Tips for Bible Study

Knowing and learning about God’s Word is an integral part of the Christian life. The Bible tells us the story of God and His dealings with humanity, giving us a picture of how we view God and what He has done for us and what He wants of us. Here at ICS, this is especially important, as we are the one of few Christian schools on the island of Singapore, and it’s one of our ESO’s to appreciate God and His Word. Studying Scripture isn’t always easy, but it is very beneficial and can be a thrilling experience once you put it into a habit. Here is a list of tips which would be useful in Bible study for a High Schooler, and this can lead to interesting discoveries and a deeper understanding of God.

1. Choose a topic or character to focus on
The Bible is full of stories and characters, so it’s always a good place to start by selecting a story or character you like and want to focus on. Each story has a lesson to be learned and God can take you anywhere in your discovery. If you have a favorite story, start with that one and go deeper. You don’t need to start from the beginning in Genesis, but it’s also a suitable place to start if you don’t know where else to go. Another option is choosing a theme or a particular topic you want to know about, and look it up in the Scriptures.

2. Take Notes When Reading
Like any other in-depth study of a book, it’s always wise to take notes as you read a story or a passage relating to your topic. It will help you make good observations and ponder what is being told in this part of Scripture. By using notes, you can gain a better understanding of what you’re reading and enhance your analyzing skills. This way, you will understand the story in its context and note the language of the Bible and the people in the story. The more you do it, the better you become at it, and you will begin to notice and learn things you don’t initially see.

3. Research the character/characters in the story
When you’re reading a story, it’s wise to do a character study so you can understand the person, especially the protagonist and the antagonist. This is no exception when doing a private Scripture study, for once you understand the characters, you understand the story better. It gives you a good picture of what this kind of person would do and how their good/bad qualities contribute to the situation in the story. If you’re studying a character, this is important because you get to know their background and how they come into the Bible story. It also gives you a picture of how this person interacts with others, especially in a Bible story, which is a true story.

4. Writing and Reflection
Once you come a good understanding of the story/character, it’s best to record your thoughts. This allows you to ponder what God is telling you and see what you can ‘take away’ from this story or character. It helps you recall what you’ve just learned and help you apply it to your life, as we are to put our faith into action by applying what we learned to our lives. This can get interesting if you’re studying an antagonist, and you can learn of the reasons for their downfall and how God used them anyway to fulfill His purpose. If you’re studying a topic, you reflect on this newfound knowledge and have a deeper understanding of this theme and why it’s important.

5. Make Reminders
Scripture is meant to be applied to our lives, so it’s very useful to make note of it. I know some people who make notes of certain passages of Scripture and paste in their books to remind them of God’s love and the lessons He taught them. They write sticky little notes about what stood out to them in their Bible study and how it affects them. This serves as reminders of God’s impact in their own lives and encourages them when they’re not having a good day. It also serves as their memorial, to recall something that God did for them personally, whether it helped them in solving problems or God answering their prayers.

6. Alone Time and Prayer
No Bible study is ever complete with prayer and spending quiet time with God. If you’re reading a good book, you’ll want to meet its author if given the opportunity. How much more will you want to talk to God, the Author of the Bible, a book that He gave to you to learn about Him. What many things would you want to tell and ask Him about? Taking time to spend with God in prayer is vital to our spiritual growth and understanding of Scripture. Through our communion with God, we deepen our relationship which fuels our desire to read the Bible more.

Bible study can be fun and exciting if you make it out to be and there’s so much you can learn from reading it. The best thing about God’s Word is that no matter how many times it is read, there will always be a lesson to be learned and wisdom to gain. And by praying with God about it and using any of these tips, it will become easy for you. You never know what lies within the pages of Scripture that will nourish you spiritually and where God will take you on your journey. Just remember that God speaks to us through His Word and wants us to learn it, and is more than happy when we share with Him, and occasionally others, how big of a role Scripture plays in our lives.

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