Casually read, and pray something sticks. I don’t mean to sound derisive when I describe this style. If you sincerely pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you and open your heart and mind, He will!
Read and highlight and take notes. This is a bit more complicated, but the dividends can be enormous. It is important that you get highlighters that won’t bleed through the thin pages of most Bibles. An example is here, but you can get them many places. Having pens that are the same color as the highlighters will allow you to write notes in the margins that easily match what you’ve highlighted. There are many, many different systems for color coding your studies. Below is just one example.
- RED for the plan of salvation, restoration, and related subjects. Red signifies the innocent blood of Jesus, shed for the sinner.
- GREEN Prophecies – both fulfilled and about the future – think of green as GO forward.
- ORANGE for promises God makes to us.
- YELLOW for anything that generally just catches your attention – like a Caution Light
- BLUE is for general, practical life instructions.
- BROWN for sin, death, hell, and related subjects. Brown symbolizes the color of dust.
Sometimes you may need to highlight something with several colors. If you’re careful you can do that. These systems help you recognize what you are reading, but they can get a little tedious.
Read and keep a journal. This is one of my favorite things to do obviously. It is what this website is mostly built upon. The journal can be of many different types. I have been reading and then writing down the prayers that the scripture leads me to. You could just write your thoughts about what you have just read. You could meticulously write down everything you think God is teaching in what you read. I have found this to be extremely helpful over the years.
Read looking for fulfilled prophecies. This can be incredibly eye-opening. You can read the Bible in a year just by reading 3 chapters a day. If you go through the entire Bible looking for fulfilled prophecies it will convince you that the Bible was written by a God who knew and could control the future. It is very faith inspiring. It will take some work because sometimes you will read something that sounds like a prophecy, so you will have to do some historical research to see if it has been fulfilled or not. Of course with the web, this is much easier than it once was. There are entire websites dedicated just to this.
Read as if written just for you. This really can be combined with many of the other methods described above. This is simply starting with a prayer that God would show you how what you are about to read applies to you and you alone. Then, when you read, be very careful to look only at how the Word is calling you to change, and pointing out your sin, and show you what God is promising to you. We have a tendency to be judgemental and find passages that make us think, “wow, my friend so-and-so should read this.” This method concentrates on you. I strongly recommend this method because you are the only person you can really change anyway!
So let’s finally get started!
We are starting with Luke because he has a much fuller Christmas story and is probably the easiest gospel to read.
Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*