(Scroll to blue button near end of post for free download.)
I struggle out of bed every morning in frustrated denial that a new day has already begun. I mumble to myself as I put on my slippers and head downstairs, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. Ten minutes later, I’ll have lunches packed and a cup of freshly-brewed coffee in hand–which improves my mood considerably! And then I pull out my Bible for some quiet time with God.
I love these quiet moments, before the hurry of the day settles in, when I can simply sit in the presence of my Father and listen to Him speak. Sometimes, my heart feels like it will burst with gratitude as my Bible reading offers just the insight or encouragement I needed. But other days? Well, sometimes I stare at the words on the page and just wonder how they’re supposed to connect with my reality. I keep sipping the coffee–hoping the caffeine will kick my brain cells in gear and help me pull out nuggets of truth–but nothing emerges.
I used to feel anxious about these days, convinced there was some shortcoming on my part making me miss the point. But now I’ve come to realize that these lackluster Bible study moments are part of the journey, too. God’s word doesn’t always shout directly into our circumstances–sometimes it leaves us wondering. And that’s okay too.
One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that when I start feeling a little “dry,” it can help to switch things up in my devotions. I’ll try a new Bible reading plan, a Bible study book by a different author, or a different Bible study method. And the change in perspective will open me up to the Bible in a new and fresh way.
This is something I’m trying to teach my kids, too: There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to Bible study. The important thing is that we keep taking the time to open it up and listen for God’s voice. And if we’re struggling to connect to the Word, it’s not a sign of failure–it just might mean it’s time to try something new.
Today, I thought I’d share one of the Bible study methods I recently developed while writing a Fruit of the Spirit study. My goal was to help families have meaningful conversations about godly character–while also digging into God’s Word. And as a former English major, I couldn’t resist coming up with a Bible study acronym for “FRUIT!”
I used this FRUIT method as I wrote about the fruits of the Spirit–but I believe it can work well for studying any part of God’s Word. It’s a great way to go beyond a simple reading of a passage, and to dig deeper for the ways God wants to help us grow.
Here’s what the letters stand for, step by step:
F = Fill : The first step is a simple prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill your heart and guide you as you study the Bible today.
R = Read : Read through the Bible passage you’ve chosen to study that day.
U = Understand : Take time to really notice what the passage is saying: What are the main points or events that happen? How would you describe the main idea in your own words? Does it raise any questions you don’t understand? (It’s okay to admit what we don’t understand and ask God questions about what we read!)
T – Try : What is one idea you can try in order to put this verse into practice?
Acronyms make things easy to remember, and I hope this one will give you a simple approach that helps you grow in God’s Word. And if you’re a mama who desires to pass your faith on to your kids (or grandkids!), I think it’s a great tool to help kids study God’s Word too!
(*If you’d like a great tool to teach this study method to your family–and also help your kids grow in godly character traits amidst our not-so-godly culture–I encourage you to check out my Fruit of the Spirit study. It offers helpful Bible verse references, great discussion questions, summaries, Scripture cards, and more to help you put the FRUIT method in action with your family.)
But I also wanted to share a simple, free printable version of the FRUIT Bible study that you can use for yourself or your kids when you’re studying any part of God’s Word. The free downloadable study sheet explains each step of the “FRUIT” Bible study and leaves empty spaces where you can write down the things you’re learning along the way.
You can grab this free printable by clicking on the blue button below.
(Downloads are only available to More Like Grace subscribers: By clicking the download button below, you consent to OPT-IN to our email newsletter with monthly encouragement and freebie news. Unsubscribe any time.)
I hope this handy sheet gives you a fresh new way to approach your Bible study time. And I’m praying God will meet you there, in the pages of His Word, as you faithfully study. But whether you’re blessed with clear insight today or you’re left with a few questions, may you remember the deeper reality that happens every time we turn to the Bible--God is with us, speaking to us, sharing His story with us. And that should remind us how very deeply we’re loved, whether we understand every syllable or not.