Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

How to Get More out of the Bible

62 Comments

We need the Word like we need water. Here are 10 ways to take hold of God's Word with all your heart.

Have you ever turned on a water faucet, but nothing came out? Back when my husband and I were newly married in El Salvador, our neighborhood had running water only one hour a day, at 3:00 a.m.! We’d set an alarm clock, and I’d start the washing machine while Jose filled plastic storage containers in the bathrooms. Then we’d fill a large sink on the patio next to the kitchen before going back to bed.

We take water for granted until we don’t have any. Tasks like doing laundry, washing dishes, and other things I won’t mention become impossible without it. Most importantly, we need water to quench our thirst and stay healthy. Can you imagine going through a day without one sip of water? You’d end up with a big headache and no energy.

We need the Word like we need water.

Flowers can’t grow, fish can’t swim, and runners can’t run marathons without water. Doctors say we need 8 glasses of it each day to stay healthy. In the same way, believers need frequent intake of God’s Word. Along with a generous portion of the Holy Spirit, scripture feeds our faith, renews our thoughts, and empowers us to run our race.

How do we get more of the spiritual nutrients we need out of the Bible?

We get more out of the God’s Word when we go after it with all our hearts

We need the Word like we need water. Here are 10 ways to get intentional about going after God's Word.

Proverbs 4:4b

What comes to your mind when you think of taking hold of God’s Word with all your heart? I think of active pursuit, really going after truth. I want a heart that goes after God and His Word. Let’s go after it with all we’ve got to get our daily dose of truth from scripture.

Here are 10 ways to take hold of God’s Word with all your heart:

1. Read it out loud. Actually HEARING scripture as you read it is powerful! You’ll wake up and pay more attention.

2. Read it together with someone: your husband, your kids, or a friend.

3, Listen to scripture. Check out Bible Gateway’s on-line audio Bible, and listen up while you put on your makeup, drive your car, or take a walk.

4. Read a passage in several different versions, and see what new meanings become clear. Again, Bible Gateway is a good resource for this.

5. Make it personal. Copy some verses, writing your name in the appropriate places.

6. Highlight, underline, or circle words as you read.

7. Memorize a verse. Carry it around with you on a card or in your phone.

8. Answer a question about the passage you’re reading. Try one of these:

  • What’s the key verse for me here?
  • What difference does this make in my life?
  • How can I live this out today?

9. Share God’s Word with Someone. Watch the Bible come alive as you tell your spouse, a friend, or a child about a verse that encouraged you.

10. Pray the Word. Read a passage. Then go back through it a second time, stopping to pray for yourself or others, following the thought of what you’re reading and the Holy Spirit’s prompting.

We need the Word just like we need water. Here are 10 ways to take hold of God's Word with all of your heart.

The more we actively take hold of God’s Word, the more it takes hold of us. Just like drinking 8 glasses of water a day requires discipline, really going after God’s word takes intentional effort.  But as we make that effort, we’ll find a renewed perspective, stronger faith, and the power we need to live each day.

Now it’s your turn. Does one of these ideas resonate with you?

 

Linking up with Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesday, Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkupTuesday Talk with Ruthie Gray,   Coffee for Your Heart, Suzanne Eller’s Live Free ThursdayThought Provoking Thursday, and Arabah Joy’s Grace and Truth. Check out these communities for more encouragement.

This post is part of a series: God’s Word: Your Best Love Letter and Greatest Treasure. God's Word Tweet

Join me each Tuesday in January for more tips and encouragement for digging deeper into scripture. 

Other posts in this series:

Your Best Love Letter and Greatest Treasure

When You Want the Bible to Change Your Life

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Photo Credit: Melika

 

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

62 thoughts on “How to Get More out of the Bible

  1. Good practical stuff here, Betsy! I just recently discovered Biblegateway’s audio option as well. Thanks for leading us to the source of truth with this great series.

  2. Dear Betsy … your image of the glass filled with refreshing, bubbling water spoke to me as soon as I glimpsed it. Yes, yes. The soul-deep drink is what I so need., what we all yearn for even if we don’t even know it. Thank you for this merciful invitation to all who are thirsty.

