Summer is a perfect time to try something new or find relaxing rhythms that might last until next spring. Whether you read more, cook more, get outside more with your kids (who are home all the time, eat everything, and are always asking “are we there yet?”), the longer days of summer are full of anticipation, relaxation, and maybe a little bit of nervousness because you don’t have the routine of a daily schedule like during the school year.
One thing I’m loving about summer is more time to spend in the Word, at least so far. That might sound a little odd. After all, my kids are home more, how could I possibly have more time to spend in the Word? Let me tell you how. I have more time in the Word because I get up early and go to my local waffle fry emporium, sit (as one guy said, “So, you’re becoming a regular?”) and read/study the Word before my boys have even had breakfast.
I wanted to share with you some Bible study tips and how-tos that you may want to use over the summer and even implement as a permanent part of your time in God’s Word. Whether you are doing a study by yourself this summer, studying with a few friends, or taking an organized study, there’s always room for learning about new tools or ways to study and enjoy time in the Word.
I do Bible time a few different ways.
#1 – I’m always just reading the Bible.
This summer I am going through the Psalms just reading it devotionally. I have a journaling Bible (fresh new journaling Bibles are definitely an inspiration) and lots of micron pens or tombow monolines are my favorites for writing in my journaling Bible. And I can always tell where I am in the Psalms because there is a fresh clean page with no writing on it! (Sort of how I know where I’ve stopped reading in a good book, nothing is underlined so I must not have read it!)
#2 – I am always studying a book of the Bible too.
This summer I am going through Philippians. I don’t do this as regularly, but I try to hit it a few times a week for longer periods of time. I like going slowly through a book because I can dig deeper in it and see the richness of the Scripture.
Here are some tools that help me when I’m studying the Bible:
A journal. Especially when I’m going through a particular book I want a journal just for that book. Sometimes I will get the Crossway journaling Bible for that book and sometimes (especially when I’m preparing to teach through a book), I’ll get a bigger journal specifically for that book so I can fill it with everything and then include my teaching outlines in it as well.
Help Me Teach the Bible: a podcast by Nancy Guthrie. She interviews great Bible study teachers, Pastors, women’s leaders, authors about key theological topics or books of the Bible and how we can learn to teach it better. Even if you aren’t teaching the Bible, you can still learn so much about the book of the Bible you are reading.
Simeon Trust. If you want to learn how to study the Bible on your own and you can’t go to seminary (or for me, its been a great refresher course), go check out this ministry. I’ve done my first workshop and I’m attending another one this Fall. You can listen to the talks about how to really study the Bible for all its worth or you can take the online courses. It will benefit you and make you fall more deeply in the love with the Word. My husband noticed a huge change in me, and how I talk about the Word and study the Bible. I welcome you to join me at one of these workshops in October; lets share a room and grab a meal!
Sermons. I love listening to sermons as I’m studying a certain book. Since I’m studying Philippians this summer, I’m listening to sermons from a friend of mine who is a pastor in Virginia. If you don’t know where to turn, TGC is a great resource that sorts its sermons by passage. It is easy and reliable. Desiring God also is a great resource for helpful sermons on a particular passage or topic.
So, I’ve listed some great tools above, but I also want to share one way I need to improve:
This is by far the number one tool for studying the Bible. You don’t need an hour to yourself (though for me, that is best because I can really focus in). You don’t need special pens or coloring tools (though these can be helpful if you are a visual learner like me).
All you need is the Bible and to be in it daily.
Sometimes I don’t read it every day, but I’ll listen to it on an app on my phone. At times I’ll listen to songs that are straight Scripture. His Word is so rich! The Holy Spirit is always with you, and He will guide you in the study of God’s Word. He will make it come alive in you. It is living and active. His Word is sure and perfect and near to us!