You are overwhelmed.
66 books spanning more than 4000 years!
How in the world do you read the bible, understand it, and find revelation in God for your life?
This question cropped up in my mind more often than I would have wanted. As a new believer, I used the many books in the bible as an excuse to not read it.
“It’s too complex. Too hard to understand. Maybe even written in an old, not so interesting language.”
Are these the thoughts bouncing back and forth in your mind? Do you find it incredibly hard to read your bible as a new believer?
It happened to most of us
Friend, you are not alone. I also struggled a lot to read my bible as a new believer. On most days, I did not touch or glance its way. I had recently got saved but all the pages, the books, the verses, and the lessons kept me from pursuing my bible study.
I can’t remember how long this went on, but I remember praying for God to give me the will and thirst for His word. This was the book of life. I was sure that if I did not delve into it, I would drown in misery and lifelessness. Because in this book, was the spring fountain of life.
Flowers fade, the grass withers, but the word that proceeds from the mouth of God lasts forever.
I have been in a relationship with Christ for 4 years now. In those 4 years, I have learned to consistently study my bible and seek God’s face in the midst of trouble and chaos. It’s not always perfect, sometimes I fail but His word helps me get back up.
So, today I take you through 9 important tips for studying the bible as a new believer. Even if right now you feel like a fraud for not reading your Bible consistently, these 9 bible study tips will help you get there.
Before we dive in, I just wanted to let you know that this post is part of a new believer series I’m doing for the last quarter of 2020.
Here are the two other posts in the New Believer Series.
What happens when we get saved
Now let’s keep this going.
New believer bible reading plan
I’ve always loved the phrase “If you don’t plan, you plan to fail.” I’m not saying this to crucify you or put you in a deeper dumper. When planning to study the bible, you need to have a plan that keeps you grounded. Here are the study plans that have helped me to study the bible. And I hope that they’ll help you discover yourself, God, and His revelation.
1) Start small
No. You don’t have to read a whole chapter in one sitting. Especially if you are easily distracted as I am. You’d be amazed to find out that God will use even a single verse to speak meaning into your life. He reveals himself in the shortest verses that seemingly don’t hold any meaning.
If a chapter feels too big for you, consider starting with a few verses per day, meditate and get to know how they apply in your life.
2) Make your new believer bible study consistent
I get it. It’s hard to be consistent in the first phase. But you don’t need a whole lot of time to get started. Set aside 10 minutes in your day for specifically reading your bible. I like to do mine in the morning before anything else. If it helps, buy a devotional. Whether you are a night owl, or an early morning person, setting time for studying the bible is key.
In all honesty, I think studying the bible in the morning before anything else is better. 1) You are not distracted by your phone or others. 2) Your mind is mostly fresh without a lot of thoughts. I wake up around 5.30 or 6.00 am depending on how late I slept. This usually gives me around 30 minutes of bible study and prayers before the day begins.
Try setting 10 minutes up for bible study before you begin your day. I promise, you’ll be inspired and armored ready to tackle the day ahead.
3) Set your bible study space
Having a space designated for bible study will help you build consistency, and get your mind in the right frame. If you have ample room in your home, take a spacious space either in your bedroom or a separate room and make it into a bible study room.
Currently, I’m short on space, so my bed suffices for bible study. It all comes down to where you are most comfortable and your living condition.
4) Join a new believer bible study with a friend or a group
Studying the Bible as a new believer is sometimes confusing and frustrating. What happens when you don’t understand some verses or how the word of God applies to your life. All this can make it harder for you to stay consistent and interested in bible study for you as a new believer.
However, with the help of bible-believing friends or groups, you get to have your questions answered. That’s the beauty of finding godly help in a group. The hard verses become easier to digest and the context fits into place.
Go ahead and find a good friend either from church, around your community, or online. Alternatively, search for the nearest bible study group in your location through Online BSF
5) Ask God for guidance when studying the bible
We are all guilty at one point in time for forgetting that God is our father and our guide. Here’s the interesting thing. God wants and needs us to trust Him fully for understanding. Before you and I ever existed, He knew that He would inspire a book and that the book will be full of life and help us live through the earth.
God also knew that there were some things that we could not fully comprehend. At least not yet. So He left us in the care of the Holy Spirit. To teach, counsel, guide, and help us understand God’s will and purpose in our life.
When you are stuck, go on your knees and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp the word. You can do it over and over again, yet God will never tire of listening or answering your questions.
6) Share the lessons
Back in high school, when I wanted to understand a concept in maths, I would teach others. This would result in two things. First, I would understand the concept better and it would stick to my mind. Second, teaching others would reveal a gap in the concept I was yet to master.
This also applies when you are studying the bible as a new believer. Whether it’s contributing to a group bible study or teaching a non-believer about the bible, sharing will always help you understand things better. On other occasions, it helps you realize the broken and missing gaps in your bible study or life in general.
7) Write it down
I love writing things down. I especially love writing when studying my bible. It’s through writing that you can understand, meditate and decode scriptures. It could be a single paragraph or an entire journal page.
Writing will also help you remember scriptures better which in turn helps you lead a faith-filled life. Try writing the lessons or the verses that stand out to you in your next bible study.
Ps: It’s harder to lose focus of your bible study when you are noting things down.
8) It’s not about academic or theological knowledge. It’s about a godly relationship with Christ
As a new believer, it’s stupidly easy to fall into the theological or academical pit hole. This pit is where studying the bible is more of how much do I know about God, rather than how much do I know God.
So, how can you avoid this pit?
- Remember the why. And it’s Christ and Him alone.
- Pray before the bible study and invite the Holy Spirit for guidance.
- While commentaries and bible study guides are great, sometimes, the only thing you need is the bible, God’s presence, and a humble heart.
9)Live the word
As Christians, we are called to be more like Christ, not submitting to our flesh or the ways of this word. Reading the word of God is the first step to this kind of life. Living the word in humility, love, and obedience is the seal.
Even when you don’t feel or want to do it, strive to live the word. Because only then does God manifest His presence in your life.
For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified. Romans 2:13
Studying the Bible does not have to be a chore
Over time, the word of God will be more of a lifeline. Something that’s great and one that you can live without. If you do it God’s way, you’ll realize how vital and enjoyable it is.
These are the 9 things that helped me when studying the bible as a new believer. Is there any tip that stands out for you? Let me know in the comments below.
Please share so that other believers can benefit too. (The share buttons are just below this post.)