1. Dig deep into the Bible. Reading is great but no one found treasure by dragging a shovel on the surface. The Bible is a treasure trove of life-changing words and counsel. The Bible and meaning of scripture has saved people’s lives, including mine. If I had not understood what Jesus did for me by studying the Bible, I would not be serving God and following Jesus.
Select a book of the Bible to study. Select a smaller portion of scripture like a paragraph. In a notebook or journal write the Book, Chapter and verses you are studying. Read the scripture two to three times and then answer the following questions: (You may want to try without the questions. You can try writing down observations and things that you think should be noted. Try the questions if you need guidance in how to dig deeper.)
- What is this scripture talking about?
- What sentence and words appear to be important in this scripture?
- Who appears to be important in this scripture? (Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the disciples, sinners, people, priests, everyone, etc.)
- What questions does this scripture provoke? (Write them down)
- What does God want me to know from this scripture?
- What does God want me to practice from this scripture?
- How will I apply and practice what I am learning? (Write yourself an assignment of when, where and how you are going to apply what you have learned.)
2. Pray daily. Pray a commitment to surrendering to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and strength throughout the day. Have your heart and mind on what God wants you to do and say each day. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict and guide you into holiness and away from sin. And since you are digging into God’s Word, ask the Holy Spirit to help you practice what you learn from the Bible.
3. Surround yourselves with other Christians who will not just teach but show you how to follow Jesus. These Christians should be your friends and adults who are mature in the faith. Seeking out the guidance and counsel of your mentors is extremely important. We should not be afraid to come to our leaders about the simplest of things to the very personal. Ask your friends to teach you and show you Jesus. Seriously, go to a friend of yours who is also a Christian and ask them to share with you what they learn from Bible study and sermons. Ask them to push you to grow too!
By practicing these disciplines you are remaining in God and the result will be spiritual growth and Christ-like character.
New Living Translation (NLT)
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.