12 Tips for Reading the Bible More Effectively

Hi friends!

Below you will find a recording of an Instagram (IG) Live that I did recently that discussed how we can learn to read the Bible more effectively. I’ve received many questions on this topic, which lead me to reflect back on the steps I took to go from just reading through the Bible occasionally to actually finding a passion for studying God’s Word.

If you scroll past the video, you’ll also find that I’ve written out a bullet version of the list that I discuss in full in the video. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll try to answer to the best of my ability!

12 Steps for Reading the Bible More Effectively:

  1. Begin with a prayer asking God to soften your heart to hear what He wants to share with you.
  2. Rather than flipping around until you find a chapter or verse that you like, start at the beginning of each book and work your way through.
  3. Take time to highlight, underline and note anything that speaks to you, or that you believe is important to the scripture you’re reading.
  4. Don’t rush yourself. You don’t have to get it done right away.
  5. Read both the Old and New Testament.
  6. Read each book as real-life stories that happened to real people. Think about yourself being in their shoes.
  7. Remember that even though their situation is different, what they’re going through reflects what we experience today.
  8. Pause to look things up rather than skipping over words or terms you’re unsure of.
  9. Write definitions and terms in the margins in your own words.
  10. Look up the History of each book before reading it.
  11. Refer to maps (google them if they’re not in your Bible).
  12. View your Bible as a combination of a history textbook and self-help book.

Two final thoughts…

First, I get asked about what Bible I use a lot. I use two: an ESV (English Standard Version) Study Bible for breaking down scripture, and then my Illustrating Bible by DaySpring for being creative during quiet times (See my blog on the Illustrating Bible for more info). In saying this, however, don’t just feel like you have to get what I have. Look through Bibles and see which versions stay true to God’s word, but also speak to your heart. There are lots of great ones out there!

Second, remember that studying the Bible shouldn’t give you feel anxious or defeated! It’s already amazing that you’re taking active steps to better yourself, which ultimately betters those around you! Don’t be fearful of not being a wiz at Bible trivia. The knowledge will come in time. Instead, as you read, focus on learning the lessons God is revealing to you and on living out those lessons in real-life situations. Taking the time to read your Bible regularly deepens your relationship with God and gives your heart new found hope. You’ll be able to find the kind of peace that goes beyond understanding because you’ll know the Truth of His Word from reading it yourself! You honestly can’t do it wrong, friend. God is just happy you’re taking the time to try…and so am I.

Praying for you today and always.

Love in Christ,

Helen Elizabeth

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