by Goh Eck Kheng
adapted from Internet resources
The Bible tells us the importance of filling our lives with scripture. Consider just these few of many passages about this.
2 Tim 3:16
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Col 3: 16a
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
So we spend time daily to silently read the Bible, listening for God’s voice as He speaks to us through the scriptures. But let’s admit it, sometimes it is hard to concentrate and focus on the words on the page or screen, much less allow God to make scripture come alive in our lives.
Here are other ways of engaging scripture to be refreshed, learn, meditate and keep it in sight.
Reading scripture out loud is different from silent reading. Vocalising helps you focus, see and recall. It prevents you from skimming over passages. Read a verse several times, emphasising different key words each time will help you to realise the nuances of the passage. Listening to yourself speak truths can be a powerful experience. Try reading aloud with someone else or in a group. Read the passage in unison or take turns, even responsively. Afterwards each one may share what the passage means to him or her.
TURN BIBLE READING INTO PRAYER
Do you struggle with disciplined Bible reading and consistent prayer? Here’s one solution for both struggles – use the words of Scripture as your personal prayer. The Psalms is an obvious book to turn to for this as it is filled with the praises, confessions, entreaties and other heart-felt expressions of the psalmists. According to your needs and situation, turn to the psalms of praise, the psalms of protection, the psalms of blessings, those of lament, victory and those that tell God how we love Him.
Psalm 95:2 tells us to ‘extol him [God] with music and song’. Col 3:16b tells us to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God with gratitude in our hearts. This is what inspired and motivated the hymn writers of old and still inspires the song writers for the Church today. They have set biblical truth in music for us to worship, edify the body of Christ and help us remember scripture. Search the Internet for Scriptures in song and make yourself a playlist that you can listen and sing along to all the day long.
Memory verses are not just for Sunday School children. See how the first part of Duet 6:6-7 supports the second and third parts: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." When we hide God’s Word in our hearts, we are blessed (Psalm 119:1); we can fight temptation (v9); we will strengthen our faith (v28); we have freedom (v45); and we obtain wisdom for living life (v105). Start by memorising short and familiar verses.
WRITE AND POST IT
Deut 6 continues with God’s command’s concerning scripture in vs 9 “...Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” So, apply another method that meets two needs with one action. Spend time to write scripture, turning them in to posters that you can put up at home to edify yourself and family members. You can also prayerfully choose verses to write out as gifts to bless others. Copying and journaling scripture is yet another method. Copy a verse of passage each morning, keep it in your heart all day long and journal your experiences and thoughts about it at night.
James 1:22 cannot put it more clearly: ‘Do not merely listen to the word… Do what it says.’
The most effective to engage with Scripture is to do what it says! Be obedient to God’s word when you make decisions. Let it shape your values. Make it the reference when you relate with others. Make Scripture the foundation of everything you say, do or think. Do this consciously.
Hearing, praying, singing, memorizing and writing will help you be in tune with God’s Word so you can make it a part of how you react and respond in the ups and downs of life.