A 2012 survey found 90 percent of churchgoers had a strong desire to please and honor Jesus Christ with their lives. However, when asked how often they read their Bible, the following answers emerged:
- 19% responded “Every Day”
- 18% said “Rarely or Never”
- 25% specified they read the Bible “a few times a week”
- 14% said they read the Bible “Once a Week”
- 22% said “Once a Month” or “A Few Times a Month.”
This past week I was asked by 10 – 12 Christians to teach them how to study their Bible. They were all trying to read their Bibles daily, but felt frustrated with the results. Their minds were continually drifting; they could not remember what they read; they did not feel as though they were growing.
Does the above describe your “private time” with God and His Word?
If so, it does not have to remain this way. There is hope. There are several good ways to read one’s Bible that are very effective. However, I will share a way in which I have studied my Bible for years during my Personal devotions.
This method is not earth-shattering, but it is a simple, structured method that keeps me focused on reading and recording certain facts during my Bible time. It is offered here to you to lead you enjoy rather than endure this daily time with the inerrant, infallible Word of God!
1. I start with a time of Prayer. I use the acrostic PRAY to keep me focused.
- Praise God for Who He is and for What He has done for me! At times I will even sing a few hymns or choruses.
- Reflect upon my sins and Repent of each one God reveals to me. Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
- Ask God to meet the needs and desires of others and then for myself. Matthew 7:7: encourages us to ask of our Father: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
- Yield myself to God’s will. My attitude is, “Father, show me what you expect of me and I will obey.”
2. As I read, I pause several times to Meditate upon what I am reading.
I practice the following three steps during my time of meditation:
- I VISUALIZE: This is where I place myself in the passage or story which I am reading. I see myself as part of the crowd.
- I PERSONALIZE: For example, if I just read John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Here is an example of how I personalize this great verse on God’s love for the world.
For God so loved the world (ME), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever (that if I) believeth in him (that I) should not perish, but have everlasting life.
- I SCRUTINIZE: Look for the second part of this article coming in a few days.
You have some solid steps to transform your time alone with God this week. I ask that you use each phase I listed in this article. However, you will NOT want to miss the Scrutiny stage as it reveals what I search for every time I read my Bible each day. I use this method regardless of studying for a message or for my personal devotional time.
The Bottom Line: I enjoy this time; I am engaged during my Bible study; and I benefit each day!