We all know Bible study should be a priority – that’s kind of a given if you’re a Bible-believing Christ-follower, right? Unfortunately, as Christian women, we all too often see personal Bible study as merely an item on our to-do lists.
So, when life gets crazy busy and our to-do lists grow impossibly long, personal Bible study becomes an item we either neglect or remove from that ever-growing list.
If we really understand and believe in the promising benefits of personal Bible study and the impact they have on our daily faith walk, then time in the Word of God is no longer negotiable. Rather than a thing on the to-do list with many other things, Bible study would become a source of strength and life – a necessity for survival rather than simply something we should do.
You might find those words strong. Is Bible study really necessary for survival?
According to God’s Word, yes!
Let me ask you a silly question – do you eat every day? What happens when you don’t eat often enough?
You grow weak. Obviously, failing to feed your physical body affects your physical health in a negative way. In the same way, failing to feed your soul affects your spiritual well-being in a negative way!
But do we really see it that way? I fear not.Most of us wouldn’t go days or weeks, months or even years, without eating food, yet many of us willingly allow large amounts of time to pass without feasting on God’s Word.
And we wonder why so many of us Christian men and women are discouraged and lacking in transformative faith…
Far too often we downplay the power of God’s Word and treat it as something to use as-needed rather than something required for survival!
Let’s take a look at what Scripture says about personal Bible Study and the benefits we receive from it.
5 Promising Benefits of Personal Bible Study
God’s Word is a thing of beauty, friends. When we treat it like any ordinary advice book out there that we only consult when we have a problem, we miss out on so many blessings! Before you dig into the Bible for yourself, consider what this psalmist had to say about Scripture:
Open my eyes, that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law. Psalm 119:18 (NASB)
Personal Bible Study is one of the most powerful tools and weapons in our faith arsenal, friend.
The Word connects us to the heart of God – it’s His love letter to His chosen people! If we really want to know Him and understand who we are IN Him, then we must spend a good amount of time studying God’s Word for ourselves. If we don’t, then we miss out on the benefits regular Bible study offers us, like the following:
To know the truth and recognize what is false.
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11(NIV)
Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith. 1 Timothy 6:20-21 (NIV)
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV)
According to the Scriptures above, the best way to recognize false teaching is to be well-acquainted with what is true. That’s perhaps the most important benefit of personal Bible study!
We cannot afford to take other people’s word for what is true about the Bible. If we really want truth, then we must dig into the Bible for ourselves and measure what we’ve heard about God or been taught about God with what He actually says about Himself. His Word is the only infallible, trustworthy authority.
We should be more like the Bereans and examine the Scriptures so we don’t become like the world – hearing only what we want to hear, what feeds our desires.
To help us discern right from wrong by giving us knowledge and the guidance we desperately need in this fallen world!
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness… 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path. Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
God’s Word is alive! Another important benefit of studying God’s Word is that it acts within us. It trains us in righteousness, and helps us teach, rebuke, and correct that which is false. This is an essential benefit of personal Bible study for any Christian who wants to grow in Christ-likeness! The act of studying Scripture keeps us on the right path.
To avoid sin and the destruction that follows.
[M]y people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
“Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
I also will ignore your children. Hosea 4:6 (NIV)
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 (NIV)
Hosea describes how a lack of biblical knowledge destroyed God’s people, resulting in the fall of the Northern Kingdom. If we wish to avoid sin and destruction, we must follow the exampleof the psalmist and hide His Word in our hearts. Notice that when we maintain a steady diet of God’s Word, it actually keeps us from sinning!
To help us obey!
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8
[S]o that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:17 (NIV)
Through personal Bible Study, we can meditate on God’s Word. The result? Obedience! Earlier we read in 2 Timothy 3:16 that the Word of God trains us for righteousness, but the following verse (17) explains that the purpose for this training by the Word is to equip God’s people for good works. Thus, studying the Word plays a vital role in helping us obey God and serve Him.
To give us freedom.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (NIV)
Without knowing the truths of God’s Word, we are easy prey for the Enemy and false teachers. Right knowledge, attained through Bible study, is essential for our own freedom. We must know who God is, and we must know who we are in Christ so we can be freed to experience confident faith.
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Friend, don’t miss out on these important benefits of personal Bible study, even when your schedule is full, even when you’re tempted to let this spiritual discipline slide for a few days. Remember to feed your soul with God’s Word so you can stand firm when the Enemy attacks and when life grows difficult!
If you’ve never made a habit of personal Bible study, and you aren’t sure where to start, I highly recommend going through Arabah Joy’s Bible Study Methods course.
Why her course? Because Bible Study Methods is both doctrinally sound and personally practical for believers of all ages.
While you can find a lot of information on the internet about various methods, this course not only tells you how to do each method, but the worksheets contained walk you through them step-by-step. In addition, the videos contained are perfect for more visual learners, especially when it comes to learning how to do a more in-depth study (like a Greek key-word study). Not only are the teaching videos helpful for visual learners, but they make it easy for users to go back and quickly review steps when they haven’t used a particular method in a while.
I truly appreciate that this course doesn’t focus on one “right” method because I know from experience that there are many ways to study God’s Word for yourself, and different methods appeal to different people! In fact, through the Bible Study Methods course, I discovered a new method that has quickly become one of my favorites! 🙂
Finally, Bible Study Methods incorporates something for everyone – from the beginner to the more experienced student of the Word, the seven methods explored in this course can take as little as 15 minutes, with little to no prep-work or special resources needed, or as long as hours, days, weeks, even months (if you want to do a more in-depth topical or word study).
We’ve used this tool in our church plant to teach new believers and even mature Christians how to really dig into the Word for themselves, giving them the confidence to cling to sound doctrine even when challenged. By practicing these methods, they are learning to rely more on the Holy Spirit to teach them truth rather than relying on others, an encouraging sign of maturity.
These are just a few benefits of Bible study, friend, but there are many more (keep an eye out for more in an upcoming post)! Whatever method you use, and whatever tools you use, the most important thing is simply to make time to open the Bible and let the Holy Spirit teach you, friend.
Make plans today to study God’s Word for yourself!