10 Bible Study Trailheads To Explore
The Bible is to our soul like food, water and sleep are to our bodies. It has necessarily nutrients for a healthy life. Studying God’s Word, the Bible, is of vital importance to our spiritual health.
The God of everything wants to interact with us personally through His Word — the Bible. His Word is a guide for our lives, an inspiration, and needed hope. It is filled with truth and offers transformation as we grow to become more and more Christlike.
If you aren’t interacting with the Bible regularly for yourself, you are missing out on so much. He is waiting there in the pages to interact with you.
Here are Ten Trailheads you can choose from to follow a pathway to spiritual fitness through Bible study. You probably can’t do all of these at once, but may your Spirit be quickened to one or more of these as you move forward in your own faith journey.
1) Create Space — Choose a time and place. Set yourself up for success. Envision yourself there in that time and place and do what it takes to make it happen.
2) Pick a plan — There are so many great ones out there. Here’s some I currently use:
- Jesus Calling — by Sarah Young
- YouVersion – you can find it in your app store.
- Verse of the day with short follow-up devotion
- OWNit365 One Story Plan
- Psalms & Proverbs
- Bible Project | New Testament in one year
- Bible Project
- Books of the Bible
- Character Qualities
- Theme Ribbons
3) Start bite-sized — Make a plan you know is sustainable. If you are new to quiet time, the YouVersion verse of the day with the devotional and prayer time takes about 10 minutes. It is a great start. If you can add on one more try the OWNit365 One Story Plan. I think I am on my 4th time through that, and I will probably just keep doing it over and over.
4) Search for something — Sweeping is different than searching. If you search for Him, He will let Himself be found.
Try color themes. Choose a theme that intrigues and pick a color that represents that theme. I usually do three at a time. Here are some ideas:
Prayer, Hope, Peace/Anxiety. Direction. Wisdom. Truth. Forgiveness. Look for verses that refer to these and color code them.
5) Tell somebody – Who can you invite into your journey and share your next steps with?
6) Do a book study – Choose one book and read it in several versions. Look at the way it was organized and dig into its history. Watch the Bible Project video about it. The video on Hebrews might be an interesting place to start.
7) Do a character study – Pick a person and read about them. Consider what they would have been going through, and research what their culture was like. Learn from them.
The people in the Bible are real people — they have family backgrounds, personality quirks, things they do well and things they could have done differently. Who intrigues you?
8) Memorize — Maybe a verse a week? Remember start small?
When you have chosen your verse consider putting it in multiple places – on your key ring, as your screen saver on your computer, as your wallpaper on your phone, and/or sticky notes around your house. Then whenever you see it, you can say it out loud.
9) Adopt an anchor verse for a decision or circumstance and meditate on it.
If you need guidance, or courage, or hope or whatever — God wants to meet you there. He has answers and wants to embed them in your heart and mind.
You can easily find verses on specific topics or that include certain words using a search engine like Bible Gateway.
10) Journal — Write about it. Ask God to highlight something when you are reading and then write out what stands out to you and why.
Bonus: Try a 30 in 30. Write out a verse and 30 things you notice about it in 30 minutes or less. I’m not sure if I am doing it exactly like Pastor Matt or Tim Keller would do it, but I’ve included a couple examples of my personal 30 in 30’s below.
So those are the Ten Trailheads you can choose from to move forward on your own personal pathway as you follow Jesus.
What will you choose? If you seek, you will find! God has so much in His storehouse for you.
Then he added, “Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old” (Matthew 13:52).
There are age-old truths in God’s Word for us to build on AND there are new applications for our lives that He wants to reveal.
We all love a good story. History in fact is just that — stories from the past. Mystery is what He has for us now. There is a resolve to whatever you are in the middle of — if you are overwhelmed, God has answers for you, and if you are bored, He has a way forward for you too. There’s always more.
If you find that the faith stories you refer to are mostly from your past, you are missing out on what God has for you today. He has NOW stories He wants to write with you.
“Then the king sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited that my feast is ready. I have killed my best bulls and calves for the dinner, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ “But the people refused to listen to the servants and left to do other things. One went to work in his field, and another went to his business” (Matthew 22:4-5, NCV)
There’s a feast waiting for us at the table. How will you come to the table?
I did a series of 30 in 30’s on each verse in Psalm 23 and I’ll share two of them here. I pray you will come to the table and feast on all He has for you.
“Even if I walk through a very dark valley, I will not be afraid, because You are with me. Your rod and your walking stick comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
- I didn’t want to do this verse as I don’t want to welcome a dark valley.
- I have already been through a really dark valley.
- And you were/are with me.
- I have welcomed your rod.
- Your rod corrects me.
- – my thoughts
- – my actions toward others.
- I am learning.
- There has been a shift.
- I want to retain the gain so much.
- Your walking stick is the promise to keep me on the right path.
- I welcome your keeping.
- Even if there are other dark valleys, you will be with me.
- You are of the highest value.
- – not my understanding of things.
- – not my children’s “well” being.
- – not my feeling understood or valued.
- I can rest in your shepherding.
- I release the fear I’m going to “miss” it.
- I choose to trust You.
- I open my heart to You.
- I open my life to You.
- Help me to see what You see.
- Help me ease control and let Your River flow.
- My “job” is to float.
- I have to let go to do that.
- Holding on is a sign of lack of trust.
- What am I afraid of when I fear letting go?
- Help me see the balance and the edges.
- I choose You.
“You prepare a meal for me in front of my enemies. Your pour oil on my head; you fill my cup to overflowing” (Psalm 24:5).
- Thank you for caring about me.
- I want to eat what you have prepared.
- It feels like that meal is there for me – when I need it.
- When I see enemies — I want to choose to eat your meal instead of dwelling on them.
- – instead of fearing them.
- – instead of feeing their destructive thoughts toward me.
- What is in this meal?
- Who are my enemies?
- Oh God — protect me from these enemies.
- I am learning to feast at your table instead.
- Let this become more and more my go-to – my normal response to enemies
- You pour oil on my head!
- This comes directly from You.
- I receive this blessing.
- This is for unity – oh I need this.
- You fill my cup and you fill it to overflowing!
- Both unity/oil and cup filling come from above.
- I receive.
- I’m slowing down to receive.
- I’m believing you have good things for me and for those I love.
- I open my head and my cup to you.
- Fuel me and refuel me!