Studying scripture passages day by day, month by month and year by year can be challenging. You've tried waking up early to study; you've tried studying right before bed. No matter how you cut it, consistency is difficult. You know you can't live off of bread alone (Matthew 4:4), and it's true. Here are a few different methods you might want to try to spice up your study session.
1. Rewrite them
Start reading where ever you want, but as you read, try rewriting the passages as you would have written them. This forces you to pay attention to the details of the original text, but to also apply them to yourself. As you rewrite, add your personal thoughts into the margins of both the original and rewritten passages.
2. Art them
For every chapter you read (or as often as you'd like) create a work of art depicting a major theme or plot point. Paint, draw, computer animate — try whatever floats your boat!
3. Translate them
Know another language? Try reading passages in one language and then translate them on paper or orally into another language you know or are trying to learn. You'll notice how important some of those little words are to the story.
4. Make an audiobook
Get your family together and assign each person in the family a character in the chapter or book you're reading. Develop a specific voice for each character. Make audio recordings of your family study and pretty soon you'll have developed an invaluable family study audio album. If you're especially energetic and vocally coordinated, you may even be able to pull this one off for your individual study.
5. Create your all-star list
Every once in a while you run into a passage that you find especially moving or applicable to your life. Write it down! Catalog those passages along with why they were so impactful to you at the time you read them. As you go back through your list of all-star verses in the future, you may find personal meaning in them in different ways than you had in the past.
6. Create inspirational memes
You've seen them before while you scroll through your Facebook and Instagram feeds. Read a chapter (or however much you'd like) and create a text meme out of a major theme of the chapter, or a specific message that touched you while you studied. Share them with your friends, keep a digital journal of them or even print them out and stick them right on the page next to their corresponding passages, or somewhere around your house for extra inspiration.
7. Create topic webs
Thoughtfully decide on a specific topic you'd like to learn more about (grace, faith, prayer, etc.) and pick apart passages until you conquer your topic. In a study journal, link similar scripture passages pertaining to that topic in spider-web format. When you're satisfied with one topic, review your web and see what other topics your web may lead to that you can research next. Next time you need to know or share anything about that topic you'll have a personal scriptural index waiting for you.
8. Study by location
Identify a location from passages that interests you (Bethlehem, Galilee, Corinth, etc.) and learn everything you can about that place in both a scriptural and modern context. Find pictures of that location online. Wikipedia will work wonders for you. Bring your study to life with your new knowledge of scriptural geography, history and culture.
9. Write character profiles
Make a glossary of scripture characters for yourself and your family. If the Apostle Paul had a Facebook profile, what would his About section say? Include everything you think is important to know about that character (Name, age, family, occupation, personal traits, etc).
10. Mix & Match
Be creative! Combine any of these ideas together, create your own variation or make a different list of ideas. The most important thing is that you find a method you enjoy. Find what works for you to help you get the most from your study.