God’s word is not dry or boring. In fact, Hebrews 4:12 describes it as ALIVE, ACTIVE, and POWERFUL.
But let’s be honest, sometimes it is none of those things to us. The way we interact with the Bible can become stale or mundane, even (should I say it?) boring.
When that happens, it’s probably time to change things up a bit so you can interact with His word in a fresh way. Below are five simple ways to get more from God’s word by trying something new (or rediscovering an old favorite).
Five simple ways to get more from God’s word:
Listen to it.
Do you realize the Bible was written mainly to be read aloud publicly? (Don’t believe me? Check out Deut 31:10-11, I Timothy 4:13, Colossians 4:16) I know there were practical, technological and logistical reasons for this but there is something about listening that engages you differently than reading alone. This is one of my favorite ways to change things up.
I’ve found that using different senses activates different areas of the brain. So whether you are an auditory learner or not, listening to the Bible will allow you to discover things you wouldn’t otherwise. Try it and see!
>>> My favorite tool for listening is The Daily Audio Bible.<<<
Try Verse Mapping.
This is a fun way to dig into a short passage of Scripture. In this exercise, you will identify and define key words and concepts, think about the context of a passage, clarify the main theme or point, and apply the scripture to your life. It’s a great way to go deep.
>>>For step by step instructions and an example of how to verse map, see my post Verse Mapping: How to Unlock the Scriptures here. <<<
Do a Word Study.
If I hear the words “word study” in a conversation, you can bet I’ll be eavesdropping! I LOVE word studies and have done them for many years. The treasures that can be uncovered through the simple process of doing a word study are absolutely beyond imagination. If you’ve never done one, you’re in for a real treat. And if you have done one but it’s been awhile, why not go treasure hunting again?
>>>You can find a list of 31 Amazing Words Every Christian Should Study here. It’s a fantastic list!<<<
Try a Topical Study.
Likewise, topical studies are another great – and fun- way to get more from God’s word. The great thing about a topical study is the variety. It’s endless! If there is something you are struggling with in your life, relationships, emotions, etc, do a topical study on it! This is perhaps the best way to find the motivation to get back in God’s word if you’ve fallen off. By studying something you’re interested in, you’re most likely to do it :)
Improve Your Meditation Skills.
Now I know the word “meditation” sends some folks into a fright but may I remind everyone that it is a biblical word? Meditation is not only in Scripture, it’s a spiritual discipline God promises will bring great reward (see Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1 for starters).
And let’s face it: some days and in some seasons, we truly don’t have the time for an hour long quiet time where we dive into the Bible, do our word and topical studies, complete our pretty little verse maps, and listen to our daily version of the Bible on audio.
We’re doing good not to kill an offspring.
For these days and seasons, meditation is your best friend. You can take it anywhere; You don’t need any supplies; and you don’t even need a cleared, clean spot at the table for your open Bible. You just need one verse (or even just a phrase!) to chew on and cling to with all your might.
When my kids were toddlers, meditation was my daily bread. It’s how I survived. There was no time for feasting in the word, it was minute by minute manna… if you know what I mean. My youngest is now eight :( so I’m in a different season… but I’ve been doing a lot more meditating again recently. It is such a powerful way to connect with God and allow Him to nourish you directly from His hand.
As I got back to meditating on Scripture, I realized not many people are being taught HOW to meditate. Deep thinking has become so rare in our high-tech, easily distracted society. I’m afraid it’s becoming a lost art, which is a true pity. So I have a post on HOW to meditate scheduled to release soon that explains exactly how to take one simple verse and draw from it’s nourishing well all day long via meditation.
You’ll have to stay tuned for that… it’s coming soon!
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