Here is a list of my “Essential” things I use to study the Bible. Note that I use the word essential very lightly. All you truly need to study God’s Word is just that, His Word. But these are things that help me understand the Bible better and makes studying that much more enjoyable. This post is divided into two different sections. The first section is just basic study tools and the second is filled with extra things that I enjoy using when studying.
Basic Study Tools
1- A Bible. Obviously. I use the Thomas Nelson KJV. Growing up I read NIV but once I learned the difference and history behind different translations, and I realized how some things didn’t add up, I only use the KJV now. And honestly, now that I’m used to it, this version is so much easier for me to understand. I believe every word in the Bible is inspired (God-breathed) and I want to stay as close to the original as possible.
2- Pen and highlighter. Some people hate to write in their Bibles, but for me, I just have to. My Bible is filled with markings, notes, and highlighted verses. Now they even have journaling Bibles which I think is fantastic. My favorite pens as of lately are the Pilot Acroball pens. They are cute, write smoothly, and the ink doesn’t smudge! And the highlighters are Sharpie Liquid Highlighters.
3- Not only do I use sticky notes when I study the Bible, but I use them for just about every aspect of my life. There is always a sticky note in every room of my house! I use these to write down thoughts I have about certain passages or key verses. I also use these to take notes on messages I listen to.
4- I’m always a sucker for a cute notebook. I have tons of them and I find the best way to fill them up is with things I’ve learned from the Bible! I always take notes during church or whenever I’m listening to someone preach. It helps me comprehend what is actually being said rather than going in one ear and out the other. Maybe if you have a hard time paying attention to what is being said or what you’re reading, try taking notes in a notebook (A cute one of course;).
TIP: If you find it difficult to make time to study every day, get a planner and plan out your day! This has helped me tremendously. Not only in my relationship with God, but also with every part of my life. My planner is from Hastings and I got it on sale for 50% off!
Extra Study Helps
5- Every now and then I will come across a word which I don’t understand the meaning of, or a word that I think I know but I’m not 100% sure. When this happens I always go to my Merriam-Webster Dictionary app. I also use a KJV companion. This has definitions for words found in the KJV Bible that the dictionary doesn’t have. This has been a huge help for me especially when I first started using the KJV, and as you can see it is very loved. 🙂
6- Sometimes it is so hard for me to sit down with my Bible and find something to study, I just don’t know where to start! Study guides have always been my best friend and this is one of my favorites. I bought this at LifeWay and so far it has been so helpful! It has history, scripture, questions to answer, and activities. I really appreciate that I didn’t have to buy a DVD or CD to use with this. (Esther is my favorite book:)
7- Quite possibly the most encouraging thing I use to study the Bible is a prayer list. You should always pray before and after you study but keeping a prayer list is much more visible. Looking through the pages at how many things God has answered encourages me to get to know Him more, and to talk to Him.
TIP: If you like to study for long periods of time, snacking while reading can help you focus. Just try to stick with healthy snacks like peanuts, almonds, grapes, and cherry tomatoes… Or you could just munch down an entire bag of Cheetos like me, its whatever;)
8- Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur is the book I am currently reading right now. This book is amazing because it puts the women of the Bible in a whole new perspective! It brings their names to life and forms a personality about them. I definitely recommend checking this book out if you are interested in studying women in the Bible. Another book I recommend is A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers. This book is quite possibly the most enlightening fiction novel I have ever read. It is actually four books in one. Each book is about a women from the Bible. Starting with Tamar, and ending with Mary. I cried and laughed while reading each book from the woman’s perspective. Once again this is a book which brought the characters of the Bible to life! I cannot recommend these enough if you are a reader and want to study women of the Bible.
TIP: I’m always busy doing something. It seems like I always have somewhere to go, something to do, or someone to see. It is hard to make time to study the Bible every day! (Though it shouldn’t be) A great way to stay connected to God on those busy days are devotionals through your email! They are easy and convenient. I am subscribed to a couple different sites that send out daily devotionals so I always have a couple to choose from each day. My favorite though is Tirzah In the Word. They are centered around young women and even have an Instagram account!
9- She Reads Truth is an app and website that has study plans, devotionals, music playlist, and free wallpaper. When I discovered this app I was thrilled because it was exactly what I have been looking for! Most of the devotional apps for women focus around motherhood, and since I’m not a mother I really wanted devotionals written for a young womans perspective. What I love about this app is that the devotionals and challenges aren’t about “being yourself” or “you can do anything with God”. While I do believe that it is a good thing to teach on those things, I also believe there are more important things Christians need to hear.
10- Youtube is an addiction of mine. I love it! You can learn so many things from Youtube and get inspired! Whenever I wash dishes I like to listen to preaching. Mainly I listen to Dr. Adrian Rogers, Todd Friel’s “WRETCHED”, and Dr. Ravi Zacharius. Next time you do dishes or even if you are just bored instead of watching another makeup tutorial try to give that time to learn more about God.
TIP: If you have a hard time concentrating on reading the Bible, try listening to instrumental music! I do this when I can’t stay focused and it helps me alot.
*11- This is kind of a “bonus” tip ;P I tried to stop at 10 but I really wanted to include this! I love magazines because they are easy to read, informative, inspiring, and nice to pass the time with. Yet it is hard to find a magazine that isn’t filled with trash or articles about things that just don’t matter in life. I discovered life:beautiful magazine last year at my local Hastings and I immediately fell in love! It has food, beauty, household and health tips. Also articles on the Bible, Christian women, crafts, and many other things. It satisfies my craving to hold a magazine, but without all the junk the world has to offer. Each magazine is around 5$. I found mine at Wal-Mart. 🙂