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Years ago, I signed up for my first church group Bible study and wow- was I excited! I purchased my materials and soaked up every word of the video that week. Following the class, my homework was completed ahead of schedule. I could hardly wait for Tuesday to come around again. Who could be more exuberant?
And then week 2 came around. My son had an ear infection and kept everyone up all night. The Bible study homework just seemed too much to cram in the days he wasn’t needing Mommy’s constant attention and I didn’t get the work completed. While I felt embarrassed to return to the small group with incomplete work, I forced myself to show up at the table and face the other ladies. Though they passed no judgment on my frank announcement of failure, I wanted to crawl under the table. The perfectionist in me was feeling much less exuberant at this point.
But week 3 came and I determined to push ahead. Only my daughter experienced a few days of unhappy bowels and I spent three days pushing Gatorade and washing clothes….Week 3 homework “went to pot.”
I’m guessing you’ve been there- you signed up for a Bible study and then, life happened and you didn’t get it done. You tried, you made a good effort, but instead of feeling great through the study of God’s Word, you beat yourself up because you couldn’t finish the course. Today I wanted to share a few tips on getting over this hump- 7 tips for completing a Bible study.
1. Remember that you can do all things through Christ. Phil. 4:13
He will give you the ability to complete a Bible study- you can believe it.
2. Divide the Bible study homework into smaller segments.
Doing half a day of homework in the morning and half in the early afternoon or evening can be a great way to utilize smaller segments of time, especially if you have young children.
3. Remind yourself that what you are doing is not easy, but well worth all your efforts.
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:25
4. Claim a verse to maintain your focus on why you want to do the study.
This could be a verse God has used in the study or a verse that serves as a reminder. Here’s a possibility:
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Heb. 10:23
5. Have an accountability partner or group.
Whether the study is online, at church, or in your community, having someone with whom you can freely chat about the study is a great tool to completing the course.
6. Make a plan for completing the study.
I personally have a little tradition of having the group meet for ice cream after the last session is complete. Truly, ice cream is a gift from God. 🙂 Along with coffee and chocolate, but I digress.
7. Recognize the special ways God is speaking to your heart through the study.
Maybe highlighting certain verses or phrases with a colored highlighter is a quick visual reminder for how God is working in your heart. Perhaps you keep a running list of phrases or sentences in the back cover of the book. Whatever method you choose, I recommend keeping a summary list of points of what you are learning.
And now I’d love to know:
What do you do to insure that you complete a Bible study with your whole heart? Will you share your experiences with us?