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How to Study the Bible

by Joyce Meyer

I've spent about 30 years studying God's Word, and it has totally changed my life. I thank God for what I know now, but it didn't come overnight. If you want to see areas of your life change, learn to truly study the Bible.


Why Should I Study the Bible?

The Bible is no ordinary book. The words within its pages are like medicine to your soul. It has the power to change your life because there is life in the Word! (See Hebrews 4:12.) And when you discover the power and truth of God’s Word, you will begin to see changes in your life that only this truth can bring. You will even learn how to recognize what the enemy tries to bring against you.

The good news is, it won’t take you 30 years to know what you need to know. Just begin where you are right now and determine to stick with it! Every time you study the Bible and pay attention to what you’re reading, you’re learning something.

Proverbs 4:20-22 says, “My son attend to my words…for they are life to those who find them…” The word “attend” means to pay attention to, give some time to something. To attend to the Word of God is a lot more than just reading; it’s meditating on it.

We need to get into agreement with what God wants us to do because, as the writer of Proverbs says, these words are life! When you need an encouraging word, or you’re in a negative environment, it’s good to know that you can find life (plus healing and health) in God’s Word.

What Do I Study?

There’s really no wrong place to start.  You can study anything that’s going to help you. If you’re dealing with anger or fear, flip to the back of your Bible’s concordance and locate those words to see which scriptures talk about those things.

Recommended Study Tools

  • Thompson Chain Reference Bible – cross references about different topics throughout the Bible
  • Webster's Dictionary
  • Strong's Exhaustive Concordance – listing of scriptures organized by category/topic
  • Vine's Expository Dictionary – Greek and Hebrew definitions
  • BibleGateway.com
  • Joyce's Teaching Notes

If you can’t think of anything right away, thumb through the concordance in the back of your Bible and pick one of the words. Begin looking at all scriptures referenced with this word and read them. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you, and He’ll lead you and reveal things to you.

When I first started studying the Word, I didn’t have very good relationships. I didn’t really understand what love was.

As I studied the subject of love, I learned that it’s more than a gooey feeling, It’s a decision on how you’re supposed to trust people. I didn’t know how to love people, or myself. By studying what the Bible says about love, I learned how to love. Then my life began to change.

Being able to apply what you study to your life, like I did on the subject of love, is just one picture of what studying the Bible looks like.

Hopefully you understand why you should study with some ideas on what to study. Here are four steps you can take to begin digging into God’s Word now:

Four Effective Steps to Studying the Bible

1. Purposely set aside time. I make an appointment with God in the mornings, but if that doesn’t work for you, find a time that does…even if it’s not every day. Whatever you can do, that’s what you need to do. Just start somewhere and you’ll see the fruit that this time brings to your life!

2. Make preparation for your Bible study. Have a place that you enjoy being—a room in your house where you can be alone. Somewhere you are comfortable and like to be.

3. Have all your materials available. You’ll want of course your Bible, but also get a good Bible dictionary, concordance, a pen and paper. That way, you don’t have to stop every few minutes to reference something or write something down.

4. Prepare your heart. Talk to God about things you may need to confess, and enter your study time peacefully and without anything that may block you from receiving revelation during your study.

Make the time in your life to study because there is power in it to change your life and become the person God wants you to be. Once you do, you’ll experience the peace and joy to enjoy every day of your life!