I was challenged yesterday to consider my most meaningful experience with God’s Word. I don’t know about you, but that’s not an easy question for me to answer. There have been many times when I have been challenged by God’s Word and had meaningful experiences in a variety of ways. Maybe you’ve never given this much thought, but today I want to share five ways you can engage with God’s Word. It’s from an old acrostic I learned many years ago called “God’s HEART in Your Hand.”
Hear God’s Word. I have been challenged, convicted and gained Bible knowledge by hearing God’s Word preached or spoken. Romans 10:14 says, “And how can they believe without hearing about him?” I’m not necessarily an auditory learner and our minds tend to wander when someone teaches for a lengthy amount of time, but Scripture says we can engage the Bible when we hear it. Just yesterday, I heard a teacher who engaged with a passage for more than an hour, and I couldn’t write notes fast enough. I was truly engaged, and it was a meaningful experience.
Examine God’s Word. Over the years, there have been many “aha” moments when I’ve taken the time to study and examine the Word of God. Whether it was completing a Bible study, preparing to teach a Sunday School lesson, or just receiving a personal word to my existing circumstance, digging deeply into Scripture is meaningful. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness.”
Apply God’s Word. You may not realize how application and a meaningful experience with the Bible work together, but the Bible becomes meaningful when you put it into practice. It becomes more than words on a page. It becomes life—the way you live and proclaim Christ to the world. James 1:22 reminds us, “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Remember God’s Word. If I were totally honest, the most meaningful way I’ve engaged Scripture is through memorization. During my freshman year of college, I took a supplemental class in January that was advertised as evangelism. Little did I know the professor’s goal was for all of us to hide God’s Word in our hearts so we could use it to share our faith. To pass the class, we had to memorize 188 verses in just three weeks. It seemed monumental (and still does), but at the end of three weeks I sat in a classroom with empty notebooks and wrote out Scriptures for almost three hours. Nothing has changed my engagement with Scripture the way that class did. As Psalms 119:11 says, “I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.”
Think on God’s Word. Another way to describe this is meditating on God’s Word. It is going further than hearing or examining. It is considering God’s words on a continual basis and learning how to “chew” on them for a considerable amount of time. Thinking on God’s Word is using your brain to process the depth and richness of Scripture. It is when you encounter a circumstance and Scripture is brought to your mind. It is knowing how to share the Good News with others because it dwells richly in you and becomes your compass for living. Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.”
The most meaningful way you can merge this principles into your life is through biblical community. Whether it’s in a group on Sunday morning, a home group, or however you meet with others to study God’s Word, you can incorporate all five. How? When you are engaged in biblical community you should be hearing God’s Word, studying it together, applying it through service, challenging one another to memorize it, and meditating on it for life.
I’m curious. What about you? Share your most meaningful engagement with the Bible. I’d love to know!
Kelly King is the Women’s Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources and oversees the YOU Lead events. Join her this year and get to know her heart for ministry leaders. Follow her on Twitter @kellydking.