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Preparation September 2, 2009

Posted by TJ Friend in General Principles.
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Studying the Bible, like any task or exercise, requires a certain amount of preparation. There are basically three things that you can do to prepare for studying the Bible. If you do these things it will put you in right attitude and enable you to focus in on what God has for you without being distracted.

Prepare your Time

First it is important to intentionally set aside time to be in God’s word. I find the best time for me is early in the morning. It is a good way to start the day and is the easiest to keep consistent, although the time is not as important as the consistency. Find a time and a place where you can be alone and free from distractions. It is important to find a place that is quiet, so that you can focus in on listening to God. If there is a lot of noise or other distractions it will be difficult to fully engage. Set aside a specific block of time each day and stick with it. Again, the amount of time is not as important as developing consistency. But, realize that studying the Bible takes time, and if you do not give yourself enough time you will miss out on the benefits. It is similar to mining for gold or other jewels in the earth. You can’t just walk around on the surface and try to find the treasure, you need to dig in to the ground and put time and effort into searching, only then will you find the treasure.

Prepare your Heart

The next thing you can do in preparation is to begin with prayer. Studying the Bible can be an overly academic or intellectual pursuit, but ultimately it should be about hearing God speak through His word. Taking time to acknowledge Him and asking Him to speak will help you be an attentive reader, one who is actively listening and expecting God to speak. By starting with prayer and acknowledging God you can keep a humble attitude, realizing that it is God who is revealing Himself to you.

Prepare your Tools

The final step in preparation is physically assembling your tools. Get some paper, something to write with, grab a few different translations of the Bible and any other resources you might feel are necessary, such as a concordance or dictionary. Coming with all things already there, will eliminate the need to get up and get something you need while you are in the middle of studying. I will talk about the importance of some of these resources later, and if you don’t have some of them don’t worry. The minimum amount of resources you need are a pencil/pen, a paper and a Bible. If this is all you have you can still learn a lot and gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of the text. Later on I will recommend some more resources, but I am only going to recommend the most basic resources that will aid in your study. There are literally hundreds of resources out there to those desiring to study the word. Although these are helpful and may add to your study, I want to emphasize the importance of the text itself, and I believe most of your time should be spent looking at the actual words of the Bible.

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