Summertime was always the hardest for me, when it came to devotions.
School was out, we were on vacation, and the warm weather both made me want to sleep longer and begged me to go outside and just enjoy nature.
I think vacation time is the easiest time to let our devotional time slip, because our routine is all mixed up, we want to sleep in, and we’re eager to get out and have fun.
But making God a priority, even on vacation, is so important to our spiritual lives.
Here are 6 tips I’ve learned to making Bible study fun, exciting, fresh and new!
6 Tips for Studying the Bible
1. Journaling – I don’t think it’s news to anyone who knows me that I love to write. Writing helps me process my thoughts and feelings. Often times while I’m writing, I’ll get fresh insight into God’s Word. I like to take a notebook with me and write down verses, thoughts, and even what I’ve researched out about the passage. I also like to write down my thoughts about what I’ve read – which sometimes turn into articles later on.
Some people like to do art journaling. Darlene at Time Warp Wife has recently begun to do art journaling in her Bible. Also, Worshipful Living wrote about it as well. You can get special Bibles with wide margins for either written journaling or art journaling.
2. Color coding – Courtney at Women Living Well encourages color coding your Bible according to various topics. This not only makes your Bible look pretty, it forces you to focus on what you’re reading. Does that sound funny? But how many times have we read entire chapters without ever really comprehending what we’ve read. Color coding your Bible helps you to stay focused on the passage, plus, when you go back to researched topics, such as blessings or the words of Jesus, it is easy to find because you just look for a certain color!
You can get excellent pens that don’t bleed, especially for color coding!
3. Ask questions – Ask yourself: Who, when, where why and how. Who is this passage talking about? When did it take place, where doe sit take place, why was this passage written, and how does it apply to my life today? Mandy from Worshipful Living goes into depth about these questions in her post at Women Living Well.
4. SOAK – What is SOAK, you ask? Simply this: S – write out the scripture, O – write out your observation about what you just read. A – write out how you can apply this scripture to your life right now. K – kneel in prayer. Write out a prayer to the Lord regarding the scripture you just read. This is an excellent way to study God’s Word when you’re doing only a handful of verses at a time, or slowly working through one book.
5. Context – Keep scripture in context. Friends, this is so important if we are to remain theologically sound. Many strange cults and false prophets have arisen because of a few verses that were taken out of context. The best way to keep scripture in context is to read whole books from start to finish. When focusing on a particular verse or passage, look at what comes before and after it, then look at what Scripture a whole has to say about that topic.
6. Research – There are many excellent tools, theologians, and preachers who have contributed many volumes that we can use to research scripture. J. Vernon McGee, the Strongs Concordance, Matthew Henry and more. You can find these resources and more at Blue Letter Bible – a free online resource with multiple translations of the Bible.
NKJV Journaling Bible®Accu-Gel Bible Highlighter Study Kit (Pack of 6)The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the BibleStrong’s Concise Concordance And Vine’s Concise Dictionary Of The Bible Two Bible Reference Classics In One Handy VolumeNKJV, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Hardcover: Kingdom Equipping Through the Power of the WordMatthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible (Super Value Series)