What is the best way to start studying the Bible?

Whenever we begin to read and study the Bible, we should always begin with prayer. Why? Well, it’s God’s Word and we want to hear from Him, so we want to invite Him and ask Him to teach us. “Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes” (Psalm 119:12). Ask God to give you wisdom and understanding; James 1:5a says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.” Psalm 119:34a says, “Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law.” Once you have invited Him to be a part of the study of His Word, then begin reading. In reading to study, remember it is not the amount you read as much as it is how engaged you are in what you read. In other words, don’t rush it! Take your time and read a passage more than once, if necessary. If a verse or phrase jumps out at you, underline or highlight it. Think about what you read and ask yourself these questions: Is there a promise to claim? Is there a lesson to learn? Is there a blessing to enjoy? Is there a command to obey? Is there a sin to avoid? Is there a new thought to carry with me? You may only read a few verses, or you may read a whole chapter, but if you purposefully engage in what you read, it will be more meaningful. In some cases, you might feel the Lord moving you to memorize a verse. This will cause you to appropriate it, to make it a part of who you are, so that you are able to better obey the Lord. “Thy Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11). Then be intentional to live out what you learn. Before long, you will find yourself spending more and more time in His word and longing for more. So, let’s recap what we’ve discussed. First, we want to pray over the Word. Next, we want to ponder what we’ve read and ask ourselves some intriguing questions. Then we want to preserve His Word by memorizing it. And then we want to practice His Word by living it out before Him and proclaiming it to others. This intentional time with the Lord will be the most valuable time you spend all day, so do it every day and watch what He does in you and through you.