. Studying God’s word with intentionality will provide refreshment in your relationship with Jesus as you discover more of his love for you, and who he is.
Why Study the Bible
God commands you to read the Bible; obedience to him is so important.
“Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” (Proverbs 4:10-13, NIV)
His words and wisdom are what you need more than anything in this life. He will sustain you through good and hard times. His word will refresh your soul, heart and mind.
God has the best for you and what his word contains will help you and carry you through your life. You need to store it up for this purpose. It will deepen your relationship with him, which fulfills your deepest longings.
How to Start Studying the Bible
Prayer before studying the Bible can get your heart and mind ready to receive. Trust the Holy Spirit to lead you, guide you, and illuminate what you need. Humble yourself and be in a posture of hunger for more of him.
Examine your heart posture: this will determine how your Bible study can go. Practically, it’s always good to start reading the gospels, the life of Jesus, because knowing him and focusing on that relationship is always key.
Study his life. It is always a good place to start and will grow your relationship with him.
How to Study the Bible for Yourself
It is important to remember that there is no right way to study the Bible… but you need to be in it.
Don’t feel overwhelmed if you need guidance, because there are many simple Bible study methods. The essentials are having the desire to know God more, to walk as he has called you to, to love him, and to want his will in your life.
“I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” (Psalm 119:15-16, NIV)
Do you want to know how to study the Bible daily? Put aside time each day, and pray before reading it. There are so many methods of studying the Bible; you can find the right one for you.
Bible Study Methods
There are so many benefits of studying the Bible. It can ignite you to better love God, love yourself and love people (the greatest commandment) as you study the word in a deeper way.
If you really want to grow in your relationship with God, then you need to read the Bible. Knowing Bible study methods can provide the accountability and structure that you may need. They can give direction when you feel overwhelmed, and help you meet a goal and grow in an area you want to.
Below, you will find 5 types of Bible study methods to help you be more intentional in studying the Bible and help you decipher the best method to use when trying to meet a certain goal.
1. One Year Bible Reading
A one year Bible reading plan is where you stick to a plan for reading the entire Bible in a year. It is important to know the entirety of the Bible in order to acquire a firm foundation and to live a good, God-honoring life.
“The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.” (Psalm 37:31, NIV)
Reading the whole Bible allows you to understand the bigger themes and the larger picture of God’s plan for you and the world. You will be equipped to study single books of the Bible, because you will have a pre-existing knowledge and background that you wouldn’t have had before.
When troubles come and you need guidance, you will have a strong framework about where to look for help and what biblical passages can speak truth to your heart and provide wisdom.
God’s word doesn’t return void (Isaiah 55:11) and this Bible study method will be beneficial for your heart to be solidified for God, and will give you a broader understanding for future study.
2. Bible Characters and Their Stories
Another great Bible study method is examining and focusing on biblical characters and their stories. In this method, you intentionally pick a biblical figure and study their life.
This can build your faith when you see what God has done for them and how he can do it for you, too. This is good because it can show you what God desires of you and the life you should live; it reveals God’s character, and it reminds you that you’re not alone.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18, NIV)
This study method can allow you to know you are significant when you don’t feel that way; you’ll see that God uses regular people, giving you confidence to be used for his purposes.
Study biblical figures and their stories to love God, love yourself and love people.
3. S.O.A.P. Method
If you are looking to go deeper into studying the Bible with others, or have a short amount of time, the S.O.A.P. (scripture, observation, application and prayer) method might be good for you. It is simple, but can be so helpful to provide a framework for you.
It was developed by Pastor Wayne Cordeiro and can help you apply scripture to your life to live more virtuously for Jesus.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV)
This method is a great way to understand the Bible by studying it in small chunks.
Studying the Bible with the help of a devotional can provide great insight to you when you are struggling and you need encouragement. It can allow you to know you are not alone, as the author expresses their stories and testimonies, and points you to Jesus.
Devotionals can highlight the scripture you need to focus on, or a passage in the Bible that will help you in a specific area.
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4, NIV)
Devotional studies have a powerful way of really speaking into a struggle you have and showing you how Jesus is the answer. They are usually short, so you can fit them in anytime for some encouragement from God.
5. Study a Single Book of the Bible
You can study the Bible one book at a time. Within a single book, you can then focus on one chapter at time and study it verse by verse. Take notes to better understand it, which can help you apply it to your life.
This Bible study method can really help you go deep in the word and examine the scriptures. It can give you a really thorough insight into who God is. This method is really helpful when you really want to do a deep dive into the word of God (which you should).
You can study individual words, too, and look up their meaning to go more in depth. The Bible changes you.
“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17, NIV)
Study God’s word in this way for greater growth and insight.
There are so many great Bible study methods. Five of them include reading the Bible in a year, studying Bible characters and their stories, the S.O.A.P. method, reading a devotional, and studying a single book of the Bible. There is no right way to study the Bible, it’s just important to be in the Bible.