How to Strengthen Your Bible Study

This is the time of year when we focus on new habits and life changes. This week is the second of the new year. How did you do last week on following through on any new resolutions you made? If you've already "fallen off the wagon," hop back on and try again! The key to success is never giving up. Keep on moving forward and toward your personal goals. Progress is never made by remaining in a stationary position. So, get going! What about your personal Bible study and prayer routine? Do you find it hard to maintain consistency? In his online blog, Matthew Boffey recommends five tips on reinforcing these vital spiritual pursuits. Let's consider how we need to:

Know Your Why
How committed are you to having the will to be consistent in your devotions? What's your why? If you can explain that, chances are great that you'll develop a greater consistency in your practice. For example, envision what spiritual success looks like and the person you'll become by being consistent. Psalm 1 contains a beautiful word picture of what a strong Christian looks like. A spiritually mature person is seen as being like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season, not like chaff that the wind blows away. In other words, see who and what you can become through study and prayer.

Know Your What
Do you have a plan? Without one, you'll wander. Maybe it is a reading plan or workbook. Maybe it is a self-guided inductive Bible study. What matters is that you choose something that will truly engage you and make it specific. For example tell yourself, "read your Bible for 10 minutes every day," verses "read the Bible every day."

Know Your When & Where
Decide when and where you will do your devotions. 6 a.m. at the kitchen table. 9 p.m. in my home office. Be specific, like you are making an appointment with someone ... because you are! The firmer your plans, the more you'll know it if you break them. Choose a space free from distractions so you can focus on your devotions. When and where can you be most focused and how can you make that space effective for prayer and reflection?

Know Your How
This has to do with your method. In your study will you read each chapter twice, then write down in your own words a summary of what you've read? Will you write out some questions to aid you in your reflections? Can you structure your prayers giving God praise, confessing sin, giving thanksgiving, and making supplication? Who are some specific groups or people you can pray for?

Be Prepared to Adjust
Life happens. Minds can wander. Maybe you've bitten off more than you can chew and need to start smaller. Be willing to make adjustments ... don't quit! The plan is simply a tool for consistency, so adjust it as needed.

– Matthew Allen

Matthew Allen

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