Having established some of the tips to guide us in beginning (or readjusting) our quiet time, over the next few weeks, we will focus on breaking down some of the core disciplines during our quiet time. Yes, you could be reading your Bible but like most of us, you seek to dig deeper and perhaps there is a longing within you that is searching and saying “There could be more……”
I have often found that it is easier for someone to spend some time and pray for a couple of minutes than to sit still and discover the treasures of the word. We don’t read not because we do not want to, but because we often don’t know where to start. We are hungry beings, and God designed us with that in mind when He gave a promise. Psalms 107:9 “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Are you hungry for more? Are you seeking to dig and dive deeper into His word? One way of feeding your spirit man is through His word.
This is the only book that has life and gives life. The only book that allows us to peek into what happened in the former days and directs us as we live in the present and with it also comes revelation of what is to come (prophecies)
The only book with permanence see Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will by no means pass away.” The Bible with 66 books (39 Old and 27 New Testament) has no separate entities, it however leads us to a complete picture of the journey of hope and redemption. Dan Brendsel from Desiring God says “Scripture isn’t just a collection of energy packets. It is a five course meal. It is not just a bunch of pearls on a string. It is a chain strong enough to pull you out of any trial.”
It is God breathed and the writers were inspired by the spirit of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 and it is for doctrine, reproof , correction and instruction in righteousness.
“Visit every book but live in the Bible.” Charles Spurgeon.
To know God, we start with His word. Psalms 119 is an eye opener for the beauty of His word and I would encourage you to read it in entirety after you are done reading this post.
WHERE/ HOW DO I START?
This was mentioned in our previous blog QUIET TIME and it details how you can start either reading book by book, finding themes that relate with your current season or using Bible Plans from Apps such as You Version
HOW DO I GET MORE?
We often glaze through scripture and leave just after tasting rather than indulging entirely. Here are some few tips that will open you up to get more from your study of the word. I would urge you to always remember that it is the Holy Spirit who illuminates and grants us revelation. Always start by inviting Him. One thing I do is always pray Psalms 119:33-37 before my devotion and basically all the time.
Give me revelation about the meaning of your ways so I can enjoy the reward of following them fully. Give me an understanding heart so that I can passionately know and obey your truth. 33-34 TPT
1. Read a background of the book you are studying.
Some Bibles have inclusion of this and it details the author of the book, the audience, the context and in some, even the time it was written and goes on to highlights some of the key themes. In case your Bible lacks this, you can be able to search it out via the internet and visit websites such as Bible Gateway or Bible Class and search out for commentaries. One of my favorites is Bible Project that gives illustrations of books outlines.
2. Read entirely
This has always helped in making sure the story settles even before you begin breaking down chapter by chapter , verse by verse. Read the book if you can as a story in its entirety; even without highlighting . This will allow you to identify some of the themes and get to beware of how it turns out.
You can do these first two steps before your quiet time.
3. Character Study
Character profiling during Bible Study takes us to a place of being fully aware of the people in the story; who can sometimes show us some parts of us and how we would play out in similar situations. However, remember, we do not look for ourselves in the Bible but we look for God. TD Jakes says, we ought to assume the character of every person we read because more often than not, whenever we read a good story, we tend to only see ourselves as the “good kind” and not the villain. In this segment, get to ask questions like Who is this? What is the meaning of this character’s name? What is their story? How did this person act in the said circumstance? What choices did he/she make? What was this person’s gift? Do I identify with this person? What do I find that is scary, comforting or amazing from this story? How does God show up in the life of this person? What do I learn and can apply from this person?
Most importantly, what does the text say about God’s character. Who has He been highlighted as? What did His acts show and prove Him as?
4. Complimentary study
There are a lot of Bible Plans and videos that allow us to learn from the ways God has taught other believers. She Reads Truth (for ladies) and He Reads Truth (for men) is one of my favourite bonus study resources. Watching some of the Study Guides from RightNow Media (a collection of Christian Resources for the church) also solidifies lessons I learn. You can equally search it out on YouTube and look for commentaries in the mentioned websites above. As a bonus, look up series of same passages done by preachers; a good example is Pastor Michael Todd’s series on Marked which teaches the story of David which you can listen to as you read through the book of Samuel.
5. Look for action words/key words/connecting words.
Like any story or conversation there are words that will stand out or will lead you to make a connection from one “scene” to another. A good example would be Paul’s use of therefore; he links a previous statement and introduces us to a proceeding action. Additionally, there are words that will prompt you to search out or act or pray. These small nuances enable us to see more from the literal meanings of the text.
6. Cross referencing (search out verses relating to it)
Some Bibles have small annotations beside it and they indicate verses that relate to the scripture you could be reading. In case yours does not, You Version is your safe bet since it will allow you to be able to see related verses and videos too. Such a cool app. This step broadens your context and you get to discover connections throughout scripture.
7. Comparison (what do other versions say)
There are over 1000 versions in the You Version App and these versions either simplify the language and (or) allow us to be able to gain new insight into the verse.What is your primary reading version? What are some of your favourite versions or translations ? For me, my primary is New King James Version (NKJV) and my bonus translations are : The Passion Translation, The Message Bible, English Standard Version and the New Living Translation.
I hope these few tips have helped and will help you gain a deeper spiritual longing for God’s word.
The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The statutes of the Lord are right rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.(Psalms 19:7-9 )
Please note that this is just a one stage highlight of Bible Study and that there is more to it as mentioned in our quiet time post that details the application section after you have studied the word. https://www.christmyanchor.com/quiet-time/
Let’s discover the treasures of the word together friends!
After all this information,I bet there is a word that is probably making its way into your mind, which will be required of you ; journaling. This is a practice that we cannot escape when we immerse ourselves in the word. Do you have questions on where to start when it comes to Bible Study journaling? Leave us your thoughts below. Don’t forget to add some ways you seek more depth in Bible Study as well.
You are light and you are so loved.
May His light shine in you, through you and in everything you do. Do not stay hidden. Let Him be glorified.