Happy New Year!! 2024 is here and brings with it an opportunity for new beginnings. The start of a new year is a great time for us to reflect on our spiritual journey with God last year and establish goals to nurture our faith this year. Whether you are new to Christianity or have been a believer for a while, there is always room to deepen your faith and understanding of the Bible.
As I have discovered over time, spiritual growth doesn't happen by chance; we have to be intentional about it. One of the best ways to do this and grow closer to God in the process is by establishing regular Bible study habits.
Starting a Bible study routine can seem intimidating at first, especially for those who have never done it before. But the good news is that it doesn't have to be complicated. The key is to start with small steps and gradually progress.
Here are a few things you can do to get started:
Choose a time and place where you can focus without distractions. Begin with 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted time with God. Even though it may not seem like much, carving out a few minutes can be the seed you need to get started, and seeds grow when given time and attention.
Grab your favorite Bible translation and a notebook. You can start by reading a short passage or chapter. If you need help knowing where to begin, there are some amazing reading plans you can find online. We've linked a few resources below to help you get started.
Once you're ready to deepen your understanding of the Bible, add in some Bible study resources like devotionals, commentaries, and Bible study guides. These tools will equip you to understand the context and meaning of the text and help you apply it to your own life.
End your study time in prayer! Ask God to help what you’ve learned to transform your heart and mind.
One of the biggest challenges we face when trying to establish a new Bible study routine is sticking with it, especially when we miss a few days. So, if/when this happens, don't let feelings of shame or guilt discourage you. Just pick back up where you left off and keep going!
Also, consider adding some accountability by finding a friend or mentor to encourage and challenge you. You could join a Bible Study group or even start one yourself! Joining forces with like-minded friends or colleagues is a great way to study together, share your insights and questions, and reflect on your faith journey.
Above all, approach your Bible study time with an open heart and a willingness to learn and grow. Embrace the process, and trust that by the power of the Holy Spirit, God will guide you every step of the way.
With dedication and a willingness to learn, we can deepen our understanding of the Bible and grow in our relationship with God this new year and beyond.
RESOURCES FOR RENEWAL
Resources from around the Web to help your faith flourish
The Bible Recap is a worldwide phenomenon! Using the Precepts Chronological study it helps you go through the entire Bible in one Year. This study plan combines bible reading/devotionals and a podcast to help you understand what you read. It’s perfect for starting the new year strong. To join, check them out at www.theBiblerecap.com/start
Women of the Word - The title says women, but don’t let it fool you! This 10 week resource helps you establish the habit AND learn techniques for studying and understanding your Bible. Named after her book, in this podcast series, Jen Wilkin takes you through a crash course in studying the Bible to help you increase your biblical literacy. Start the Study here!
YouTube Resources- Check out this quick video with Christina Paterson of Beloved Women to learn a simple technique for studying the Bible in under 10 minutes. Or, if you’re ready to take your study to the next level, check out this video from Kim Cash Tate that gives you 10 tools to enhance your study.