How do I study the Bible? This is a great question every follower of Christ should ask themselves. Here are a couple of tips I would offer to you.
Start with the right motive. The real reason we should study the Bible is not so that we can merely increase in knowledge but so that was can better love God and love others around us. Rest assured that there will be a myriad of distractions that would seek to keep you from getting into God's Word. But if your right motive is in place, you will press through to read even when it may seem difficult to do so.
Find a Bible that works for you. There are a variety of translations you can use. These include the NASB, NIV, KJV, and so forth. My bias is the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible because I find it eloquent in its flow but very literal in its interpretation. If you are new to the faith I would recommend the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible. This resource includes Bible notes that demonstrate how the whole Bible points to Jesus Christ. It has helped me to keep the big picture message of the Bible in perspective.
Pray While You Read. One of the most helpful practices I have integrated in to my life is a simple acronym titled PRAY. This stands for Praise, Release, Ask, and Yield. Currently, I am working my way through the Psalms. As I go through these chapters, I write in the margin of my Bible the places that I find these themes occurring. Then, I pray to God based on what I have just read about him in his word.
Journal Your Journey. I used to despise journaling. I could not do it. For years, I would purchase a new journal at the start of the year, fill in the days till about mid-February and then give up in discouragement. But all this changed about four years ago when I was listening to a talk given by Mark Batterson. In the course of his message he simply said that journaling was an absolute necessity. I decided to try it once again and purchased an APP for my iPad. Over the past couple of years, I have only missed a handful of days and have almost gone for one year straight without missing a single entry. The blessings of journaling is that I have been able to chronicle the specific ways God has worked in my life. When I begin to feel discouraged, I go back to my journal. Looking at God's faithfulness in the past always gives me great confidence for the future!
Fill Up All Day Long. The average Torontonian spends one month out of their year in traffic. This is an incredible amount of time that can be utilized or wasted. My wife and I have committed to making our car a library. Through audio versions of the Bible, podcasts, and other helpful material my car has become the place where I do much of my learning.
I hope these are helpful and feel free to leave any questions or comments below!