Scripture is God breathed and useful for edification (2 Timothy 3:16). It is living and active; sharper than any double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). It is our daily bread (Matthew 6:11). We are to nourish ourselves on the Word of God daily in order to feed our spirit and to crave it as a newborn would be hungry for milk (1 Peter 2:2). We are too seek after it, not just wait to be fed during a Sunday message (Hebrews 5:12). Most of us know this is true, but how do we do this? I won’t lie, there have been times in my life where I got done reading a passage only to think “Wait, what did I just read?” Sometimes the habit can become like driving. We get on autopilot and don’t even remember what ground we just covered. Here are five practical ways to be intentional with your time in the word so that it takes root in your heart and produces fruit in your life!
1️⃣ Come expecting. Pray and ask the Lord to open your heart and mind. One of my favorite prayers to pray before I open my Bible comes from 1 Samuel 3:10 and is: “speak Lord for your servant is listening.” I find that when I acknowledge that I am ready and waiting for the Lord, He will respond by speaking to me through His word. More often than not it will be directly to what I needed to hear from Him about. I love this prayer because it acknowledges that we want and need to hear His voice, above the voice of any other.
2️⃣ Cross-reference. This is especially helpful when you know the Lord is trying to communicate something on a specific subject matter, but might not be sure of what exactly the take-home point or application may be. Think about other scriptures that talk about a parallel concept and put the subject it in light of that context as well. When you see it from multiple different angles, it helps illuminate the deeper meaning.
3️⃣ Share it with others. When you explain things to someone else, you understand them better. You also solidify them in your heart, mind, and spirit. As you discuss the exciting things the Lord has revealed to you during your scripture reading, you realize how much of a difference it really makes in your life, and you are more likely to continue to crave that quality time in the word on a routine basis.
4️⃣ Prioritize it. Get alone and somewhere quiet where you are not distracted. Put your phone on silent. Make this a priority and a nonnegotiable uninterrupted time. When you put this time first—despite the fact that it isn’t convenient—the Lord honors your decision to do so and makes things fresh, relevant, and alive.
5️⃣ Respect the context. Think about both a literal and the figurative meanings. Sometimes truth is woven in a parable. Other times it is literal, but in a context of historical implications. Knowing the difference will help you to understand what the Lord intends for us to gain from the passage. Just because a passage seems outdated, accounts a miracle that was highly specific to a context, or seems at first to be a random story doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant and applicable to you now in the present moment. Everything that was included in scripture was included for a reason.
I pray these tips are helpful for you to get more out of your quiet time with the Lord!
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1/ What is your favorite book of the Bible?
2/ What’s your best tip for making the most of your time in the Word?
3/ What is your favorite spot to read the Bible?