Daily personal bible study

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #1

I recently listened to Ravi’s sermon called Is There Not a Cause? and he says that the most important part of one’s life is their personal devotional study each day. Ravi was very clear, saying “If you fail there, you will fail everywhere.” That is a pretty strong statement to say. It got me thinking about what are the diversities of personal Bible studies that us as believers take a part in alone with the Lord. What is your daily routine in the Word? Why do you feel it necessary to study the scriptures everyday? How has it benefited you in your walk with God? How to you fit your personal study into your schedule? Have you struggled with keeping a daily devotional time? What poses a challenge in keeping a daily personal bible study?
For me, personally, I take about 45 minutes to an hour to read one chapter of the bible (systematically by book) and to write a paragraph about my thoughts and potential questions about that chapter. I also give a title to that chapter. Once I finish that, I read and organize the next chapter in topics (ex: 1 Timothy 5:1-10 church assistance for widows 11-16 council for younger widows, etc) and the next day I write the paragraph for that chapter, so on. Basically, I read two chapters a day (I find it much easier to remember what I have previously read when I read the same chapter in consecutive days). I try to do this right away as soon as I wake up in the morning. That is what works for me.
I recall Ravi saying he studies four chapters a day (two Old Testament, two New Testament) and also prefers the mornings.
I look forward to hearing from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ on RZIM Connect!

(SeanO) #2

@O_wretched_man It is very commendable that you spend that much time in the Word every day. Personally I enjoy memorization - even if I forget the exact wording a few weeks later. I find that having once memorized a passage helps over time for the Word to be integrated into all of my thinking, whereas studying is more helpful for creating a solid framework for my worldview and way of thinking.

I think if we examine Jesus’ life it is clear that He knew the Word of God and could quote it at need. It is also true that often when He went to be alone it was to pray.

Mark 1:35 - Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

So I think that for me there are a few observations:

  • studying God’s Word helps me to build my worldview and understand God’s wisdom for life
  • memorizing and meditating on God’s Word helps me integrate it into my thoughts and heart at a deeper level
  • prayer is how I remain rooted in Christ

So, if I had limited time, I would choose prayer. If I had a little more time, I would either study, memorize or both. I think each play a crucial role in living wisely and remaining rooted in Christ.

On another level, I think it is important to remember that a pure heart and obedience to Christ are primary. If we have a hectic day and cannot find time to be in the Word, but we are trusting in Christ and obeying Him in all that we do, that is okay. Jesus is our life - not a routine or the words themselves.

John 5:39-40 - You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

Hope those thoughts are helpful in some way. Christ be with you.

(Alpheus) #3

Thank you for the advice. I’ve always asked my elder brother to assist with my bible studies. But in their church, they only do it on Saturday bible school, which is meant for the youth.

If I do bible studies by myself, I’m afraid that I will have my own interpretation and understanding which won’t be necessary align with the rest of Christians.

I’m sure that my brother will assist me in this regard. I will also pose my question for the rest of my brothers and sisters on RZIM Connect to assist.

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #4

What do you think Ravi meant by “you’ll fail everywhere”?

(Josué Aparicio) #5

I would say continue those hour long sessions where you write out your reflections but accompany those with a series of small ones throughout the week where as per @SeanO recommendation you could memorize a verse and reflect on it throughout the day even though you may forget it a few weeks later (thanks Sean for sharing that as I was feeling somewhat guilty of that but it’s good to know I’m not alone).

Think of those hour long sessions as the big reward for the little sessions you’ve put effort in and see if you can tie it all together. One of the most beautiful things in how God reveals himself is in his Word and how we may pick one verse or chapter and how it correlates in another part of Scripture.

For my daily devotional, I use a study bible where the reflections are laid out for me based on a verse or chapter. I am reading the C. S. Lewis Study Bible which has helped shaped my thought as I read Scripture.

When I have more time to spend on His Word, I will grab a Bible with no specific study and write the reflections and thoughts that I come up with from that session.

Some of us might need a little bit of a push to get us into the habit of daily devotional and in the world we live in, that can be easily resolved by downloading an app. I enjoy this app as it can send daily reminders to read through scripture with amazing animated videos to engage you into the message,

Throughout my life, I’ve always looked for happiness in the wrong places and it’s left me empty. I always wondered if by following Christ one can achieve happiness, and I could, but I had to redefine it according to how God intended. I then wondered what it looked like and Psalm 1:1-2 clears it up,

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his Law they mediate on it day and night.

What I believe Ravi meant by failing everywhere is referring to the whole of your self and what it is comprised of: your happiness, your relationships, your job, the sharing and defence of your faith. Your whole life should be committed to Him as he commands it in Luke 10:27,

You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.

One last thing I want to add is I struggle on the daily with the challenges I face in all aspects of my life and this made me realize that when I turned to God, I didn’t feel his presence. The cause of this I realized was that I was guessing how to pray and that’s where I concluded how important prayer is alongside daily devotional. I came across this book by Timothy Keller,

A daily prayer life should be accompanied by a daily devotional of Scripture and sometimes one without the other may not give us clarity of the entire picture.

Being able to share my approach/ perspective just shows how important it is one’s own growth but also the growth of others. Knowing what I believe in and why is important if I am to share that with others who aren’t walking with God or struggling.

Hopefully this helps or gives you perspective on how I’ve approached this issue. I pray that you continue to grow in your walk with God.

God bless you!

(SeanO) #6

@josueaparicio Certainly - Jesus is our freedom. We do not have to earn His love or presence through any kind of disciplines. Rather, we pursue Him in all that we do because we are set free in Christ!

(Carson Weitnauer) #7

2 posts were split to a new topic: What is the best way to memorize Scripture?