• Isabel Jenneman

How to Study the Bible: A Devotional Study Method



Last week I put together a breakdown of 17 different devotional study methods. Check out that post here.


But what happens when you take the best components of all those devotional study methods and put them together? You create a masterpiece! 😉


A tool to help you meditate on and apply The Word daily.

In curating this compilation, I wanted a to create a method that provided enough structure and components to allow for deep study, and yet was easily simplified with a key question or focus for each section.


It might seem like there is a lot here for a simple daily devotional study; you don't have to answer every question every time, just use them as a guiding tool.


Let's dive in! Be sure to sick around till the end for some pretty awesome freebies!

Pray


Invite God into this moment. Open your heart and prepare your spirit to receive the Word, allowing The Lord to speak to you during this time.


...receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. - James 1:21b (ESV)


All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)



Read


Read through your chosen passage at least once before moving on. Read slowly, taking time to visualize the scene of the narrative in your mind. Reread the passage a few more times as you complete the devotional study. Context is key, but we’ll get to this during the Interpretation section.


Here are a couple other ideas to help you engage in deep reading:


Try emphasizing different words in the passage.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart...


Personalize the passage under study. For example, replace “love” with your name in the following verse:


Love is patient, love is kind...

Sarah is patient, Sarah is kind...



Observe


What does the passage say?

This is where we observe what is in the passage and document it. Be careful not to apply any meaning just yet, we’ll take care of that in the Interpretation section.


Here are some things you can note:

  • The 5 W's and an H (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How)

  • Repeated words or phrases

  • Any lists you come across

  • Changes in topic or time

  • Words that indicate cause and effect

  • When something is compared or contrasted to another thing



Investigate


What questions do I have?

As you read note questions and anything you wish to investigate further. This does not have to be done within your daily devotional time; you may need more time or other resources in order to complete your research.


Instead write down the questions and topics for investigation leaving enough space to make note of where to find your answers and research study (i.e. the notebook page or google document title where your notes are located).



Interpret


What does the passage mean?

Make sure to read around the passage in order to bring clarity to the context of the passage.


Do this:

  • Pay attention to the cultural and / or historical context of the passage.

  • Think about how the passage fits in and relates to Scripture as a whole. (i.e. the author and book where your passage is located).

  • Ask yourself: are there any other scriptures that might help me better interpret this one?

  • Pull out spiritual principles. What is God teaching or showing in this passage?


The goal here to uncover and write out the clearest meaning of this text.



Simplify & Personalize


Simplify and make your reading personal by summarizing the passage and / or paraphrasing the major points.


Ask yourself:

  • What did I learn?

  • What stood out to, or was interesting to me?



Apply


How will I apply the passage to my life?


Reading without application is useless.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. - James 1:22-25 (ESV)


Here we are going to write out an application that is personal, practical, possible and provable. This doesn’t have to be something grand. Instead, think of it as one small change, a small seed you can plant, that will reap a harvest of righteousness.


Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you, How are you going to live differently because of what you read today?


The S.P.A.C.E. P.E.T.S. acronym is a great tool for this:


Is there...

  • a Sin to confess?

  • a Promise to claim?

  • an Attitude to change?

  • a Command to obey?

  • an Example to follow?

  • a Prayer to pray?

  • an Error to avoid?

  • a Truth to believe

  • Something to praise God for?


Write the Word


As you read choose one verse, or a small section, that is meaningful to you or summarizes the passage you have read. Write out this verse.


Keep it in a notebook, put it up on your wall, or make a flashcard and memorize it. Just by writing you engage another area of your brain, which helps you commit to memory that which you are writing. In fact, I highly encourage you to memorize at least a few of your key verses throughout the week.


The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. - Psalm 37:31 (ESV)


Prayer


Respond to God in prayer based on what you read today.


Use the passage, your key verse, and your application as a guide to write out a prayer (I encourage you also to speak it aloud). Submit to the Word and ask God to help you obey and follow through with your application.


Be sure to end with praise, thanksgiving, and joy for the Word you received today!


What do you think? Any changes or improvements you’d make? I’d love to hear your comments down below!


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Want to implement this inductive devotional study method in your own time in the Word? Subscribe below and I'll send you a beautiful 15-page Devotional Study Guidebook containing resources and tools to help you deepen your time in Scripture.

Subscribers, head on over to the resources section and enter the password to access your copy.


With love and grace, always,

Isabel

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