Studying the Bible can seem daunting, intimidating, and a bit overwhelming. You may feel you need a theological degree in order to be able to understand the Bible. Although that might be a big help, it’s not necessary. God desires to speak to everyone through his Word. So, how can you study and understand the Bible? The following information is designed to help you begin to discover and develop your time with God.
We all want to grow spiritually and become more like Christ. A daily devotion is a key part of that growth process. But where should you start reading? We’ve taken the guess work out of it for you. Each week we have a daily devotion that goes right along with the Sunday sermon. This allows you to take what you heard on Sunday and begin to apply it every day of the week. To get the latest reading plan sign up for the weekly emails or check us out on Facebook.
Are you looking for a Bible for your mobile device? YouVersion is a great app that offers a lot of different translations, devotional guides, and an online community. Are you struggling to understand a verse, a specific word, or just want to do some additional study on a passage? Bible Hub is a great online tool.
A great way to structure your time with God is by praying the 8 Core Practices using the Lord’s Prayer as a guide.
WORSHIP “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name”
Begin by giving God honor and praise for who He is and what He’s done.
GENEROUS GIVING: Make a list of things you are grateful for.
DIRECTION “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”
The best way to discover God’s will is through the scriptures. It’s through the reading of God’s
Word that we hear His voice, discover His plans, and grow into the image of Christ.
DAILY DEVOTIONS: Read, Reflect, and Respond.
Read from the scriptures.
Reflect on what God is saying to you through His Word.
Respond to what God is saying or asking you to do.
REQUESTS “Give us this day our daily bread”
Ask God to meet the needs you have and pray for the needs of others. You don’t have to pray for each area. You might want to focus on the area(s) where there’s a need or pray for a different area each day.
PERSISTENT PRAYER: Pray for your personal needs.
GODLY FRIENDSHIPS: Pray for your friends and family.
SUNDAY WORSHIP: Pray for Core Church.
SHARING CHRIST: Pray for those who don’t know Jesus.
REPENTANCE “And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”
Take time for repentance and allow God to examine your soul.
CONTINUAL SURRENDER: Ask God to forgive any sinful thoughts, words, or deeds you have committed against Him or anyone else. Forgive anyone who has hurt you, angered you, or mistreated you.
STRENGTH “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.”
Conclude your time with God by asking the Holy Spirit to fill you, lead you, and use you.
SACRIFICIAL SERVING: Pray and look for opportunities to do good to those around you.
Many people over the centuries have found journaling to be a very helpful spiritual discipline. Here are four reasons why keeping a journal is a good practice:
1. A journal keeps you focused.
It’s easy to get distracted when you do your God Time in the morning. You can be in the middle of prayer and suddenly find yourself distracted or thinking about something other than prayer. Writing keeps you focused.
2. A journal is a safe place to vent.
You can fill your journal with highs/lows, triumphs/failures, faith/doubt, hope/despair. A journal offers you the opportunity to express yourself to God; the one who hears your prayers and answers.
3. A journal is not just for you.
Journal knowing your kids, grandkids, and their kids will one day read them. What would you pay to sit down with your grandparent or great-grandparent and hear the raw truth of their journey? Journal with the hope that one day the pages will encourage and build the faith of the generations yet to come long after you are gone.
4. A journal is a journey.
You can go back and reread entries from the past years. A journal captures moments from different seasons in your life. As you reread the struggles and victories you will be reminded of how far God has brought you and how faithful he has been.
If you struggle writing, try these tips and see if they work for you:
1. Journal one page a day. One page is enough space to record your prayers and thoughts, yet it keeps you from becoming overwhelmed.
2. Journal five days a week. You want your journaling to be consistent. So, try to journal five out of seven days.
3. Journal first thing in the morning. I know, you’re not a morning person. But, if you wait until later in the day to journal you most likely will not do it.
4. Journal big moments. When you experience a great victory or a devastating defeat write it down. Write down your thoughts, emotions, prayers, and praise.
5. Journal in various ways. Write out your prayers or meaningful scriptures. Record your thoughts or your dreams or draw a picture that expresses how you feel.
One of the best ways to study the Bible is in a Core Group. These small groups meet weekly across the metro area to study the Bible together. A Core Group is a great place to ask questions and learn together with people just like yourself. Click here to join a group.