IDEAS FOR READING AND STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD
Many people read the word but do not seem to get a lot out of it. Here are some ideas for you that will make your reading and study of the Word more exciting. Instead of reading the Word for ten minutes, you will want to spend hours! Choose the ones that appeal to you the most.
1. WRITE IT DOWN
Always have a hard-covered notebook beside you when reading the Word of God, and be ready to write! Be on the look out for God to speak to you personally as you read. It may be a challenge, a command, or even a precious promise. Write the date and then write out the Scripture that is challenging, inspiring or comforting you. Now write down in your own words what you feel God is saying to you personally from this Scripture. As you write, you will receive more revelation. Understanding will come to you more clearly. I love this quote: “Thoughts tend to disentangle themselves when they flow through lips or cross pencil tips.” Jeremiah 30:1 says, “Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.” When you have your pen waiting to ready, you show God that you are waiting for Him to speak to you. As you wait in faith, God will speak. You will be able to look back and read in wonder at what you have heard from God. You will find that as you write, more revelation and understanding will come to you. Remember, if you do not write it down, you will forget it. Also, write a prayer of response back to the Lord regarding what He is revealing to you.
2. BIBLE CALENDAR
Make your own Bible calendar for the year. Purchase a diary that has enough space to write a Scripture for each day of the year. Every day look out for one particular Scripture that has spoken to your heart and write it under the date provided. This will remind you to have your reading EVERY DAY, as you won’t want to have too many blank dates! This is also a great idea for busy people who don’t have time to do No. 1. At least you can write the Scripture. And you may be able to write a few thoughts.
3. PERSONAL CONCORDANCE
Start your own personal concordance. Purchase a hard-covered alphabetical book and write down the subjects you want to know more about, e.g. The Power of the Tongue; Guidance and Direction; Wisdom, Prayer, Truth, etc. You can keep adding to your list as you go along, especially the subjects that are applicable to you. As you read the Word, be on the lookout for Scriptures on these subjects and write them under the headings. You will soon gain a wealth of Scriptures on the subjects that concern you personally.
You could also purchase a second hard covered alphabetical book, which you can use for discovering the vast subject of the CHARACTER OF GOD. It is so important to understand the character of our God. The more we know what God is like, the more we are able to trust Him. List headings such as His Faithfulness, Mercy, Compassion, Provision, Judgment and so on. Watch out for Scriptures to write under these headings.
And you may as well purchase a third hard covered alphabetical book because the following is a great idea. Read through the book of Proverbs. As you read, write each Scripture under a different subject heading such as, Laziness, Honesty, Finance, Morality, Thought Life, Kindness, Diligence, Education and so on. You will now have your own resource material for life values.
4. RAINBOW BIBLE
Purchase some colored pencils or highlighters and begin to make a rainbow Bible Some are hesitant to mark their Bible but if you do not find the Bible very interesting, you will soon get excited when you start doing this. Choose your own colors for your subjects, but here is a guide:
PURPLE The Promises of God
BLUE Heaven and the Second Coming of Christ
RED The Blood of Jesus and His Salvation
GREEN The Commandments
YELLOW The Character of God
BROWN The Word of God
BLACK Sin and hell
ORANGE Family and Marriage
Your Bible will soon look colorful and well used and you will be able to recognize subjects at a glance. You may wish to use a different Bible for this purpose.
5. PERSONALIZE HYMNS
It can be inspiring to read some hymns from an old hymnbook during your Quiet Time. The words of many of these hymns will lead you closer into the heart of God. Another idea is to choose a favorite hymn and find a Scripture to match each line of the hymn. This can be quite a challenge (but fun). You will need a concordance. Write the line of the hymn on one half of the page and the Scripture on the other half until you complete the hymn. Here are some suggested hymns:
“I’m pressing on the upward way, new heights I’m gaining every day.”
“Loved with everlasting love, led by grace that love to know.”
“When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of glory died.”
E.g. “Take time to be holy” “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16
“Speak oft with thy Lord.” ` “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thess 5:17
“Abide in Him always.” “Abide in Me and I in you.” John 15:5
“And feed on His Word.” “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12
6. THEME STUDIES
When you come across a subject in the Scriptures that you would like to know more about, jot it down for when you have more time to look into it. When you have a slot of time, get out your concordance and write down the reference to every Scripture on the particular subject. As you do this, you will notice different aspects of the subject, which you can put under sub-headings. Write down your thoughts about the Scriptures as you go. You will learn so much as you do this. When you are asked to speak, you will have a message waiting and ready.
7. CHAPTER STUDIES
Read the chapter over and over and meditate upon it. Go through verse-by-verse, chewing on each one and looking up other translations to receive more understanding. I love to read the King James Version, but enjoy checking many other translations as well. Check out the full meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words that light up to you.
8. WORD STUDIES
As you read the Scriptures, you will often want to understand the true meaning of a word. Take time to check it out. I am never satisfied until I know the original meaning of certain words. Check other translations. Check expositors such as Wuest’s and Vine’s. The best Bible to help you with this is the Zodhiates’ Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible. I wouldn’t use any other Bible.
9. TAKE NOTES AT MEETINGS
Purchase a notebook that you can take with you to every meeting. Always take notes when someone is preaching. Expect God to speak to you. As you come in faith, the Holy Spirit will quicken many things to you, even apart from what the preacher is saying. Be ready to write them down. Can you imagine what will happen in church when you sit in the front row with your notebook in hand, waiting to write down what the preacher is sharing? And by the way, your children will be better behaved in the front row!
BIBLES THAT ARE COMING APART USUALLY BELONG TO PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT!
Prepared by Nancy Campbell
Above Rubies, www.aboverubies.org