Updated: Feb 2, 2022
Studying brings us closer to God and although it's written from events that took place a long time ago, we can still apply the word to our lives.
A part of the Christian walk involves us regularly, even daily, reading the word of God. The word of God is found in the Bible and it is basically our manual/guide to help us in every aspect of our lives like relationships, character, work, our purpose etc.
When we have questions about situations we find ourselves in, we need to turn to the Bible. But, it is not only if we need help then we turn to the Bible. We need to regularly feed ourselves the word and delve deeper and allow the words to administer to us. We fill ourselves so we can pour into others (we can't pour into others if our cup is empty)
The word of God is the bread and butter for every Christian. We need food and water to nurture our body and give it sustenance to carry out different activities every single day. The same way, the word of God is the sustenance for our spiritual walk with God. It gives us the strength, comfort and peace we need. Most importantly, it teaches us how to live and be. It is also our greatest weapon against the enemy. When the devil tries to feed us lies and make us believe we are unworthy, we can use the word of God to counteract what the devil says e.g the devil says "you are not valuable at all - you mean nothing" but you counteract by saying "God paid a high price for you, so don't be enslaved by the world" (1 Corinthians 7:23).
The devil even tried it with Jesus. We read in Matthew 4:1-11 how Jesus was tested by the devil in the wilderness and this was to see if Jesus would fail. One of the things the devil was trying to get Jesus to do was to "turn the stones to bread" (v3) and feed his physical body because he was hungry. But Jesus said and I love what he says "Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (v4). Jesus knew his identity in God and knew that his Father would provide for him what he needed. Another verse which is also one of my favorite is Matthew 6:25-27. As a summary,it talks about not worrying about what we will eat, or drink, or wear because life is more than food. God provided for the birds in the air who don't have a permanent resting place but God still provides for them. We are more valuable than them and worrying simply doesn't add an extra hour to our lives.
So, studying is very important, it brings us closer to God & helps us on our path. Ephesians 6:10-16 talks about standing firm and putting on the whole armor of God as our fight is against the spiritual not physical.
There isn't a hard and fast rule on how to approach the bible. For new Christians and those who are curious about the Christian faith, I would advise as i was advised by one of my pastors to start with one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), perhaps John as it gives a great insight into who Jesus is, what he said and what he's done for us. Then, move on to one of Paul's letters - Ephesians or Colossians, as they reveal who we are in Christ and how we live out our new life in Christ. These give a basis for branching out into other parts of the Bible, both old and new testaments. I would also advise Psalms and Genesis to be the first ones to tackle in the old testament - Genesis talks about the creation and promises God made and Psalms simply teaches us how to pray, talk to God and go to him baring all, honest and without any falseness.
So to conclude, when studying, make sure:
use a translation that suits you (NIV, NLT, KJV etc) but also use different translations to compare.
Get rid of distractions - people, phones, certain environment etc
Get a hot or cold drink
Worship and praise songs - invites the Holy Spirit to come and puts you in the mood
Daily devotional - YouVersion provides plans you can do yourself or with friends. This is great when you are on the move
Bible study - by yourself or with family and friends (Facetime or Zoom)
Meditate on the words and allow it to sink in
Pray - ask God to reveal to you what he wants you to see and pray it stays in your mind and use it to help you throughout the day
I hope this helps you and I urge you to place your spiritual growth and walk with God as a daily priority. Studying is vital and like yourselves, I am disciplining myself to do this everyday and really enjoying it. Let's challenge and encourage each other to strive for this and do this unashamedly! Don't be ashamed to say "oh, i'm just doing some bible study" in the fear that people will think of you different. That doesn't matter because at the end, it's you and God.