Today’s study tip doesn’t have much to do with the studying itself, but everything to do with its effectiveness. Before you open your Bible or notebook, take a few moments to walk through these questions in preparation.
1. Why am I studying?
Habit – I admit, this is often my reason. I read and study every day.
Obligation – Sometimes this one gets me, too. I teach, so I have to study.
Vindication – Ever want to win an argument or prove a point?
Need – I believe the best studying happens when it comes from a need to be with God, the spiritual equivalent of sitting with Him and hearing His stories, His advice, His comfort.
2. Am I prepared?
Clear the mind of distractions. Pray for the Holy Spirit to do the teaching. If necessary, use music to help make the transition to study time.
3. Am I ready to hear what God has to tell me?
Sometimes, God has to deliver a challenge, a reproof or even a rebuke through His word.
4. Am I ready to change?
God’s ultimate goal is conforming us to the image of His Son. I need to be ready and willing to change my actions, attitude or thinking based on what He shows me. That may involve giving up long-held, tightly-grasped, ingrained notions.
After you study, before closing up, take a moment for review.
What did God teach me?
It helps me to write these down, and I refer back to them often. (Usually when I have to learn the same lesson again.)
Who else may need to know this?
God places us in the body of Christ for a reason, and we are instructed to comfort others with the comfort we have received.
Finally, don’t forget to thank God for revealing Himself once again.