40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 6 – Bible Study


Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Theme:  If not You, then Who?

Yesterday, we explored how important Bible study is to us getting direction from God even if we don’t get direction for specific tasks.  Today we will turn our attention to the topic of diligence in study.  While frequency of Bible Study is crucial, what also matters is how we study.  We don’t all have to be seminary students, but we can all be diligent in our study. 

Have you ever wanted to know what path to choose and hoped that you could just open the Bible and find the answer?  This can be characterized as the “direction without diligence” approach, which is consistent with our microwave society.  I know I have been guilty of this approach. 

Of course, God can and does provide direction in a variety of manners, but our passage for today recommends the “boring” path of diligence.  How often do we miss out on God’s marching orders because we are not being diligent in Bible study? 

Please read the passage above and consider the question below.


  • Do you study the Bible diligently (pray, take notes, review, seek help, put into practice, etc.)?
  • What are some of your most effective Bible Study practices?

10 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 6 – Bible Study

  1. Bible study is something I love to do, but is something, due to a hectic lifestyle that I only tend to do when I have to. For example if somebody presents a challenging question or I am asked to lead Bible study for our assembly. It feels with my various other commitments that Bible study is currently taking second place to everything else. Pray that I will make the time to be more consistent.

    However, I take the quoted scripture in Timothy seriously, so when I get on it, I can be meticulous. That’s what makes his word so exciting when you start to really delve and see the depth of revelation God has for the hungry!

    I believe as Christians we take 2 Timothy 2:15 too lightly. We read the surface meaning and often miss the depth. Often I hear Christians do the opposite of “correctly handling the word of truth”. We quote scriptures to try to legitimise our viewpoint, although it is not applicable in reality. Or we use the same scripture to back one viewpoint but conveniently exclude it to delegitimise another. So we need to be mindful that we do not misuse scripture for an underlying motive that we may not even acknowledge.

    In this modern age we have the privilege of learning from other people’s Bible study (i.e. On YouTube, Google) and then studying the study (eat the fish spot out the bones) . That can cut your own study in half or allow you to go deeper than you would have gone without that springboard.

    I tend to question everything and not to let popular opinion stop me. If we only accept what is handed down to us through tradition and is not explicitly revealed through scripture we can carry on Biblical distortions, even heresy through the ages. The concept of the “holy mother of God”! being an example.

    I believe the Bible stands up to all scrutiny as such healthy critical thinking helps to strengthen your faith and make us better able to relate to and answer those unbelievers who have an opposing perspective. We should not be afraid to question anything, let’s be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11).

    I think it is important that we see Bible study as much more than personal growth and self-discipline, a kind of spiritual chore, but as a tool to evangelise. Each and everyone of us should be an apologetic.

    I also believe it is important to have a spiritual person with a solid understanding to keep you grounded. They have to be more than “spiritual” though. Someone who you can trust, who is not judgemental, who will not tarnish your reputation with their interpretation of what you say or believe (unintentional slander). Because if you do not having grounding, you could end up becoming a leader of your own cult! Thanks to my dear cousin over there in New York for being that safe space and imparting so much rationality and wisdom, a true gift of the Spirit.

  2. I probably don’t study the Bible as diligently as I could. However, having a daily devotion is the norm for me, and a good start to my day. Sometimes I revisit a lesson if it “spoke to me” deeply, and almost always, I try to apply what I learned in my life.
    40 Days is my most extensive Bible Study. Even if I don’t respond to a question, the questions always make me think. I also try to make what I learn a part of my life.

  3. I’ve been a member of ladies bible study group in my church here in Japan called IBS- International Bible study group. I’ve been in this group for 31 years now. Well, some years, I’m out of Japan due to my husband’s work ( there were sone years we’re away from Japan since we’ve lived in different countries ) but I still and always find a church wherever we live abroad, where I can find a women’s bible study group. When back in Japan of course I’m in my IBS group. I think studying with a group helps me to be consistent in studying the Bible. We meet every Wednesday from 10:30-12:00. We always have a book to discuss questions at every chapter and of course bible is our major reference. There are chapters from the book and related bible verses we need to read and reflect before the meeting so this adds up to my being consistent in reading/studying God’s word. This month we will finish our book”Gospel Foundations” volume 6, The Kingdom on Earth. When there was no Covid yet, we used to have potluck lunch on some special days , now our meetings are mostly by zoom meetings. I still find it very good to have bible study with my sisters even just by zoom, and studying with them for a long time now, makes me feel like I have a special group that aside from studying God’s word together, I feel I also have a group that is also my spiritual, emotional support. I especially like the second segment of our study , like after finishing the lesson, all members will be divided into groups of 3 or 4 members then we could discuss more and pray then at the end we go back to meet all the members for closing prayer and a short
    summary of what has been discussed for the day. I find it very encouraging and informative , as well as it helps me to grow spiritually.
    My most effective Bible study practices is first, I always read loudly to myself the scriptures to be discussed not only once, sometimes twice or more if I find it difficult to interpret , and then go back to it again when I start answering the assignment questions from the book we were discussing. Also, the leaders of my bible study group are always sharing links or other additional information to all the members, when certain questions need more explanation. Also, when we meet again the next time, before we start a new chapter or lesson from the book, the leader usually asks someone who can give a short background/ feedback of what has been discussed previously. I find those practices very good and really helpful.

