I wouldn’t necessarily say that studying the Bible on my own and actually fully understanding it is one of my strengths. I have heard people teach an entire lesson based off of one verse and wished that I had the knowledge and wisdom of the Bible like they did. How did that read a part of the Bible and get all that out of it? I read a verse or even sometimes an entire chapter and need help interpreting the scriptures. It’s one of the reasons why I love my study Bible. I can read a passage and then quickly look at the study notes to better understand what I’m reading.
But still, I always wish that I could read something and just get it without having to look at my notes. I was actually starting to become a little too dependent on the study Bible. Instead of reading a passage and trying to interpret it on my own first, I would automatically just start reading the scripture notes and not reflect more on the verses. I needed to reflect on the verses, what they mean to me, and then use the notes for more information. Well, a couple of months ago, I had the perfect opportunity to stop my dependence on my study Bible notes. We moved at the beginning of November and I put my Bible in a box that I thought would be easily accessible. It is now January and I have yet to find that box. So I have been without my handy dandy Bible for a few months now and have turned to the Bible app that I have on my tablet. Now I haven’t been as diligent about reading my Bible or taking notes like before, but as 2017 ended and 2018 approached, I tried to be better about at least reading my Bible. I didn’t see the point of taking notes if I didn’t have my study Bible. And there was the problem. I may have been reading my Bible, but I wasn’t actually studying it. I should have been studying, interpreting, and hiding God’s words in my heart instead of just reading stories and checking one more thing off my to-do list.
For Christmas a few weeks ago, I received a Bible study notebook from my aunt where I could write down scripture notes. I hadn’t cracked it open though because I didn’t have my trusty study Bible to copy notes from. But last night, I decided I would do my best to read and take notes without it. When I opened up my Bible app, the verse of the day appeared. When I read it, I just knew that it would be what I study and focus on for the night. I went to read the entire chapter for context (I definitely don’t want to take Scripture out of context), but soon found myself taking pages of notes and flipping through the Bible when relevant scriptures came to mind. I may not be about to teach a lesson around that one inspirational verse, but I soon realized that I all of a sudden had an outline for a new blog post. The Holy Spirit had revealed to me what God was saying to me when I was finally becoming intentional with studying the Bible. There is a difference between just reading your Bible to fit it in and studying it to learn what God wants to reveal to you.
More on what I learned during this study time in my next blog post.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.”
– Psalm 119:11 NIV