Perhaps the simplest, most effective, and most enjoyable method
that I can possibly suggest as you dive into the joy of Scripture study
is to print a copy of the passage and mark it up.
To read the Bible is one thing. To interact with it is another.
Why simply read a book when you can experience it?
Okay, so how does it work?
1. Go to Biblegateway.com. Select the passage of Scripture you want to study.
Copy and paste it into a Word document
so as to adjust font size, line spacing, and margins.
In just a few clicks, you have an easy-to-read, clean, open copy
just waiting for some animation and color.
Tip: Print one-sided and tape together so your markings won’t bleed through!
2. Go to the dollar store and buy a package of colored pencils.
This will take you five minutes, cost you one dollar,
and make you feel like a kid again. #noexcuses
Tip: I speak from experience when I say
colored pencils are superior to pens and highlighters.
3. When something comes to mind, right it down.
There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Or thought.
You may have just made an amazing discovery.
The more you voice your thoughts, the better.
Tip: When you have a question, mark it with a question mark.
And don’t feel the pressure to answer it right away.
4. Track words. That is, make a list of words that show up often in the passage.
Then, choose a color and pattern or picture,
and mark that word every time it appears.
Underline, circle, box, shade, draw a picture, etc.
Then ask yourself, how is the author using this word? What does it mean?
Is this a major theme? How does the idea progress through the passage?
You’ll be amazed at how this helps to connect the dots.
Tip: Buy more colors if needed. Two dollars won’t hurt you.
5. Be creative. Think outside the box. Draw pictures. Make lists and charts.
Compare and contrast. Ask questions. Keep digging. And don’t stop.
When you think you’ve run out of ideas, keep looking for more.
Pretty sure they’re endless.
Tip: Spread the joy. When you come up with a new idea, tell someone.
6. If possible, enlist a study partner and compare notes.
The best moments are Scripture findings made with a friend.
Tip: Print off a version different than your friend’s for optimal fun and discovery.
7. Keep your marked copies in a notebook.
And don’t stop until you’ve got all 66 books.
And then do it again.
There you have it.
From copy paper and dollar-store colored pencils
to an explosive journal of encounters
with the greatest Author of the greatest Book of all time.
Click here for suggestions about reading plans.
[image credit: journeyoftheword.com]