1. Set a time each day.
I normally study first thing in the morning. However, there is no specific time you have to study the Bible. I just prefer the morning. In the morning, I feel most at peace. Plus, my concentration works way better in the morning. I used to study at night and I later found out that I was not in the mood or I was distracted by the day I had.
If your schedule does not allow you to study in the morning then, of course, do what works for you!
Tip: Set an alarm!
I wake up every day at 8am and my alarm says, "Serve the Lord, then choose today." If I hit snooze... I automatically feel guilty because that is a powerful verse. LOL!
Tip: Do NOT check social media!
I have a bad habit of scrolling and scrolling. By the time I check the time, I wasted a good portion of my time looking through pictures or videos.
Let God be the first thing you dedicate your day to. Honor and thank him for giving you another day.
2. This is optional: Grab a cup of coffee, tea or water.
I am a coffee gal! I truly live by the motto "Jesus and Coffee."
If I do not have any sort of liquid my tummy GROWLS. My studies normally last 30 minutes to an hour so I can hold off on eating but I need some sort of fluid to get me going. After my study, I then make breakfast. BUT, if you know all you will think about it food while reading the word then I suggest eating breakfast before and then dive into the word.
3. Pray before you read.
My morning prayer normally sounds the same every day. I do add in whatever has been tugging at my heart but usually, it consists of thanking God for the day and asking God to allow me to receive the words I am about to read. I then speak about unanswered prayers that pop into my mind and how this study can allow me to hear God's voice. Finally, I ask God to remove any distraction to allow me to focus on our time together.
4. This is optional: Listen to worship music for 5 minutes.
After I pray, I play one or two worship songs. I close my eyes and sing OR sometimes I just close my eyes and just listen to the words. Either way, it is such a powerful moment. My soul always feels so at peace and all the issues that were once in my head vanished.
This moment is probably my favorite part.
Tip: Make a playlist or find a playlist of morning worship songs.
I usually listen to the softer songs.
A couple suggestions:
Peace - Bethel Music & We The Kingdom
Dancing on the waves: Bethel Music & We The Kingdom
Peace be still - The belonging Co & Lauren Daigle
Forever Amen -Steffany Gretzinger
No one ever cared for me like Jesus - Steffany Gretzinger
ANYTHING FROM MAVERICK CITY MUSIC
With you - Elevation Worship
Worthy - Elevation Worship
The list really can go on...
When I am studying: I normally turn the music really low or even stop playing it. Just because I do not want the songs to overpower the message. However, maybe you get connected to a song during your study and turn it up and that's God's way of speaking to you as well. Honestly, whatever works for you! Sometimes I just get too distracted by background noise so I keep the volume low or just stop playing overall.
5. Finding a Book
I have received A LOT of dm's of people asking me "Where do I start?" If you are a new believer, I 100% do not recommend reading the Bible in order. You will most likely get bored and close the book.
A suggestion: Start with the New Testament!
Learn about Jesus! The book of Matthew is probably my FAVORITE book because Jesus is teaching us. How cool!
Another really good suggestion: Proverbs!
Proverbs is absolutely beautiful. Anyone can make a connection.
Another suggestion: This has helped me time and time again. (I can even do a whole blog about this if you like. Let me know!)
Search on Google or Pinterest: "Bible verse when feeling ____________"
Then click the verse and read the chapter! I still do this a lot and that is probably one of my favorite ways to find a book.
6. Tips while reading.
Make a key.
I normally underline / circle & bracket.
Underline means: This is information that God wants me to understand.
Circle: This really spoke to me.
Bracket: Jesus SNAPPED and that message hit me in the face.
You can always color code. Make it your own! Have fun with it.
Optional: Invest in a Bible with a notes section.
These Bibles are a little more expensive but I HIGHLY recommend purchasing one that gives you the ability to take notes.
Journal Bibles are the way to go! You do not need one but if you are someone that loves note-taking, I recommend investing in one.
Look up words that you are unsure about.
This never fails! I am constantly looking up words or even sayings that make ZERO sense to my brain.
This gives deeper meaning to the verse and God is also teaching you a new word or two.
Do not set a time limit.
As I mentioned, my studies usually last between 30 minutes to an hour. It really depends on the book I am reading. If I am invested in a book, I can read for another hour.
7. There is no wrong way to start studying, just start!
I hope this helped!