How to Enrich Your Personal Bible Study

“There was not a dry eye when we discussed Bathsheba.” 

Hearing that one of my books helped an individual or a group deeply connect with a portion of Scripture warms my heart. The above comment came from a Bible study group that had just finished Little Women, Big God. Since we live in different parts of the country, they invited me to join their final class on Zoom.

Read more: How to Enrich Your Personal Bible Study

This got me thinking about you and your personal Bible study. Does the Bible touch you emotionally? Do you put yourself into the stories? I don’t think you’ll ever find Bible study boring once you begin entering the story. Below are some suggestions that help me engage with a biblical story or passage.

I don’t think you’ll ever find Bible study boring once you begin entering the story. Below are some suggestions that help me engage with a biblical story or passage. #Bible #Exciting Share on X

Put Yourself in the Bible Story

When looking at biblical characters, instead of staying as an outside spectator, put yourself in the story. Read the story from the perspective of one or more of the characters. 

The Bible doesn’t always fill in the emotional details and inner conflict of its characters, but their responses and circumstances give clues. As fellow humans, we can relate to them through our common emotions. Books like Psalms and Lamentations show how believers wrestled with the same emotions we experience, including joy, love, fear, grief, anger, comfort, betrayal, and confusion.

Enrich your Bible study by asking three simple questions. (Get a free pdf on “How to Get a Word from God” here.)

  • What does it say? (Be accurate with the facts. Who is speaking and to whom? What message was the author conveying at the time he wrote it?) 
    .
  • What does it mean? (What timeless lesson can you draw from this story or passage?)
    .
  • How does it apply today? (Apply it to yourself, your family, your time and culture.)

Always Let the Bible Interpret Itself

I bet you’ve heard people describe Bathsheba as a seducer who caused King David’s fall. Yet, Scripture clearly exonerates her. Nathan the prophet described her as the little ewe lamb that was slaughtered to satisfy King David’s visiting appetite (2 Sam. 12:1-6). God put two of her sons in Jesus’ genealogy. No other woman holds that distinction! (Mary and Joseph both came from David and Bathsheba through different sons).

A. W. Tozer said, “I did not go through the Book. The Book went through me.” The Bible was written not just to inform us but to transform us. We release its transforming power when we allow it to move our heads and our hearts.

Strength Finder

Ready to have some fun?

  • Pick your favorite translation or click the link and read 1 Kings 17:7-16
  • Reread it and imagine what it would be like to be Elijah asking a starving widow to feed you before she feeds herself and her son.
  • What would it be like to be the widow? Would you have given Elijah your last bit of food? Why or why not?
    .
  • What timeless lesson do you draw from this? What did you learn about God, faith, and yourself? 
    .
  • How will you apply this lesson to your life or our culture? 

I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments.

Click here to comment.

Blessings,

Resources

Are you looking for a personal Bible study for summer? Take a look and pick the one that interests you most. 

Blog: “You Can Enjoy the Bible with theses Three Shifts”

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InstaEncouragements, #TellHisStory, #Let’sHaveCoffee, #Grace&Truth

 

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Ann Musico

    I love this. The questions ans putting yourself in the story really help you experience it.

    Reply
    • Debbie W. Wilson

      They sure make a difference for me. Thanks, Ann!

      Reply
  2. Barbara Latta

    These are great tips, Debbie. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    Reply
  3. Gayl

    It does help us to slow down and think more about the scripture when we put ourselves into the story. The questions you share are also good to ask as we read through scripture. Thanks for sharing! Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #LetsHaveCoffee.

    Reply
    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Gayl, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Come back soon!

      Reply
  4. Boma

    It’s easy to just read the Bible and not experience it. These are helpful tips. Thanks for sharing. Many blessings to you!

    Reply
  5. Joanne Viola

    We need to read the Bible stories slowly, especially when they become familiar to us. We can gloss over the words thinking we already know, when there may be something new to glean. The questions provided are good ones as then we will walk away from Scriptures not only having read, but also applying the Scriptures practically to our lives and where we are each day. That will lead to living more wisely and we desperately need wisdom to navigate this life. At least, I do 🙂

    Reply
    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Me too, Joanne! Reading 2 Peter now and he tells us to keep remembering.

      Reply
  6. Barbara Harper

    Great tips! We need to remember not to just get through a certain number of verses in our reading, but to take them in and think them over.

    Reply
    • Debbie W. Wilson

      Barbara, it makes a big difference, doesn’t it?

      Reply
  7. Linda Stoll

    ‘A. W. Tozer said, “I did not go through the Book. The Book went through me.” ‘

    Amen. And may we allow Him plenty of time and space to do His work through His Word and His Spirit. Thanks, Debbie. Bless you.

    Reply
    • Debbie Wilson

      Isn’t that a good quote? God bless you too, Linda!

      Reply
  8. Katherine Pasour

    “Let the Bible interpret itself.” I’ve not heard that before but I like it. So often we may miss the main point of a scripture because we don’t carefully read and reflect on it’s meaning in the timeless application. Thank you, Debbie.

    Reply
    • Debbie Wilson

      Katherine, I think that is helpful too. God won’t contradict Himself. Not only the context of the passage but also the context of the whole of Scripture helps us accurately interpret the meaning of a particular section.

      Reply
  9. Yvonne Morgan

    Great questions that are so useful for our Bible studies. Thanks Debbie.

    Reply
    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Yvonne. It made a big difference for me when I added those to my Bible study years ago.

      Reply
  10. J.D. Wininger

    Wow! Powerful thoughts Ms. Debbie. I asked myself, “Could I have asked for their last morsel as Elijah did?” The answer was soundly, “No, but if God commanded it, then I would. I wouldn’t like it, but I would ask.” I wondered if Elijah faced that same dilemma? Then, if I put myself in the place of the widow, would I have had enough faith in a God I really didn’t know to take from my son? In that case, I could not find that same depth of faith within me. I’m ashamed to admit that, but if I can’t be honest with others, then I won’t be honest with myself. Would I have gladly given Elijah my portion? Yes. Would I have given it to my son instead, so that he might have had more? Yes. It’s a case of what happens IN me is more important than what happens TO me.

    Reply
    • Debbie Wilson

      J.D., I’m glad you took the time to read it from their different perspectives. Like you, I would have struggled to ask and to give. It gave me more respect for both of them and reminded me that trusting God brings rewards, but the choice in the moment can seem foolish and go against our human instincts.

      Reply

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