I’ve always read my Bible pretty consistently (like, since I was a kid), but I never felt like I was understanding it. A lot of times, I would read a chapter of the Bible and it would all go into my brain and right back out. It was frustrating! And of course, it still happens sometimes, but I think I’ve found a method that works for me.
First of all, if you’re not reading for the right reasons and if you’re not living out what you’re reading about, you’re not going to get much out of your time in the word. I had to work on that, of course. Even then, I still struggled with really understanding and applying what I read each night. I tried study Bibles, taking notes, and writing about things on my blog. This all started to help, but it still didn’t feel right for me. I wanted more!
I recently found an app called Logos Bible and it has been helping so much! A study Bible was fine, but this app has so many more resources for me! It took a little while to figure out how to use the app and what I liked, but I love it! I use it to read every day now. I found a commentary on the app that I really like and I am learning so much! I want to get as much out of it as I can, so I swipe back and forth between the Bible passage and the commentary. I read the commentary for every verse! Sometimes I still don’t get what a passage is talking about or I’m not sure that I understand or agree with the commentary, so I look at another commentary or another version of the passage. On the app, you are able to go to the text comparison and see a verse in several different translations! There are also topic guides, Bible word studies, passage guides, a guide on how to study the Bible, extra readings about passages, and pictures, diagrams, and maps to help you make sense of things! It’s amazing.
Since I’ve made reading and understanding God’s word a priority, I have found myself thinking back to what I’ve read much more often throughout the day. I can remember more of the old testament stories and verses pop into my head sometimes. It always seemed like other people could refer to a verse or passage when talking about almost anything! I still have a hard time memorizing any verses, but I remember the truths of the verses and bits and pieces of the wording. It is so encouraging to have a verse pop into your head during the day and to have the truth ring through your mind rather than Satan’s lies or questions you don’t know the answers to!
I really recommend this app (Logos Bible Software- it’s free), but more than that, I recommend searching and trying different methods until you find what works for you.
Here are some other methods/tips to try to learn the most you can and to grow closer to our Savior through the Word:
- Pray through each verse
- Color code with highlighting or use circles, underlines, etc.
- Use the SOAP method (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer). Look it up!
- Write a commentary of your own
- Use a Bible reading plan
- Memorize verses
- Recap what you read to another person or write it down
- Use a dictionary and different translations to truly understand the meaning of a passage
- Study the Word with someone else so you can discuss it. Some people learn best when there is a social aspect involved! I read from my Logos app during the day and then Mr. Rockefeller and I read a chapter together out loud before bed.
- If you need it, have a set time/routine for reading your Bible so you do it every day
- Write in the margins of a print Bible, or draw some pictures as you go to make it more visual
- Look up sermons on a certain subject if you don’t understand something
- Use an app that will read passages out loud to you, if you’re an auditory learner
Follow God’s word and live out what you read and you’ll start to get more and more out of what you read!
Remember what a wonderful gift it is to have God’s love letter at our fingertips!
Featured image from unlockingthebible.org