That’s right. Here’s my outline to studying Scripture, for any of you who truly want to know what works for me. And just that, THIS IS WHAT WORKS FOR ME. If you have a different style, structure, time of day, method, whatever, that works for you, fantastic! Experiment. Talk about it. Share in the comments!
Time in the Word is time spent in the presence of God. Starting with prayer is always a great place to begin. Lately, I have enjoyed studying specific books of the Bible (A study through Romans, through Psalms, through Isaiah…), but I used to do topical studies. Either is fine.
I like to read scripture in context, so 1-3 chapters at a time rather than verse by verse. I like to look at the scripture in a variety of translations. My go-to resource for that is www.Biblegateway.com, and I like to compare the English Standard Version with the New Living Translation. I have a study Bible here at home of each of them as well, and I like the commentaries in the margins. What I also like about the study Bibles is the chain references. In the margin, lists of verses that connect back to one of the verses I just read are all listed there for me to look them up and get a bigger picture.
It seems like this could take a lot of time! Sometimes, it does. Lately, I have been getting up about 5:15-5:30 a.m. and doing my study before my boys wake up at 6:30. If you do a chapter at a time, you can get some good, solid study time in less than 30 minutes.
Then I like to pray over what I have read. How can I live out God’s love and grace and apply what I have read in my everyday life? How does what I read reveal God’s character and will?
That is just a glimpse into the thoughts that run through my mind as I sit down with scripture and God. How about you?