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In the beginning stages of our faith, we are often looking to be led in the word which is perfectly understandable. For many of us, we have heard bits and pieces of the Bible, but when we finally dig in, we need a lot of help learning the stories, deciphering how much stuff we’ve actually learned out of context and the like. As we grow in our faith, we begin to realize that all though it’s great to be taught the word of God from Pastors and leaders in the church that there is a whole lot more work that we need to do on our end. That work involves learning to study the word for ourselves.
I always tell people that it is funny how this ancient book still has the answers to every relevant human experience that we will go through. People think that the world is so different these days when really many of the same things are going on that were happening thousands of years ago. Sure there was no internet or twitter beefs, but there were wars and debauchery happening all over. It always gives me this sense of connection with the people that came before me knowing that they too knew what it was like to struggle with discipline or to be anxious for things or to be uncertain whether they were in the right place at the right time. All things that get touched upon all throughout the Bible.
So, studying the word for yourself can really seem like this daunting task right? Am I the only one who thought that immediately meant reading the Bible from cover to cover? Okay, that’s fine. But in either case, that’s not necessarily what you have to do, unless somehow that seems really inviting to you. However, the bottom line is that you have to get to know God’s word for yourself. It is our weapon of warfare and you will find times in your life where you won’t want to have to look it up or ask someone else, you will want to have that word inside of you so that you can come against the many curves of life.
And it doesn’t have to be hard! You know how I began to start trying to study the word for myself? I just started writing down scriptures that stuck out to me. Most of us will have certain things that speak to us in the word. It’s for a reason too. Those may be the areas that we need to work on and so when we hear it our ears really perk up. I have a huge jumbo journal strictly devoted to important scriptures to me. And I just write them down as they come. I am always telling people that the action of writing something down with pen and paper is a powerful step in actually being able to remember it. Write down the great scriptures that you hear and that way you will begin to remember by writing and you will always have them to go back to without necessarily having to find your way in the Bible.
In that same book, I also write confessions based off scripture. I talked about that in a blog post before. Writing down a confession that’s rooted in the word also helps me remember them! For instance, “I will not be anxious for anything, but I will always pray.” That’s the confession. But it is rooted in the scripture Philippians 4:6 which says “Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.” I will always remember Philippians 4:6 because it is something that I am constantly repeating in a confession.
Also, reading is a big one! I know everyone is not an avid reader which I don’t even comprehend because I am such a bookworm, however, read a Christian book! I have found so much understanding in reading books from the likes of Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen and others that I can’t even tell you how valuable it is. They always have scripture references and so I will grab my journal and record them down and sometimes write their examples of how it applies as well. It’s simple and it’s right there for you!
In that same vein, devotionals are great! A devotional will most often have scripture, an explanation and maybe even space for you to meditate on it. And you can get them right on your PHONE these days. No excuse. I love reading plans from She Reads Truth and from the You Version Bible app! Just pick one and each day you will have some word to fill up on. I’ll also have a Growing Into Grace devotional coming soon in March! Be sure you are signed up for the For Dreamers Only newsletter.
In either case, there are SOOO many ways that you can get engaged in God’s word. And it’s really a matter of life and death. We don’t have time to get caught out there. We have to be prepared. We have to really be able to get the word in our hearts so that it’s the only thing that comes out! I remember a Pastor, I think it may have been TD Jakes who talked about when you’re driving in a car and about to get in an accident, most of us would say something like “Oh, explicative.” He said “What about saying something that could actually save you like “Jesus help!” When we fill ourselves up with the word of God that is most often what will come out in times of need, in times when we need to comfort someone, in times when we need to pray, and in times when we are facing adversity.
Click to Tweet/// When we fill ourselves up with the word of God, that is what will come out in our times of need.
It’s not about being able to spew Bible verses to people to show that you are some kind of “Good” Christian. It’s about getting to know God and the way to do that best is by knowing what it is he said. His word is the truth. It’s also a seed and when we plant it in our hearts, what will blossom will be truly something to see. It doesn’t have to be spooky or weird, just start step by step and begin to see how much can change in your life when you get to know the word for yourself!
Scriptures to Reference:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. John 3:21
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalms 119:11
Tell me, what are some other methods that you use for studying the word of God? What do you find most effective?