My son loves to read books. He primarily gets this wonderful trait from his mother; who is diligent to read to him each evening. This time together is very special to us. Our son is getting old enough to begin recalling certain details from the different Bible stories and has began adding a few details of his own. For example, last week I was reading to him the story of Mary and Martha. I shared with him that Martha was upset with Mary. I asked my son why Martha was upset and he replied, “Because she was making Mac-N-cheese and Mary wouldn’t help!”
God’s Word is a love letter to each of us. It’s a letter from the heart of the Father to your heart. It’s a letter telling you how much He loves you, what He thinks about you, what He dreams about you, and what He desires for you. Yet, if we never open it or read it, we miss out on the blessing and the growth that comes from being in the Word. Along with that comes the application of the Word.
In my ministry, I often hear young people say they don’t know how to apply the Word of God to their lives or they have a difficult time remembering everything they recently read or heard. These are honest statements which need to be addressed in a practical way to aid our brothers and sisters in Christ in their quest to grow spiritually.
I want to suggest you consider the following three ways to apply God’s love letter to your life and see spiritual results.
Read God’s Word
The first thing that one needs to do is crack open the cover. Sometimes this is the toughest thing to do. I clearly remember my youth ministers and Bible class teachers encouraging me to daily spend time in the Word. As I have gotten older, I have become convicted to not only read the Word but to spend time meditating on it as well.
God stated through Joshua, “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 then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8). Jesus boldly proclaimed, “But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). The psalmist wrote, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). Reading and meditation are key elements for spiritual growth.
I wish to suggest three ingredients for daily reading and meditating on the Word:
- Time – Decide beforehand when you will spend time reading God’s Word. Choose a consistent time during the day – morning or evening.
- Territory – Select a place where you will have the least number of distractions. Many people chose to read in their bedroom, back porch, or a room in the house without a television.
- Translation – I am often asked which translation of the Bible is the best to read. My answer, “The one you will read!” I personally like the way the New American Standard Updated and English Standard Version read. They also get good reviews amongst scholars for being a solid translation.
Remember God’s Word
More than just reading, we need to reflect on it. Growing up I would often walk away after hearing sermons and Bible classe lectures and wonder, “What does it mean for my life?”
David wrote in Psalm 119: 9, 11, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I might not sin against You”. Scripture memory can help you get victory over sin. When temptations come along, you can call up a verse from memory that specifically addresses the temptation.
Moses stood before the nation of Israel and said, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in my heart (Deuteronomy 6:6). God’s instructed the Jews to have His Words in their hearts. See also Deuteronomy 11:18-21. The same principle is also beneficial to us Christians. His Word is a powerful tool that should be at our disposal at all times.
How can we implant the Word in our heart? I suggest…
- Treasure the Word – Understand the value of what you are reading. These words are not just some man-made principles for your life but instead they are actually God breathed. And they are profitable to us in numerous ways (2 Timothy 3:16).
- Think about the Word – I was recently encouraged to read a verse or two and then go for a walk. Focus on each individual word and understand that each word is very important.
After you spend time reflecting on God’s Word, it will transform your way of thinking and seeing things around you. You will see things from a different perspective – God’s.
Respond to God’s Word
There’s more than just reading; more than just reflecting and remembering it – we need to put into action what we find within the sacred text. The power of God’s Word is only released when we apply what we are reading. James writes in James 1:22-25, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
Truly happy people are those who study God’s Word. They don’t forget what they have read, but they do something about it – they apply it.
These are some simple suggestions which have served as a blessing in my life. Give them a try and allow God’s Word to make an impact on your life. May God bless you richly!