How To Study The Bible – Beginner Friendly Guide

When I first became a christian, I was about twelve, one of my biggest concerns was “how to study the Bible”. I didn’t understand the mechanics of it all. Like was I just supposed to pray and the Holy Spirit would tell me what scripture to turn to? Or should I just sit with my Bible in my hands, turn it over on the spine and let it fall open, and then whatever scripture it landed on was supposed to be my focus for the day?

Should I use a devotional guide? But then if I use a devotional guide, should I only focus on the exhortation that’s presented or should I go in deeper on my own?

You see the conundrum, right? I was so confused. To make matters worse, every time I would ask someone else who I figured had been a christian much longer than me and probably knew how to go about doing this, they’d just tell me to “pray and ask God”, “open the Bible and just start”, “do it like you study your textbooks”. As you can imagine, that wasn’t very helpful.

For years, this was such a struggle, and when I say years I literally mean years, like almost a decade. Then one day I was on Pinterest and I saw something that made a light bulb go off. I realized then that we often make things too complicated or overly spiritual.

Studying the Bible is much more simple than we make it out. There are four easy steps you can follow.

S.O.A.P.

Scripture

Pick your scripture. The best way I’ve found to do is to focus on one book at a time. So, for instance, you can choose the book of Ephesians to start with. You go through the book chapter by chapter, focusing on a few scriptures at a time. It’s a great practice to use a journal to keep your study notes in. You can also decide to go through the Bible from the beginning (Genesis to Revelation). I know a lot of people do it this way.

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I just decided to start on the books of the New Testament, because in many ways I find them a little easier to understand and connect with. But that’s just me.

Observation

This step is where you note all the observations that you make in the passage. Who is speaking? Who are they speaking to? What is the context of the conversation, parable or story? What would you say is the lesson of the passage?

If something stands out to you, you can make a note of it. If you find something interesting, you make a note of it. If something resonates with you, or reminds you of yourself, you make a note of it. A good practice is also to rewrite the passage in your own words, this makes grasping the concept so much easier.

Application

This part is one of the most important steps. It’s where we allow the ord of God to change us; change our behaviours, attitudes, mindsets, etc. Its application step. How can you apply the lessons you’ve learnt in this passage to your own life? Do you notice any traits from this passage that apply to you? Do you need to do something or stop doing something?

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Apply what you’ve learned. It’s a good idea to write down practical ways in which you apply these lessons ad to revisit them frequently to track your progress.

Prayerful Response

Now you pray. Because as much as we observe and make notes for application, it’s only God – through the Holy Spirit – that can change our hearts. So using what you’ve learnt, approach God in earnest prayer. Asking to change the things that need to be changed or to remove the things that need to be removed. If you need further clarification, ask him to send confirmation. Visit my blog post 6 Ways God Speaks to Us Today to learn more about this.

So those are the four easy steps I’ve been using and you can adapt to study the bible more efficiently. The bible study game has really changed for me ever since I started using these four steps and the acronym is so easy to remember, I wish I knew who came up with it initially.

If you’d like to see a post where I do an example Bibe Study using the SOAP method, comment down below. You can also drop passage suggestions, and I may just use one of those for the example.


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6 Ways God Speaks to Us Today

1. Through His Word

One sure-fire way we as Christians can hear from God is by reading and meditating on his word. The Bible says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17. We learn faith by reading God’s word and also learn about Him through those same words. There is nothing that we go through in life that he bible doesn’t speak about. Want to know how to resolve conflict with a friend? Matthew 18:15-17. Want to know how to be successful? Proverbs 6:6-11.

However, we don’t just learn to navigate life with the scriptures. They also minister to our hearts. They calm us, comfort us, direct us, and guide us. Read the word of God. The Bible says that the word is God, and God is the word. The only way we get to know God and learn his voice is through reading his word.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” – 2 Timothy 3:16.

2. Through Prayer

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” – Jeremiah 33:3. Pray! As this verse tells us, when we call to God in prayer, he will answer us and he will reveal unknown things to us. He will open our eyes and mind to things we never knew and never understood. When we’re in a relationship (friendship or otherwise) to get to know the other person, we have to communicate with them. The same is true for God. We have to talk to him and be willing to listen. And just like when conversing with a friend, the more we speak them, the more we understand their thought processes and mindset. And even when we can’t see them, we become so familiar with their voice that we recognize it right away.

3. Through Worship (Songs)

There is a stillness in worship that connects our hearts to God’s heart. When we are locked in a state of adoration to our Heavenly Father, we can almost feel the beating of his heart toward us. It is an act of surrender we do to him, and in those moments it’s almost like God is right there with us. That connection brings clarity and direction and understanding. It brings comfort and we can truly feel the love of God. He talks to us through that love and connection – that is one great way we can hear from God.

4. Through Other Believers

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,” – Hebrews 1:1. The prophetic word is powerful. In the old testament, that is the only way God spoke to his people, through prophecy. In this age it is just one of the many ways. “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” – 2 Peter 1:21. But prophecy is only one way God uses others to speak to us.

Growing up, I always heard about “confirmation”, but it’s not until I got older that I experienced it.

Have you ever been contemplating a move or decision and have been hesitant about what you think the right move is. Then suddenly, someone who has no idea of the situation you face speaks to the issue in random conversation? And whatever they say, just acts as confirmation for what you’ve been thinking is the right answer, but you were doubting yourself? Yeah, God will do that to you. Inspire people to speak into your situation and give you confirmation.

But be cautious because the Bible always warns us about false prophets and teachers.

5. Through Dreams and Visions

“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams,” – Acts 2:17.

God speaks to us through dreams. When we are connected to the spirit, even in sleep, God can use our subconscious mind to reveal things to us. Sometimes he does this because when we are awake our minds are far too busy to focus on what he’s saying and at other times, it’s just the way he wants to do it.

6. Through the Preached Word

Go to church! I know a lot of times people say that we (Christians) are the church and so the building means nothing without us, and in a lot of ways I can understand the thought. However, God plants you in places with the intention of watering you and the Sheppard is responsible for providing the water. Your pastor has been placed as a guide to you and the Lord uses him/her to speak to you – just like he used Moses to speak to the Israelites, or Paul to minister to the Gentiles. Do not neglect receiving the word of God through his servant.


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7 Tips To Achieve a Positive Mindset: Biblical

Have you ever been walking down the road, stubbed your toe, and thought to yourself, “the devil”? Or have you been on your way home from work after a long day and ended up stuck in traffic because there’s a major accident on the highway and thought to yourself, “today is not my day”? Or have you ever left a piece of cake in the fridge and have been going through your entire day thinking about it, only to get home and find that your husband/wife/child has eaten it? Then you get mad because “they knew you were coming back to it”.

No? Okay, maybe it’s just me then.

But the reality is that it’s all of us. Many of us can’t go through the day without having at least one negative thought, and for many others its way more than one. And it’s not because we are overly spiritual, or self-centered or greedy, but it’s because we are human. And as humans, we have flaws. And even when we think we don’t have flaws, that’s a flaw. As christian humans though, the Bible is the one place where we can find the remedy to the negativity that almost seems like second nature.

Have you ever realized that? How it’s so much easier to fall into a negative thought pattern than a positive one? That sometimes our minds jump to the worse possibility before we can talk ourselves down and “think more positively” – which is one of our mottos here at Keela’s Chronicles. Live Positive!

And by this point you might be thinking to yourself, “gosh, that’s me. I’m a negative Nancy”. Don’t worry, that’s me too, but I have found a way to combat that bad habit, and I’m going to share it with you, so you too can learn to have a more positive mindset and to think more positive thoughts no matter the situation.


Philippians 4:8 – And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

How to achieve a positive mindset?

1. Focus on what is true.

What are the truths you know? You know that God is good; that all things work together for your good; that God promised to never leave you nor forsake you. You know that your spouse loves you, that your children love you. You know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that you’ve been given the spirit of love, joy and sound mind. There are so many promises of God that are truths. At the moment when something goes wrong, and you’re tempted to think the absolute worst, focus your mind instead on the things that are true. If you do this enough, one day you’ll realize that those promises and truths are the first things that pop into your mind and not the negative, toxic beliefs.

2. Focus on what is honorable.

The word honorable in the bible speaks toward placing weight or respect on a person or thing (situation). So, in order to change your mindset to be more positive, focus your thoughts on things and situation that, in essence, deserve much thought and are worthy of respect. That means you don’t entertain thoughts of gossip or slander or bad-mouthing. You also don’t entertain the thought of people doing those things toward you. Instead, only use your thoughts to think on things that are worth your attention. This would include all respectable and heavenly things. So think about doing good, think about helping others and sharing with and being kind to fellow man.

3. Focus on what is right.

What is right? This might seem like a no brainer but many of us trip up on this so often. We are walking down the road and we see a homeless man and the first thing we think is ‘gosh I hope he doesn’t ask me for money’ or ‘I hope he doesn’t come close to me, he probably smells’. But the Bible tells us to feed the hungry and cloth the homeless (Is. 58:7, Is. 58:10, Matt. 25:34-40, Luke 3:11). And this is just the beginning. There is also stereotyping (judging a book by its cover, or rather a person by their appearance – tattoos, makeup, etc.), prejudging others in our mind without knowing the extent of the situation, and even the things we think when we get angry. Sometimes we think because we don’t say them then it’s okay, but the bible says that we sin in word, thought and deed (Matt 5:21-37). If we train our mind to think on right or righteous things, then just like training your body to do something, it will become muscle memory. This will help us have a more positive mindset toward other people, especially.

So, when you see that homeless person, whisper a prayer of help for them and give sacrificially from your heart. When you see a young woman in church whose dress may look a little too short, even of thinking poorly in your mind toward her, ask God to bless you in order that you can bless her with a new outfit. Instead of cursing out your husband in your mind when he upsets you, instead think of one thing you love about him and then ask God to change the situation. These are just a few examples.

4. Focus on what is pure.

Now this one can be hard, because it fights directly against the carnality of our flesh and the fact that we were born and shaped in iniquity. Having pure thoughts, not only to combat sexual thoughts but also thoughts of suicide, self harm, giving in to peer pressure, violence, etc. can be hard. This is one reason that the Bible warns us about falling into the trap of the lust of this world. However, it is not impossible.

Click here to get this companion Printable Wall Art of Philippians 4:8. Use the Code Keela25 for a 25% discount.
Click here to get this companion Printable Wall Art of Philippians 4:8. Use code Keela25 for a 25% discount.

The purest thing we have in our lives is the word of God, the Bible. And sometimes you have to fake it till you make it. I once heard a youth leader say that you have to focus on doing what you know you’re supposed to do so much, that you won’t have time to think about what you’re not supposed to do. And this is a powerful tool to use. Hide the scriptures in your heart (memorize them) and use them as your guard against certain thoughts. Stick them up in your room if you have to, so they are a constant reminder of purity. That won’t make the negative and impure thoughts go away immediately, but it will overshadow them enough to where you wake up one day and realize it’s been months since you’ve had one.

5. Focus on what is lovely.

This is one of my favourites because it helps us to recognize the beauty in this world. It’s easy to think “woe is me”, or “when will I catch a break” when things are not going right. But I like to look at the loveliness of life to recenter myself when I have thoughts like this. The bible draws reference to how God takes care of the birds and the lilies and how not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed as well as they are (Matt. 26-34). Then if God takes such good care of those, why wouldn’t he take even better care of me, his daughter and chosen vessel. That’s how you use the loveliness in life to create a positive mindset.

Look up in the sky and see the vastness, look to the ocean and see its expanse and recognize that the same God who has to power to create and maintain all of that in balance, is the same God you serve. He is the same God who promised to never leave you or forsake you and to give you your daily bread. This loveliness, this beauty can cultivate a powerful positive outlook on life and change your mindset completely.

6. Focus on what is admirable.

The King James version of this scripture uses the term “good report” in place of admirable here. What is of good report? It means to think on the things that bring about good news and good feelings. Like I said, we have a tendency to be negative Nancies. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed that it is always the drama and the bad things that get the best press coverage in the news and on social media. I mean, there are social accounts dedicated to sharing drama and spreading propaganda.

But as Christians, if we want to have a positive mindset and outlook on life, then we can’t be focusing all of our attention and free time of negativity and drama, and allegations and propaganda and all that mess. We have to look at the things that are of good report. So make it your business to share good news, The Gospel, and positive news stories on your social media and in your daily interactions. I know that you’ve heard the saying “you are who you surround yourself with”. Well, the Bible spoke about that first. It says “don’t be fooled, bad company corrupts good character” – 1 Corinthians 15:33. So if you surround yourself with people who love drama, there is no hope for you not to love drama too.

Stay away from negative people and those who only love to spread bad news and drama. This way you can focus on only positive messages that will uplift, enlighten and strengthen others.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” — Philippians 4:8 NLT

Thank you so much for reading to the end of this post. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them down below, and I will happily respond. Be sure to like, share and follow this blog, so that others may get the chance to be encouraged as well.

Remember to Live Positive.


**To purchase any of the quote art in this post, visit PassionPurposePrints on Etsy. Use the Code Keela25 to get 25% off your order! **


Stay Connected

Be sure to connect with me on all social platforms. It would be awesome to get to know you better.


Support This Blog

Your support keeps this blog going. A small, priceless way you can do it is by utilizing my Amazon Affiliate Link to make your amazon purchases.

I promise it will cost you nothing, and your amazon cart will look the same way it always had. But I will hopefully receive a small commissioner from Amazon based on your purchase. All you have to do is bookmark my link and then use it to take you to the amazon store whenever you want to make a purchase.

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