2. SET ASIDE A SPECIFIC TIME FOR STUDY EACH DAY.
Personalities differ, and therefore each should choose his own best time for daily study. Some like to get up early and study before work. Others like to study on their lunch hour. Many choose to retire early at night to a quiet place. The main thing is to study at the same time each day. Make your Bible study a habit. The Bereans studied daily and are a great example for us (Acts 17:11). Bad habits are hard to break, but so are good ones! Do not let anything keep you from your Bible study on any day. Be zealous for it and selfish about it. If you don't have this attitude toward daily study, it will become easy for you to never open your Bible at all--except maybe when you're assembled for Bible class or worship. Such is a tragedy in the lives of most twenty-first century Christians! What a shame to have the words of life at one's fingertips and yet so many choose not to tap into its power daily! Many Christians are not able to rightly interpret the word of truth because they are not diligent students of the word! May it not be so with you (II Tim. 2:15)!
3. STUDY FOR A SET AMOUNT OF TIME.
Study for as long as you can keep your mind on it each day. Many choose to study for thirty minutes at a time. Others enjoy a full hour. Some find that fifteen minutes of concentrated study two or three times a day is best for them. Decide that you will study for at least a certain number of minutes each day, but take heed that you do not become a clock watcher when studying! If you end up studying longer, that's okay!
4. STUDY SITTING OR STANDING.
Some fall into the trap of reading while reclining in bed just before falling to sleep. This is a disadvantage to concentration and learning for almost everyone. A good friend of mine has shared in the past that he sometimes reads in bed--or should I say, he tries to read in bed while laying on his back and holding the book up in the air over his head. Once whatever book he is attempting to read hits him in the face three times, he calls it a night and goes to bed. I can certainly relate. I've tried reading in bed before also and have caught myself dozing off repeatedly. It would have been more productive for me to go to sleep and simply read first thing in the morning. If you do choose to study late at night, it is better to study sitting at a desk or even standing beside a table or counter. It is hard to fall asleep while standing up! I had to resort to this method to get through lengthy college reading assignments in history. I wasn't terribly interested in the subject and found it too easy to drift off due to sleep deprivation (even while sitting down). Eventually, I disciplined myself to read while holding the book in my hands and pacing back and forth across my room. It worked for me. Hopefully, such drastic measures will not be necessary for you to study the Bible!
5. STUDY IN THE SAME PLACE.
Choose a quiet place away from the television, telephone, children, radio, and all other distractions. This may seem nearly impossible at first, but with some effort, you can create such a place in your home. It is best to study in the same place because familiar surroundings provide fewer distractions.
We will conclude this series tomorrow.