How to Intimately Study the Bible
Everyone has that one favorite verse. It speaks something to them; it speaks truth and encouragement. It is their go to when they are hurting or when they need hope. Take a second, if you haven’t already, and determine which verse that is for you.
For me, that verse is Acts 17:28:
In Him we live, and move, and find our being.
Not only is my favorite verse instructional but it inspires me like poetry! It also makes me think of the song “More Like Falling in Love” by Jason Gray, because the song’s lyrics say something similar. Now that I have a tune in my head, I want to move (dance) to it. I want to breath in God, let His goodness fill my lungs, and set me free. Yeah, I wax on poetic but it is just my nature.
I want this verse to be ingrained in me, part of me. When I struggle, I don’t want hopelessness to fill my mind, I want this verse to come to my mind because it encourages me. So, that begs the question:
How do I intimately study the Bible?
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Read the surrounding scripture of your favorite verse.
It is a good habit to read (at least) a chapter ahead and a chapter after the verse you have chosen. It is CRUCIAL to read scripture in context. This is important because people often misunderstand scripture when it is removed from its context. This can end up harming their own relationship with God and it can harm someone else’s relationship with God, too.
Get nitty gritty and study the verse in eSword.
eSword is a free app for your computer that will help guide you through the Word by giving you dictionary definitions of the original language (Strong’s Concordance is generally a good reference), it will give you cross references (other related verses), and it helps you to see the verse in many translations at once with tabs.
The interface can be a bit overwhelming at first but once you get the hang of it, it can really help you understand God’s word more thoroughly. Click here to download the free software.
Look at the verse in the context of the book, New Testament, and whole Bible.
Each verse is a small revelation of God’s heart. His whole heart can be seen in the entirety of His word. So, after you have reviewed the verse in the context of the chapters before and after, think about it in the context of the whole book, the entire New Testament, and then the breadth of the Bible. Take the verse from a microscope view with a magnifying glass to the big picture.
- How does it confirm what you already know about God?
- How does this verse fit into the whole message of God?
- What verses do you know that are similar to it?
- Does this verse teach you something new about God?
- How do you apply it in your life?
These are great things to think AND journal about. If you have a journaling Bible, you can record your thoughts there, or in a prayer journal. To check out our selection of journaling Bibles and prayer journals, click here to view the Move the Mountains Christian Store.
Take the verse that means so much to you and write it on sticky note. Make a background for your phone and your computer. If you can, hang it up where you work. If you are crafty, draw or paint it and put it in your kitchen or bedroom. If you have a journaling Bible, illustrate it. Put it everywhere you look!
Start every prayer/quiet time with the verse.
Recite it to God, thank Him for writing it, tell Him how much His word means to you. Speaking scripture out loud is very powerful: It helps you to remember the verse better and it begins to become part of the way you think.
Share the verse with friends.
They best way to learn something is to teach it. I’m not saying give your girlfriends a sermon, but I am saying share what God has been revealing to you through this verse, why it inspires you, and how you are applying it to your life. Your best friends care about you spiritually and they want to hear how you are growing in the Lord. If they don’t, let’s find you some new besties.
When you face adversity, go to your verse.
If you are facing persecution or being confronted with unfavorable circumstances, go to your verse, let it inspire you, let it give you hope. You should soak yourself in this verse like a tea bag in water, let it change your color and aroma. Don’t let your thoughts stray to the ugliness that you are facing in the world. Take every thought captive to God and replace it with your verse.
Those are the 7 steps that I see as the most important, you can do more, but these 7 are essential, especially step 1 and 2. If you skip them, you run the risk of misunderstanding scripture and causing some seriously faulty assumptions about God. If your assumptions turn out to be wrong, you can go through a season where you question everything about the Bible or even walk away from the faith, and that is the last thing God wants.
Make sure to read your favorite verses in context ALWAYS, and try to study them out in eSword (it may seem overwhelming at first, just go slow). Listen the Holy Spirit, let Him guide you into all truth. As you find new favorite verses, do the same with them.
I hope this “How to Intimately Study the Bible” was helpful and got you thinking, let me know if you have any questions in the comments or feel free to email me personally at email@example.com.
Comment below with YOUR favorite verse!
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