God's word is eternal and true. It never changes, and it is always relevant. It is a firm foundation we can rely on, no matter what else is happening in our lives.
Here are several Bible Study Resources to help you on your journey of fully receiving and understanding who God really is.
Remember, you are so loved. You are a human being, not a human doing. Allow these Bible Study resources to cultivate in you a heart at rest.
Find a comfortable place to sit for 20-30 minutes. Choose a text to read (a chapter, Psalm, short passage).
Lectio: Read the text slowly, listening for the word God has prepared for you. Consider re-reading the passage several times to quiet yourself, and listen for the word God wants to speak to you from scripture. Try reading the words out loud once, if your space allows.
Meditatio: When a word, or phrase, seems to resonate deeply with you, stop and sit with it. Repeat the word or phrase several times to yourself (meditation), and ponder what it means to you. Memorize it as you repeat it, and allow it to interact with your thoughts, desires, and concerns.
Oratio: Offer a prayer as a simple response to God's word. What do you want to say to the Lord in response to the word he has spoken to you from scripture? Without forcing it, or striving, enter into loving conversation with God.
Contemplatio: Rest in God's presence. Receive his transforming embrace. Be still with God - be content and at peace with a few wordless moments with God. Contemplation is not about what you can do for God, but what God is doing in you.
Study a Bible Character
Select your character.
Get wild, if you want to. Nahum has a whole book in the bible, but no one knows about him! Phoebe, Junia, Philip the Eunich, Cornelius, or good old-fashioned David will do too.
Find every scripture reference you can about this character.
Some will have many verses, some will have few. Put together a biography for your character.
List the facts (without judgment or interpretation).
Name if known (many women and people from lower economic classes are not named), when/where lived, family background, any unusual influences or events that shaped his/her life, occupation, or role, as well as anything that stands out to you.
Choose a key verse from your character study to return to, and memorize.
Example: Rahab, Hebrews 11:31 "It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies."
What are the main lessons in the life of this character?
They could be positive, negative, or both. Why did you choose them, and why do you think these are the main lessons?
What are the problems you see with the character, or in the telling of this person's story?
Don't get stuck - just write what you see. The problems may be resolved in your study, or you discover God has not made the answers available to us.
What can you apply?
This study method takes a little time, but what principles and themes are clear as you finish each character? How could these affect your attitude and actions? Is there anything God might be leading you to do, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit?
Resources to Help: The Bible Project, Blueletterbible.org, Women's Bible Commentary, The Infographic Bible
The S.O.A.P. method is a practical tool for daily devotions:
• Walking you through how to read scripture.
• Observing what you’ve read.
• Applying God’s Word to your today.
• Listening to the Holy Spirit in prayer.
This method is a simple way to read the Bible daily without feeling overwhelmed, distracted, or disconnected. S.O.A.P. journaling is also an excellent way to record and process what God has spoken to you while reading the Bible and reflecting on the revelations you have received.
S – SCRIPTURE
Open your Bible to your reading for the day. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse(s) that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it down.
O – OBSERVATION
What do you think God says to you in this scripture(s)? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you.
A – APPLICATION
Personalize what you have read by asking yourself how it applies to your life. It may be instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Jot down how this scripture can apply to you today. The best question to ask after reading is: what am I going to DO about what I just read and learned?
P – PRAYER
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or even a prayer for a greater insight into what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say!