1) Be and Active Learner, not a passive learner.
Many universities teach their students to be active learners, not passive learners. An active learner:
Takes responsibility for his own learning. He doesn’t put int on his teacher. His teacher is only a guide.
Prepares before coming to class.
Schedules times for his study outside of class.
He writes questions down and investigates the answers from his notes.
He pays attention both in class and when he studies.
He takes his own notes in class.
He makes notes while he studies to help him understand the material.
He volunteers to teach other students that are weak in the class.
All students of the Bible ought to be active learners of the Bible. Take responsibility of knowing the Word of God for themselves and not put it on their pastor. They need to prepare, schedule times for their Bible studies, take notes, and teach others what they are learning from God’s word.
The secret to an excellent Bible study is learning to ask the right questions–Being a good detective.
2) Write down your findings and observations. Recording is Key. Writing is one of the things that distinguishes Bible studying from Bible reading. Writing is important for several reasons. First, it keeps a record of the things that God is revealing to you so that you can turn to later. We forget easily. Someone has said a short pencil is better than a long memory. So write it down. Many times, we have turned to our journal and seen how God has been speaking to us about a particular issue. Another reason for writing down is that writing is a modality for learning like listening, seeing and practicing. When you write something down, it helps you learn it more. A third reason is that our thoughts are reviewed when we write. Someone has said that “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips or the tip of a pen”. That is an astute observation.
3) Study the Bible systematically. Organize what you learn from the Bible into categorical systems. Don’t jump here and there. Doing Topical Bible Studies will help you to study the Bible in a systematic fashion.
4) Study the Bible Regularly : Study Daily.
You will grow more when you feed on God’s word daily than when you once in a while dedicate a few hours to study the Bible. A human being who frequently went days without eating physical food and then would binge eat would not be a healthy person. But one who eats daily and in small enough quantities will be a healthy person. So too it is with feeding your soul.
5) Schedule your studies. Don’t just do it when you feel like it. Making a schedule that we follow will ensure that we do it.
6) Choose the right time and right place. The right time is the time when you are most awake and fresh. For most people, this time is early in the morning. Choose a secluded place where you can lock yourself up from the rest of the world and focus on studying God’s word.
7) Prepare and Plan your studies. Have a plan of how your study time will be like. Prepare yourself by getting enough rest the night before
8) Don’t be shallow in your studies. God’s word cannot be exhausted, so dig deep and drink of the word of God.
9) Look for Jesus in the scriptures. From Genesis to Revelation, Jesus is the subject of the Bible. So look for him. You will be able to see Jesus in some of the dry passages of scripture like Leviticus and Numbers.
10) Memorize Scriptures. Hid God’s word in your mind so that you can use it to overcome the devil and defeat sin.
11) Surrendered will is essential to understand God’s word. You must be submitted to God and be willing to obey what he reveals to you.
12) Application is the goal of Bible study. Interpretation is only a means to an end, not the end itself.
13) Study with prayer. God does nothing except by prayer. So pray for understanding during your Bible Study.
14) Study with reliance on the Holy Spirit for illumination.
15) Repetition aids in learning. So remember to read each passage repeatedly.
16) Study Consistently. You will get more out of the Bible when you are consistent with your Bible study and do it frequently than you would if you only did it occasionally even if you spent a lot of time doing it on those occasions. In the same way, it is better to eat small portions daily than to go for weeks without physical food and then binge eat. If you repeat that over a short period of time, your physical health will fail you. The same is true for your spiritual health.