  4. I join bible study groups which help me to remember and bring the Word alive, through preparation and sharing ,i gain different perspectives. n my personal prayer time may study a topic or if there is a specific need i look to what he word says about it. i pray the word and personaliize it to me in prayer.

  5. I really crave the time to study the bible like I should.
    I just listen and I pray that soon after my daughter is settled with her newborn and other child goes back to school I can get my quiet time.
    Pray that I do.
    Will read comments later .

  6. I have not been diligent in a Bible Study group. I know the importance of it and have made attempts to substitute with my own personal Bible Study but admittedly the fellowship, accountability and sharing the Word is missing.
    What has been the substitute are Apps like the Bible Recap and links like the Bible Resource and books that guide me through a book of the Bible.
    I need a Bible Study group 😊 I’ll make it a priority to find one.

  7. Do you study the Bible diligently (pray, take notes, review, seek help, put into practice, etc.)?

    In general, I am a diligent student of the Bible. It helps that one has the responsibility to teach tertiary level students with very inquiring minds and there are commitments to prepare messages for difference audiences.

    • What are some of your most effective Bible Study practices?
    Reading the text slowly and making observations regarding features in specific passages and books is rewarding. Phrases or statements that are repeated are important to the author. For instance, in the book of Ezekiel, the phrase “And you (or “they”) will know that I am the LORD” occurs on several occasions when God states a course of action against his own people or the nations in general. It is reasonable to then deduce that this phrase is important for the writer of that specific book. Or when reading the Books of the Pentateuch and Joshua, the writers refer to Moses as “the servant of God” on several occasions. Joshua is referred to as “the son of Nun” except toward the end of the Book of Joshua where he is given the title “Joshua the servant of the Lord”. The words themselves are not technical, but the writer uses the phrase in a special sense in the document.
    Further there are times one can observe a drastic change in tone in the biblical text, for instance, from lament to celebration such as in Psalm 22 and other places. One can re-read the passage in an effort to determine perhaps why there is a change of tone? where the change of tone started? and how it is expressed? At the application level, how might this impact on my life?

  8. At times I study the Bible diligently but at other times I simply read it without diligently delving into it.

    Waking up in the stillness of the very early morning (usually about 1 a.m.-3 a. m.) seems like a natural response to a built in spiritual alarm clock! That’s the most effective time for me for Bible study and worship as far back as I can recall. In a perfectly undisturbed “holy quietness” and “holy stillness” atmosphere with God, I find that praying and Bible reading draw me so much closer to God than at any other time so whether it’s meditating deeply on the Word, or writing notes or even poems based on a particular theme, or finding songs that support the text or even composing my own songs (and I’m not a musician!, please!), these help greatly in focusing on the Word Sometimes I read the text more than once, highlight high voltage truths that either “shock me” or those that are clinically soul searching. Invariably, I also write these in a notebook or on study cards to study (and I DO study them!). If unclear about anything, I seek the Lord and at times ask my personal theologian to explain or clarify matters. Sometimes I check online but find it’s not always the best approach as amidst the myriad of correct teachings/explanations, there are also incorrect and/or erroneous answers.

  9. There are some excellent suggestions embedded in these exceptional commentaries. Thanks to all of you! I am left with a question having read the suggestions. Why wouldn’t the study habits that we learned for school apply for Bible study as well? For example, avoid distractions, take notes including about things that are not clear, read slowly and re-read. You may note that I am simply paraphrasing some of the successful methods raised before. Of course, we should ensure that we pray for God’s guidance. After all the Holy Spirit is our teacher. There is so much for us to learn and as Anthony said in the first commentary of the day, “That’s what makes his word so exciting”.

  10. Because of Covid our bible group is no longer active as apparently the zoom was too much etc.
    I find that discouraging so need to look for another group as it keeps me in the Word.
    Left to me alone I don’t get very far.

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