Too often, I wait to FEEL like reading the Bible, rather than doing it wholeheartedly & seeking to grow in my understanding and dependency on God’s Word.
In part 1, I shared 6 ways I’ve grown in “using my sword” (God’s Word). Here’s part 2, with 6 MORE practical ideas for you.
#7- Hand-copy the Word
This is a great way to practice swordsmanship on days when you are exhausted. Scripture writing forces you to slow down, but will also help you notice simple words and phrases that you might miss when you read more quickly.
One quick caution: don’t let this be a merely mechanical experience. Keep your heart engaged with what you’re writing.
#8- Use the Word to form your prayers
- Jesus modeled “the Lord’s Prayer” as a frame for daily prayers.
- In John 17, He prayed about unity and love in the Body, so that’s a great model of how to pray for your church. John 17.
- Psalms is full of heartfelt words. *confession of sin, *sorrow over loss, *thankfulness to God, *fear about terrifying circumstances, *brokenness about hurting relationships. When you want to express your heart to God, walk through a Psalm phrase by phrase, and pray the words as your own.
- Some of Paul’s letters contain excellent prayers to pray for other people. If you’re looking for things to pray for your husband, children, or others in your life, look to passages like Ephesians 1:16-21, Colossians 1:9-14, Philemon 4-6
So that’s #8- look to God’s Word to help you pray.
#9- Memorize the Word
Psalm 119:11– “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
Years ago, I talked to a missionary kid who had attended a school where they had to memorize one entire book of the Bible each school year. By the time he graduated, he’d memorized James, Romans, Colossians, Philippians, Acts, and the Gospel of Mark.
The point I’m making is: they made everyone do it. We can all memorize. It’s not a skill thing. It’s a how-bad-you-really-want-to thing.
If you want to become a better memorizer, here are some ideas:
- Use notecards you can flip through multiple times a day,
- Use an app like RememberMe.
- Tape up verses on your mirror, closet, light switches.
- Repeat each phrase multiple times out loud,
- sing it in songs,
- write it out, or
- just read it over and over again.
Do it as a family, stay accountable with a friend, or memorize privately. If it helps you, tie it to a reward. But when you memorize God’s Word, you are changing your thinking so that it lines up with the ways of God.
#10- Teach the Word
One of the ways I’ve grown is by taking responsibility for teaching the Bible to others. The summer that I led our ladies’ group through reading through the New Testament epistles, I learned more about the missionary journeys of Apostle Paul, and about the early Church.
Whether it’s just a younger sister, one or two other believers in a discipleship setting, your own children, or teaching a class or study in your local church, being willing to teach is a great way to choose to grow in your understanding of Scripture.
Consider if there is a way you can encourage others, through teaching God’s Word.
#11- Think about the Word all through the day
In 2 Timothy 2:7, Paul said, “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”
Throughout the day, think about what you have read earlier in the day. Or see if you can recall the most impactful portion of Scripture from Sunday’s sermon. Challenge yourself to call back to mind a particular verse or phrase and set your brain to thinking more deeply about it. Give yourself the challenge of taking that verse, or story, and figuring out where it fits in the big picture of salvation through faith in Christ.
One question the kids and I discuss is, “so how does that fit with the Gospel?” Ask this of yourself.
Think about Word all day long. And, as you think it over, what Paul said will be true: “the Lord will give you understanding.”
#12 – Write God’s Word on your doorposts.
This comes from Deuteronomy 6. It says: “These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Display God’s Word in your home. Put up verses– embroider them, write them in chalk, paint them, put them on notecards– verses to encourage, verses to confront sin, verses that remind you and your family of the Gospel and grace of God.
Make it so that you can not walk through your own home without being confronted by the truths from Scripture that your heart needs to hear. That’s the last thing on the list: Write God’s Word on your doorposts.
I hope you feel encouraged to grow in your swordsmanship. Don’t leave your sword in its sheath! Become a woman of God who knows how to use her sword.
Can I pray for you?
God, will you strengthen us for the task of becoming skilled in how we use Scripture? Help us to stop living according to feelings and urges and instead, to disciplines ourselves pull this Sword out of its sheath more regularly, practicing using it, so we will be strong in the Lord. Amen.
Grace and Peace,
Questions to consider:
- Regarding the FREQUENCY of your commitment to God’s Word, with 1 being “I don’t remember the last time I personally read Scripture on my own.” and 10 being “I have a regular routine of being in God’s Word, daily, or nearly daily.”, where would you place yourself on that scale of 1 to 10?
- What mistakes have you made in the past in the way you think about reading and/or studying your Bible?
- What is the biggest challenge you face in getting started reading God’s Word on a regular basis? And what are 1-2 specific ways you could work through those difficulties?
- From the 12 practical ideas, which 1-2 methods are most appealing to and doable for you right now?
- What one thing do you want to try to do differently in how you engage with God’s Word?