Right off the bat, let me say: this article is not being written to shame you if you struggle with Bible reading or time for personal Bible study! A whole lot of people have wonderful intentions, but simply do not make the time to read through the Bible or to study some intriguing section of Scripture in depth.
That said, let me offer just a few ways you can get started. If the time excuse is what keeps you from doing this, here are some things you might want to try or keep in mind.
It Doesn’t Take a Lot of Time Each Day. I think this is what keeps most people from deep Bible study: they are intimidated by the sheer size of the book itself! There is no way to read it or study it in one sitting–or even in a few days–so they give up. However, what if I told you that you could start with as little as 15 minutes each day and make a world of difference? You can! In fact, in less time than that each day you can read through the New Testament in less than one year. Even that would be a major step forward and a “win” for many people!
It Takes Discipline. Simply put, you are not going to study a book in depth in a manner of a couple of days. But if you have a goal that means something to you (study the book of Ephesians in depth, for example), you can do it with some discipline! Set aside a time each week to work on this important task. Have a specific place you like to study, and remove distractions (yes, that means this is a good time to charge the cell phone!).
It Takes a Plan. “I want to study the Bible this year” is not a plan–at least, it is not a realistic one! However, “I want to read through the Bible this year” is a plan, and one that there are so many different ways to tackle! If you want to study a particular book of the Bible (or person or subject), that’s a great goal, but step one needs to be to have a plan in place. Will you use a study book? Will you keep a notebook of what you are learning? Will you buy a commentary or a couple of other translations of the Bible? What are you hoping to gain from your study?
What Can You “Cut?” Is there something else that is eating away precious time that could be cut (or reduced) to give you the time to study Scripture? You may need to limit your time on social media to a preset number of minutes each day. You may need to remove one TV show from your regular viewing schedule. These are not major things, but they are the types of things that very easily creep into our schedules and cause us to think that we do not have time to really dive into Scripture.
It is Worth It! I readily admit, Bible study can be frustrating at times. There are plenty of times when I get deep into a passage and think that I will never understand it, even at a fairly basic level. But when the light comes on, oh how it is worth all the time, prayer, and effort! And what a difference it makes, both in this life and–ultimately–in the eternal life to come!
So, will you make that special time with God’s Word? What do you want to accomplish? Give it your all, and you will be rewarded!
“For as the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty; but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn