The best way to increase the joy in your life is to develop a habit of spending time with God daily.
Do do you often have the impression that life is passing you by? Is it hard for you to really get excited about your future? If so, you may be overlooking a vital aspect of life! Studying your Bible may be the remedy you need!
The psalmist said, “I rejoice in your word as one who finds great treasure” (Psalm 119:162; New King James Version). God has given us a precious chest filled with a priceless treasure: the words of eternal life! (John 6:68). The deeper we delve into this treasure chest, the Bible, the richer we become and the happier we will be, not because of the physical riches we put to work in the bank, but because of the spiritual riches we put at work in our lives.
There are many exciting ways to study the Bible that will enrich your life. Let’s look at seven of them.
1. A book of the Bible. Focusing on one Bible book will give you deeper insight and context for its message. You can research why it was written, its main theme(s), and general plan, and then understand the scriptures in that context.
For example, the book of Matthew focuses on Christ the King. Matthew uses the word Kingdom 56 times. It traces the genealogy of Jesus Christ back to King David and refers to him as “the Son of David” seven times. He refers to Jerusalem as “the city of the great king”. Matthew is a book about royalty. In this spirit, the Sermon on the Mount, for example, takes on a deeper perspective. It’s not just about the Christian life today, but also about the kind of character Christ is looking for in those he will need to reign with him.
2. An individual in the Bible. The men and women in the Bible are worth studying. Studying the life of Jesus Christ is the best example of this. How did he react to situations where he was challenged, when he was very tired, when his friends let him down? How did he stay on track and endure? What was his motivation? Notice the qualities he displayed and ask yourself how you would act and how you must act, according to his example.
Other biographies worthy of study are noted in Hebrews 11, the chapter on faith, in which Paul mentions about twenty personalities in the context of faith. As you study their lives, put yourself in their shoes. Do any of them have issues similar to yours? What mistakes did they make that you can avoid? What was God’s advice for them? How can you benefit from the lessons learned?
3. Specific Bible topics. For example, Paul lists nine qualities related to the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. These same words are each used in many other places in the New Testament. By grouping together all the scriptures that use the same word, you can gain a deeper understanding of what each aspect of spiritual fruit entails and how specifically you need to change your life. Another example would be to study the words used to describe love in 1 Corinthians 13. When you research all of the scriptures where the same words are used, you will develop a richer appreciation of what love is.
Many Bibles have a concordance at the end. Look for topics that will help you overcome and develop your character. There are hundreds of such topics!
4. Biblical doctrines. A doctrine is a teaching. Many churches have doctrines which do not come from the Bible, but from their own traditions, doctrines which, in fact, contradict the Bible! The doctrines of the true Church of God, however, all come from the Bible. As a result, the Church of God has many doctrines that differ from the religions of this world. Examples of doctrines include the three resurrections, new birth, soul and salvation, repentance, baptism, laying on of hands, the Holy Spirit, the true gospel, the Kingdom of God, the Millennium, the government of God, what a true Christian is and many more. Using a concordance, you can search for keywords related to any of these doctrines. You will be delighted with what you discover!
5. Bible-based books and pamphlets. The Church of God of Philadelphia, publisher of the Trumpet, produced dozens of books and pamphlets. We make them available on theTrumpet.com/library. These are meant to be studied with your Bible. Study the scriptures referred to in these booklets as you read them, and you will better understand the meaning of the Bible.
6. royal vision articles. The Church also produces a Christian magazine that will guide you through the content and meaning of the Bible, with particular emphasis on topics that are currently relevant and applicable to your life. For a free subscription, visit theTrumpet.com/go/RoyalVision.
7. Message notes. If you attend services in the true Church of God, you hear messages from ministers who have prepared what we need to hear, based on the Bible – material that is currently relevant, appropriate, even urgent. This is why it is important to review and study the notes of services and Bible studies.
Put these study ideas into action, and Bible study will be exciting, fun, and richly rewarding—something to look forward to! Practice studying the Bible every day and you will enrich your life now and forever!