I don’t want to be redundant, but I must. The best advice anyone can give for Bible study is this: study the Bible! That sounds simplistic, but the point is that no book, “devotional,” or Bible teacher can or should replace you, personally, spending time reading the Word of God.
That said, here is a simple -- though not simplistic -- method you can use to study any verse, any chapter, any book of the Bible:
SMAC the Scriptures
- What does this verse/passage SAY?
(Rewrite it or summarize in your own words.)
- What does it MEAN?
(What are the main lessons or principles? Write them out.)
- How do I APPLY it?
(List specific way(s) you can practice the principles.)
- What do I need to CHANGE?
(In your attitude/ words/ actions/ beliefs/ etc.)
Ask yourself these four questions as you read the Bible. Write out your answers in a notebook or journal. Then ask the Lord to help you live out what you are learning from Him. You will be able to say with the psalmist: “I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me” (Psalm 119:102).