by Rick Warren — June 20, 2023
From 40 Days in the Word
“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4 (NIV)
God wants you to apply his Word and let it change your life. But in order for God’s Word to change you, you have to study it.
Yesterday I gave you two general principles for Bible study that anyone, anywhere can do:
1. Ask the right questions.
2. Write down your observations.
Today, I’ll share three more.
3. Apply God’s Word. When you ask questions and write down observations, you’re in the “what” part of Bible study. But when you apply God’s Word, you move from the “what” to the “so what.” In other words, you ask, “How will this Scripture change my life?”
Application is the ultimate goal of all Bible study. In fact, you only really believe the parts of the Bible you apply. Do you believe in sharing Christ with others? Do you believe in tithing? Well, do you do those activities? If you don’t do them, then you don’t really believe what the Bible teaches about them.
The problem that most of us have with the Bible isn’t what we don’t understand; it’s applying what we do understand!
4. Study the Bible systematically. Have you heard of the “dip-and-skip method” of Bible study? It’s when you just open up the Bible and put a finger down where you want to study. Then the next time you study the Bible, you start in a different, random place. That haphazard approach won’t produce the kind of results God wants in your life. Instead, study the Bible systematically. You might choose to study it verse-by-verse, book-by-book, topic-by-topic, or theme-by-theme.
5. Read the Bible over and over again. This simple practice will change your life. It’s amazing how much you can get out of a passage if you study the same passage over and over again and then come back to the same passage a few months later. The more you read a passage, the more you’ll get out of it.
There’s no better time than today to start studying the Bible. No matter how you choose to study, apply these five principles, and you’ll get more out of whatever you read.