I'm back! But more importantly, today I want to finally take the time to share with you what I learned from the Mike Bickle CDs I had told you about. He recommended two different ways to study the Bible during the time you've scheduled for Study time. The key is to have a focus. Don't just flip/flop through the Bible and to whatever takes your fancy at the moment.
The first way is to read 10 chapters a day. Set aside 30 - 60 minutes at least in order to be able to read and focus on what you are reading. By doing this you can get through the New Testament once every month. Can you imagine what God could show you by reading the New Testament once a month?!
The second way is to study a book of the Bible, one at a time. Mike suggests choosing your top 10 books and determining an order. This enables you to focus. He calls this your "juicy" list. Then he suggests you find two commentaries. There are a lot of free commentaries online that you can use. (I'll share some I've found in one of my future posts). You don't have to be picky, these will just assist you along the way. Also, get a notebook. Basically when you are done you will have a commentary of your own. I'm labeling my notebooks "Ang4him Commentary of ____"
In order to get the most out of this you need your study time to be consistent and scheduled. Set your study times and protect them. (I'm still working on this but it gets easier with time).
1. Choose one paragraph/section at a time to read. Note: you will not get through a book quickly, however you will really be diving into God's Word and building a relationship with Him.
2. Read the commentaries on this section after you've read the section in the Bible. While reading the commentaries, highlight ideas that excite you.
3. Notebook -
a. list at the top the section you are reading (ie. Romans 1:1-7).
b. Title - write the Title for the section in your own words (these may be wordy at first, don't worry about it) - Don't use the commentary's title - think about it yourself!
4. Write notes from the commentary. Try to paraphrase the ideas you've highlighted in the commentaries. Or you can write them word for word. Writing things down helps us to absorb and focus on the ideas. Then write in your own words a summary of what the section is teaching you, what it is about, etc. Ask yourself who, what, where, when, how & why?
5. Journal/prayer: Ask the Lord to do to your life/heart what the passage speaks of (if applicable).
Both of these study methods appeal to me for different reasons. So I've decided to do both. Obviously trying to do both at once is too much, especially at first and I'm setting myself up to fail. So I'm going to alternate. I'll take a book of the Bible to study first (I've chosen Romans) then once I'm done, I'll switch to reading 10 chapters a day for a couple months. I'll let you know how it goes. If you decide to do one of these I'd love to hear from you.
I'll post a listing of free online commentaries in the next couple days.