Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

10 Practical Points on How to Pursue the Truth

12 Practical Points on How to Pursue the Truth

Are you looking for some practical help to enrich your Bible study, to show you how to pursue the truth in God’s word?

If so,  I’d encourage you to keep reading. That’s because in this post I’ll  share with you ten practical points that I’ve found helpful in getting the most out of my own time studying God’s word.

In this follow-on post to 4 Reasons to Pursue the Truth in the Bible this Year, I’ll give you some steps to make that vision practical in your daily life. If you didn’t get a chance to read that post you might want read it first. It’s the vision that motivates the practice.

But to summarize, I first pointed out that getting into the truth is God’s desire for us. He wants us all to come to the full knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4). Second, I indicated that upholding the divine truth is a basic function of the church, that is, to be “the pillar and base of the truth” (3:15). Third, I mentioned that holding to truth enables us to grow up in Christ (Eph. 4:15). Finally, I pointed out that pursuing the truth equips us to serve the Lord (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

But how can we practice pursuing the truth in such a way so that the divine reality becomes our inner constitution? Let me share what I’ve been practicing in my daily life…

10 Practical Points on How to Pursue the Truth

Let’s  start with the preparations…

1.  Set apart some daily time to pursue the truth.

This requires a conscious decision, planning and scheduling.

The most basic thing in how to pursue the truth is to set apart some regular time in your day to get into God’s word. That’s because this noble undertaking requires endurance. To be constituted with the divine truth in the Bible is little by little, so it requires a long term commitment.

This means that we need to come to God’s word when we feel like it and when we don’t. It’s very important to keep our time especially when we “don’t feel like it.” Keeping our set apart time builds up a habit that is very effective for the long run. Then we’ll feel that something is wrong if we don’t keep our scheduled time in God’s word.

2. Aim for a consistent amount of time each day–for example, one time of  30 minutes or 3 times of 10 minutes, etc.

I’ve found that a shorter, daily time works best for me. This makes it easier to build up my habit. Also, I find it helpful to keep track of my time. I aim for 30 minutes for a study session.

This is especially helpful when my time is tight or I don’t feel like it. I still “check in”–recording the amount of time I spend in God’s word for the day.

But sometimes I may run over a little bit when I’m really enjoying something in the Word. At other times I may also need to cut the time short–to 1o-15 minutes. But I find it’s best to still “check in,” to spend the shorter time and to record it. This keeps my habit going.

3. Prepare your study tools–a good study Bible with other helpful resources.

I’m happy to tell you about the best “opener” I’ve found–the Holy Bible Recovery Version with footnotes and its companion commentary, Life-study of the Bible by Witness Lee, which is freely available to read online.

When I’m going through a book I like to have my Bible open and my Life-studies next to it. It’s like appreciating some beautiful scenery with the help of a tour guide.

4. Keep a notebook or an electronic note-taking program to keep your study notes.

Personally, I use Evernote to keep my Bible study notes. It’s a great tool for summarizing crucial points gathered from electronic publications.  It’s a good complement to use with the Bible and ministry publications on my tablet.

It’s great because, it makes it practical for me to do some serious Bible study almost anywhere–for example, on a plane with no wireless connection.

Now let’s get into the practice…

In coming to the Lord’s word, I’ve found it helps to have some form of structure.

In athletics or other form of training, you might speak positively of your “routine” for how you work out. The following points are the structure that helps me to get more from my daily time in God’s word. Of course, you may need to adjust some things according to your situation.

5. I like to pray first to prepare my heart to meet the Lord.

This doesn’t mean that you need to pray a long prayer. Simply turn your heart to the Lord, open to Him, and ask Him to meet you in your time in His word. You may tell the Lord that you love Him and want to spend this time with Him, to behold Him (2 Cor. 3:16-18).

6. Next, I read the Bible verses I’m going to study and pray-read  a few of them.

Chewing on some of the key verses before you start your study will provide you with spiritual nourishment. In 1 Timothy 4:6, Paul emphasized this point to his young co-worker Timothy,

If you lay these things before the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, being nourished with the words of the faith and of the good teaching which you have closely followed.

“Being nourished” can also be rendered “nourishing yourself.” The primary thing is not the knowledge but the nourishment. It’s this nourishment that supplies us to grow in Christ, to live the Christian life.

7. I study the Scripture text, with the help of an “opener”–the Recovery Version with its outlines and footnotes plus the related life-study messages.

Along with the Recovery Version study Bible, I use the companion study, Life-study of the Bible by Witness Lee. It leads me through each chapter of the Bible pointing out the crucial items of truth as well as precious aspects and experiences of Christ.  It also provides some practical applications of how to apply Christ to our experience.

8. While reading, I like to highlight the points that impress me in the Scripture and related life-study message and make notes of them.

I like to use Evernote to collect my notes on the points that impress me in my study.  To solidify what I’ve received, I like to make an outline from what I have highlighted.

If your time doesn’t permit, I’d encourage you to at least try to summarize what you’ve received in a short paragraph.

9. I like to conclude my study by praying over what I’ve received.

Whether it’s a prayer of appreciation for the Christ I’ve seen, a confession of my own shortage, or a petition for those I feel also need what I’ve received…it’s good to conclude with prayer.

It may only be one small point of  truth…but our response in prayer turns it from mere knowledge to spirit and life to us (John 6:63).

10. Finally, I try to speak what I’ve received with another believer.

For a better digestion and assimilation of God’s word, I’ve found it’s most helpful to find another believer that I can speak what I’ve received from my study (Col. 3:16).

Doing this once or twice a week can really solidify what you’ve enjoyed from your study. Speaking it will put it into your long term memory and stir up your appetite to continue pursuing the truth.

As a concluding note–don’t try to go too fast.

Remember the story of the tortoise and hare. It’s the tortoise that wins the race. So take the slow, steady way that you can sustain for many years and you’ll receive a life-long benefit.

If you’ve been helped by any point in this post, I hope you’ll share it in a confirming comment.


About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

6 Replies

  1. Rose Rowe-Taylor

    Great help bro Tom and thank you. Pursuing the truth in such a structured way is empowering and after a while it becomes more of a delight than duty. Surely endurance is needed to contiinue steadfastly.

    1. Tom Smith

      That’s right. When we give ourselves to the process of being daily reconstituted with the reality in God’s word, the delight will come when we don’t expect it. However, if there is only inspiration to motivate, but no compelling vision or practical structure, our practice will quickly deteriorate. That’s why I have to reaffirm that the slow and enduring way has the most promise for the long run. Thanks again for a confirming comment.

  2. J. Cagle

    What a wonderfully practical help for our daily Christian walk! May we all pursue the truth with endurance and be constituted little by little and day by day to consummate God’s purpose.

    1. Tom Smith

      Amen. My testimony has just been one of “little by little and day by day”…but in the long run it adds up. Gradually our receiving the riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8) from God’s word will result in the fullness of God, that is, in God’s expression. This is to meet His need, not just ours. My our pursuing the truth be uplifted to that of “consummating God’s purpose.” This gives us a much more weighty reason to continue our pursuing even when we “don’t feel like it.” Thanks for your confirming comment.

  3. Fred Northrup

    Thank you Tom. You might call this, “Ten Practical Points on How to Freely Eat the Tree of Life.” Very practical and beneficial.

    1. Tom Smith

      Amen! Yes, that it the point. Bringing Bible study, truth pursuit, into the realm of the tree of life so we don’t just gain knowledge but gain more of the Lord Himself, not just to know about Him, but to know Him subjectively. Thanks for making the emphasis clear.

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