A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study
– Ch. 6: Bible Study Tools You Have to Know About (Pg. 93-112)
Way, way back in the day, I had no idea how to sit down and start reading my Bible. Yep, totally clueless. I would hold my Bible out in front of me and squeeze my eyes tight with a quick prayer asking God what He wanted me to read that day.
With my eyes still closed, I would flip through my Bible like a deck of cards with my index finger spiraling down to a chunk of words on whatever page my Bible happened to land. If I didn’t understand it or it was some list of strange names and places I couldn’t pronounce, I would close my eyes again and start the process all over until something “made sense”.
That’s how I used to read and “study” my Bible. This beginning method was all I knew, and Bible reading became more and more unappealing and lacking. Suffice to say, I had no clue what I was reading and didn’t understand anything in context.
I had zero ways to prepare myself to journey through the Word. My Bible reading time, rather than full and rich, became an intimidating and spontaneous pastime that only happened maybe during a hard day or after Sunday church, when I felt inspired.
I think at one time or another in our Christian journey, we all have used this “crystal ball” approach to the Bible, hoping it would satisfy our questions, longings, and give us direction. While God can totally speak to us with a quick flip open of the Bible, using this method by itself often shortchanges the overall experience and exchange, context, full history, and incredible depth of God’s Word. I made most of my time in the Scriptures all about me and missed out on the revelation of who He was.
Having used study tools for several years now, His Word has truly come alive and completely changed my walk with God. It has now become conversational with insightful instruction for every moment of the day. Just like with mathematics, unless we know the strategies and how to apply them, we will never discover the solutions. Until then, it remains foreign.
This same principle can be applied with our Bible reading. We need strategy for connective, comprehensive understanding. While the Bible contains many books with many authors, the sum of it all remains the same; to know God and begin a personal, intimate relationship with Him.
Taking time to search out study tools and apply them has left me craving time in the Bible with an expectant heart at what God is going to say next. I look forward to responding to Him in this time too. What once began as a one-sided pursuit, has now become a time of incredible dialogue.
Study tools have given me a new found confidence, and I end my reading time feeling refreshed and enlightened, rather than scratching my head confused and discouraged. Today, I can’t keep myself out of the Bible thanks to a few handy tools I keep loaded in my tool belt, so to speak.
Scripture of the Week
“Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:3-5)
Our chapter this week covered effective study tools and how to approach our Bible reading time using them to enhance our overall experience.
A Modern Girls Guide to Bible Study includes this list to take your time in the Word to the next level:
- A study Bible in the translation of your choice
- Choose your favorite translation at www.zondervanbibles.com
- Various translations of the Bible
Jen Hatmaker finishes out in this chapter with a frank reminder: “Bottom line: convenience reduces distraction.” You can gather all of these tools in as quick as it takes to visit to local or online bookstore and with a trusty click of the mouse, bookmark these helpful websites. Having them accessible is key.
Great study tools that I personally LOVE
- Bible apps
- Bible reading plans
- Study guides, such as the guide detailed in the back of our book
I am always on the lookout for tools that are going to help me grow deeper in God’s Word. As a busy mom and woman on the go, I love being able to connect with God with the tap of my finger on my smart phone, computer, or tablet.
Favorite Apps & Websites for Bible Study
- She Reads Truth and Bible/Devotional app
- YouVersion Bible app
- Awesome for commentaries, keyword searches and reading plans.
- First 5 app by Proverb 31 Ministries
- Good Morning Girls
- Great Bible reading plans with corresponding blogs for deeper understanding.
- Daily devotional books/ebooks
- Jesus Calling, Beth Moore, Rick Warren, etc.
- Email/online devotionals
- My personal faves are from Proverb 31 Ministries, Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church, Christine Caine, Girlfriends in God, just to name a few. These can be readily delivered to your email for quick access.
What are some study tools that you use to further your Bible study?
(Notes, Bible apps, Commentary, Strong’s concordance, etc.).
Take this week to apply one or more of the study tools we have just learned about. Bookmark a few helpful websites, sign up for an e-mail reading plan, take a trip to the bookstore for a few inexpensive new translations, or grab a notepad to jot down unfamiliar words to look up in the dictionary later.
We would love to hear about what is working for you! Share your experiences on your favorite social media platforms with our hashtags #intentionalfilling and #moderngirlbiblestudy.
Join the Discussion
Take a few minutes this week to comment, letting us know how you would answer the questions below.[row-start]
By sharing you may help to contribute ideas for others to be able to expand upon their learning in ways they may have never considered.