Two of the hardest things about serious Bible study are getting started and then sustaining the effort. While a word like “sustaining” naturally speaks of regularity and continuity, I’m not talking about treating Bible study like your morning routine.
I’m not suggesting you make it part of a routine at all.
If routine helps, then have a go at it. Being faithful at something doesn’t mean always doing it the same way or at the same time. All too often spending time studying Scripture deteriorates into an item on a checklist to be dutifully checked off. “I’m devoted now.”
Since Bible study is more than Bible reading, by definition it involves thinking. Thinking is work. It’s not for sissies. If you’re not mentally tired after doing what you presume is thinking, you aren’t really thinking. Sometimes our days don’t afford the time for the kind of sustained effort that goes into serious Bible study. Don’t let that bother you. Rather than fret over missing the study session you put on your checklist, my advice is to devote the small increments of time that you have to just thinking about what you’ve studied before. Sometimes it’s better to evaluate what you’ve taken in rather than taking in more.
The point is this: It’s more spiritually productive to develop clarity on a point of the text or to figure out a way to frame a question for future study, than to just mark time with an open book (even if it’s the Bible) for the sake of maintaining a daily ritual. Ultimately, Bible study is about developing aptitude in the Scriptures, the source material for knowing God, not scorekeeping.
— Michael S. Heiser, Brief Insights on Mastering Bible Study: 80 Expert Insights, explained in a Single Minute (60-Second Scholar Series)
How to Use This Book
Want to help your church members grow more skillful in studying the Bible? Brief Insights on Mastering Bible Study will help them get to the next level. In Michael Heiser’s words, the book is filled with “blunt advice I might suggest if I was peeking over your shoulder as you study. I’ve used all of my own recommendations. Some are more obvious than others. Yet they’ll all help you move to the next level in getting more from your Bible study.”
Get this book for your Bible study leaders and see if it would be a good fit for everyone in your Bible study groups, or for your whole congregation. Learn more and get copies today.
Brief Insights on Mastering Bible Study: 80 Expert Insights, Explained in a Single Minute