Studying scripture is very different from just reading it. When we study it, we strive to memorize it, take individual words and learn their meaning, understand the context, and most importantly, make the Word of God personal to us. His Word is a love letter to you! It is personal for you, just like your relationship with God is personal.
This is why I recommend a pen, highlighter, notebook, and index cards when you read the Bible.
If a particular scripture really speaks to you. If it jumps off the page and just “hits home” with a question you have, or a problem you have, or a situation you are facing, take the time to write that scripture down on your index cards or in your journal. I have particular scriptures that I write down on cards and carry with me, or tape to the wall near my bed, or in my bathroom, or have on my desk at work… and when I am having a rough day (because we all do), I look at my cards to remind myself what God’s Word says.
If a particular word or phrase jumps out at you, highlight it, circle it, underline it… These bring your attention to it the next time you read this passage of scripture. And, don’t be surprised if the next time you read the scripture, something else jumps out at you, or “hits home”. The Word of God is “alive”, it isn’t just words on a page, but it is the very breath of God. And, when we study the words, and take the time to ponder over a scripture, the meaning becomes clearer to us.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12, KJV)
If you are using Blueletterbible.org, or the blueletterbible app, you can click on, or press a verse number, and it will take you to the options for that verse. One option is the “Interlinear Concordance” which takes every word in the verse and defines it in Hebrew or Greek and gives you the biblical definition. If you prefer, you can also use Google and search for “quick bible definition”. Or, you can buy or borrow a Bible concordance or dictionary. Look up the word “quick” in this scripture, you will find it means “alive” or “living”. To quicken something means to bring it to life.
“For the word of God is alive, and powerful…” The scripture takes on even more meaning when you understand what the words mean. This is also how reading different translations helps further and heighten our understanding. “For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires”. (NLT).
Write scriptures, look up words, write definitions, and read the Word of God as if it was personally written to you (because it was). “… It exposes my innermost thoughts and desires.” “For God so loved (name) that He gave His only begotten Son”. Make it personal to you.
Read John Chapter 4.