Before we start looking at different types of Bible studies, it is useful for use to take time for preparation. Don’t just rush into Bible study. Good Bible study demands some preparation.
Schedule you Bible study time. Set a specific time to do your Bible study each week. Decide how much time you want to dedicate to Bible study. Find an about of time which works best for you. You can increase the amount of time you study, as you study more often. However if you don’t put Bible study into your schedule, I can almost guarantee that you will never find time for it.
Keep your Bible study time and your devotional team separate. You should be having a quite time every day. As we have seen previously this can be anything from 10 minutes to hours in which you read the Bible, meditate on the Word and have a time of prayer. The purpose of devotional time is to have fellowship with Jesus. So don’t try to mix the both, it will harm your devotional time, just enjoy fellowship with God. While it can often be better to have short periods of quiet time everyday, rather then one long period each week, however the exact opposite is true in Bible study. It’s much better to block out a larger period of time than to try and study a little bit each day.
Keep a notebook. It is really important that as you study, you write down what you have learned and questions which you have on the text. You will also be amazed when you refer back to it at a later date by some of the things your have learned. Your notes will be a great tool for future Bible study.
Get the right tools. Consider making some investment in reference tools and setting up a little personal reference library. Alternatively if you’re not a paper person, take some time to research a number of the online reference tools available. When you find the ones which are best for you, add them to your bookmark folder for easy reference.
An example of some reference tools are: A study Bible, multiple translations, an exhaustive concordance, a Bible dictionary, a topical Bible, a Bible handbook, word studies and commentaries. Again all of these are available online free of charge.
Spend time in Prayer before each study. The advantage of study the Bible as compared to studying a textbook, you have direct communication with the Author himself. Make sure your in good fellowship before you start your study. Someone once wrote ‘if we want to understand, we should search our heart before we search Scripture’. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you in your study. Psalm 119:18 ‘Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law’. Ask God to open your eyes to his Word. Unless the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to see the truth in the Bible, all your studying will be a wasted effort.