Improving Personal Bible Study (Part 1)
It's been said that if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. However, if you teach him to fish, he'll never go hungry. In my opinion, gospel preachers and teachers should strive to do both. They should first endeavor to supply their listeners with a full plate of the bread of life in the classroom and from the pulpit (i.e., give their listeners plenty of "fish"). Secondly, they should encourage disciples to take it upon themselves to dig into the word on their own also and help them develop the skills to do such effectively (i.e., teach their listeners how to "fish"). I believe that if a follower of Christ is taught how to "fish" (i.e., how to study and interpret God's word), he will always be able to feed himself spiritually, even if he finds himself in the undesirable position of being unable to receive a good diet of God's word where he worships.

All of the lessons on Audio Evangelism are intended to supply jewels of truth from God's word to those who are eager to listen. Some lessons present simple truths from the milk of God's word, others are more meaty, dealing with advanced subjects (cf. Heb. 5:12-14). However, some lessons, like this one and the two that will follow it, focus more on sharing principles or ideas to help truth seekers be better equipped to feed themselves.

Does the following sound familiar to you: "I would study more, but I do not get anything out of it. I just cannot seem to understand what I read, and what I do understand, I cannot remember"? If that describes your personal study life, then I entreat you to pay extra close attention to the lessons in this series. If that describes someone you know, please share these lessons with them.

Anyone who desires to improve their personal Bible study efforts can do so--the first step is desire! True disciples should want to learn God's divinely revealed word and grow in the knowledge of it daily, but some simply don't know how. Perhaps they have tried to read the Bible through from beginning to end but became bogged down and burned out. I believe that Bible study is the lifeblood of a Christian since faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). I also believe that it is best for us to do whatever is necessary to learn how to make our Bible study time profitable and soul-strengthening.

If you struggle to have meaningful personal studies in God's word, I recommend that you try implementing the following twelve suggestions proposed by Allen Webster:

I believe it is best to spend a little extra to get a Bible you can keep for a lifetime (i.e., one with a good genuine leather cover instead of one that is inferior in quality). The first Bible that I started using for in-depth personal studies nearly ten years ago is the same one I am still using today. However, it is made of cheap, bonded leather and is falling apart. Why don't I simply get rid of it and purchase a better quality one? I would gladly do so, if it weren't for all the hours of work I've put into this one (i.e., marginal references, notes, etc.). For now, I'm satisfied simply trying to care for it to the best of my ability (including doing repair work on the binding) to help it to last as long as possible. Had I known then what I do now, I would have started with a good leather cover Bible! Anyway, learn from my experience. Additionally, you would be wise to get a Bible with easy-to-read print (your eyesight will not get any better). It is very important to get a reliable translation (the New King James Version and the English Standard Version are among the best when it comes to accurate modern translations). Also, make sure the Bible you get comes with adequate study helps (i.e., a concordance, a dictionary, and maps).

Lord willing, we will continue considering these suggestions tomorrow.