There is a difference between Bible study and reading. Maybe you a new Christian or you haven’t been in your Bible for so long you don’t even know where to begin. I’m hoping to help you see the difference between the two.
Imagine ice cream for a second. Ice cream is amazing and we should all have it in our diets, right? Follow me. You can eat it bite by bite with toppings galore making it as fancy as you wish. You can savor it and take it all in and enjoy every bite. Or you blend it and drink it as a milkshake. You can drink it fast or slow. You don’t have to even drink it all. You enjoy it just as much but it’s in a different form than in a bowl with a spoon. But they’re both still ice cream. At the end of the day, you’re eating ice cream. Same is true with the Bible, anyway that you enjoy it you getting into your soul. At the end of the day, it’s still the Bible just as ice cream is still ice cream whether we put on toppings or blend it up.
Both Bible study and Bible reading have their place in our Christian walk. We should have a healthy diet of each. So let’s take a look at what each one means.
Bible reading is like a milkshake. It’s up to you to read it all. Bible reading is just reading the Bible, no fancy tools, no commentaries, no timeline or checklists to keep up with. It’s just you and the Lord reading a good book together. You can read it slowly cover to cover, jump around, read it quickly. It’s just taking it in and letting the words change your life.
Should you still walk away from the Bible reading with something applicable? Certainly! But that is so easy to do without a Bible study plan pointing it out.
You can write things down or not, you can read at your pace in your own order. Don’t underestimate how good it is simple just read your Bible as you would a good novel from your favorite author.
Bible study is adding all the toppings to your ice cream. Whipped cream, Reese pieces, bananas, caramel, cookie dough or whatever else strikes your fancy. There are so many options. Something for everyone and the possibilities are endless. The same is true for Bible study.
Bible study is exactly that-it’s studying God’s word at a more in-depth level. You can take it in more slowly, piece by piece. You are researching things out, looking up definitions, commentaries, cross-referencing. You can do so many different studies. You can be in a local small group or online studies. The sky is the limit when it comes to Bible study. You can even Bible journal is that up your alley.
You should stop studying your Bible (LINK) if you are constantly doing them. Word studies and even topic studies are great to do, it helps develop a better understanding of the scriptures, you grow in your faith and relationship with God. Bible studies are powerful and beneficial.
So why am I saying to stop? Because they can inhibit your Bible reading. Do you know the feeling of having a good book that you can’t put down? The excitement over getting time to read it, becoming a fangirl of a specific author and being eager for any releases are all part of being a reader. Well, you can experience all of those same feelings when it comes to the Bible but we deprive ourselves of that when aren’t reading it. You can’t fall in love with the author if you aren’t reading his work. The more that you read the more you will want to read it. The whole Bible was written for our benefit, for our growth, as an example for us to live by. When only doing Bible studies we are depriving ourselves of these benefits.
So whether you fancy up for your ice cream and Bible time, that’s up to you. It’s still good to get into your diet on a daily basis. Well, I guess some can argue that maybe we shouldn’t eat ice cream on a daily basis but then I’d wonder if we should be friends at all.