I love online Bible studies, including the ones here! They’re short, convenient, and an easy way to connect and study with others. BUT. Yes, there’s a “but,” and I’m guessing I’m not alone in the experience I’m about to share. If I’m not making personal time to meaningfully connect with God, that next Bible study I’ve clicked on can easily slip from a time of connection to a God-orientated task that carries me through the moment and not through my day. It devolves into another to-do item or a marked check box. So how can we use online bible studies effectively? Here’s what I’m learning to do:
1. Pick 1 thing – I've noticed that zeroing in on one thing is a game-changer. I make it a point to figure out that standout scripture or point that genuinely hits home for me. As I go about my day, I try to be intentional about finding moments to reflect on it. Whether I'm on a break, taking a quick breather, or just chilling for a moment, I make space to revisit and think about that impactful insight. This habit not only makes what resonates stick but also deepens my connection with the material in the midst of everyday life.
BIBLE CONNECTION: PSALM 77:11-13
2. Talk about it – Give yourself the space to chat with someone about what you're learning. The best way to really get something is by teaching it to someone else. I'm finding that if I make a point to try and share what I've learned with someone else, it helps me remember the lesson better. It also gives the added bonus of leading to some rich discussions!
BIBLE CONNECTION: DEUTERONOMY 6:6-9
3. Pray – Including prayer as a ritual before and after my reading has proven to be incredibly beneficial. When I begin by praying, I invite the Holy Spirit to guide and teach me as I delve into the text. It sets the tone for a meaningful and insightful reading experience. Then, after I've finished, taking a moment to pray allows for a personal conversation with the One with whom I should be processing the most. It's become a powerful practice, enhancing my connection and understanding in my spiritual journey.
BIBLE CONNECTION: JOHN 14:26
4. When time permits, do extra – Whenever there's some extra time, I make an effort to dive deeper into my study. Writing out the scriptures is a hands-on approach that helps solidify their meaning for me. Reading them in various Bible versions adds nuance and richness to my understanding. I take physical notes, jotting down what resonates with me during my reading. Additionally, I look to find practical ways to apply what I'm learning each day. It doesn't have to be grand or elaborate, just something tangible to bridge the gap between study and life.
BIBLE CONNECTION: PSALM 119:10-16
Tools, including this devotional, are great, but only if I’m personalizing them with my Creator so they become tangible and real in my life. How about you?
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
How well do you personalize what you're learning? Are you carving out that crucial space for reflection, response, and application? Consider gifting yourself just an extra 5 minutes to let things really sink in. If you've got a fantastic trick up your sleeve for personalizing your online studies, share the wisdom! Drop your ideas in the comments below.
PRAYER Lord, I don’t ever want my time with You to slip into just another ritual or routine. You are the most important relationship I have. Just as I make space for the most important people I have in my life, help me to protect my time with You. Help me to remember I spend time with you not out of fear or guilt, but out of a deep, abiding love for all that You are. Thank You for loving me so richly, Papa, and for teaching me to do so in return. I love You and my time, my mind, my heart and my strength are all Yours. Amen.
To learn more about author & motivational speaker Barb Lownsbury or to invite her to speak at your next event, CLICK HERE.
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