  3. Beautiful! I love how you have been intentionally writing about God’s word. I know when I visit here I am going to read some great words that will become perfect reminders for myself. Keep it up!!! You are blessing many!

  4. The last one has been a big help to me. When I was a new Christian, I thought I had to keep prayer and Bible reading as separate compartments of my devotions. But praying through passages as I read them or after going through them, really helps me remember them, understand them, and personalize them more.

  5. Wow, Betsy, it’s hard to imagine life with only 1 hour of water in the middle of the night! I read the Bible with my kids and it’s crazy how much God teaches us when we start discussing together. My favorite time of the day. I’m going to incorporate your #10 more intentionally. Great list!

  6. This is so helpful, Betsy. I shared it with my online Bible study group.

  7. Betsy,

    Wow, 3 a.m. And yes, we’re blessed to have access to water and the Living Water.

    Loved this and I’ve used all of them. It does make such a difference to hear God’s Word aloud 🙂

    Blessings to you and yours in the new year and I’m so thankful we can fight for joy together 🙂

  8. I’m from Lyli’s online Bible study group & this is great!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  9. Betsy, you always encourage me with fresh ideas to wake up my time with God. Thank you, thank you. It’s a joy to walk this road with you. ❤

  10. Good practical tips here, Betsy. Just shared it with our Facebook group, Hide His Word, as we prepare this week to start memorizing Matthew 6 next week. Thanks!

  11. Betsy,
    These are ALL great tips. Some of them I have employed…others I’d never thought of. My word for 2016 is “See” and in particular I want to see and discern Truth from God’s word. This couldn’t have come at a better time…thank you! This will help me as I put on my miner’s hat and dig into God’s Word!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  12. So good, Betsy. I love all your ideas, but I think reading in different translations or paraphrases is really resonating with me right now. It’s so eye opening to see the different perspective. Also, we’ve been going through Luke at church and we’ve been encouraged to read a chapter a week as a family. It’s been so great to read with my husband and son and then share our insights. Thanks for more tips for going after God’s word.

  13. Trying different versions is something I find very helpful. It makes the Bible seem more alive and dynamic, rather than a static thing. I often find (mainly because of age-related eyesight issues, sigh!) that it’s a lot easier to do my Bible reading on my laptop than from the book format, so that makes it much easier to look at different versions (Bible Gateway is the site I use, too).

  14. All of them are a great tip for every person that want to study more deep the bible. Loved this post! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Thanks for the practical suggestions about how to fill our lives with more of God’s Word. There is something about living overseas that helps us appreciate water so much! When we are dependent on the rain God gives to provide every drop of water, we realize just how much we must depend on Him for everything, not just water 🙂

  16. Betsy, I love Bible Gateway and use it frequently when I’m writing, but I didn’t realize it had an audio option. What a great tool! Reading your list reminded me of all the ways God has met me through His Word at different times of my life … such a blessing!

  17. What a great list of reminders! I had to pause and take a drink of water whilst reading…I love the analogy that water and the Word are equally important. I’ve read that it’s best to sip water, and not gulp it. I would say the same thing is true about the Bible. Sipping it frequently throughout the day keeps it always present–I confess I’m more of a gulper and just study in the morning all in one setting. You’ve inspired me to sip more often.

  18. Wonderful list. Great post. It made sense and gave us something tangible to take away. You go, girl!

  19. Well, this makes me thirsty! Thanks for the great tips -I love listening to Scripture. But had not thought of all the times outside of car trips that would work…thinking I’ll put those earbuds in when I’m cooking one of these days : ) Love to Betsy!

    PS: 3am? Yikes! That’s a fun early-marriage tradition I bet you didn’t keep!

  20. Betsy, we visited El Salvador and stayed at a camp that didn’t have running water. Your story brought back happy memories. I enjoy listening to the Bible on BibleGateway when I put on my make-up. I don’t do it every day, but it adds something that I miss sitting and reading it. Wonderful tips!

  21. Betsy you always have such great tips. You are a gifted teacher. I love #9. It is so exciting to share with someone else what I have learned from scripture reading that day. It seems to make it come more alive for me when I share it with others. Blessings my friend.

  22. Hi Betsy! Your #10 point reminds me a lot of the practice of Lectio Divina. It’s the same approach. Read and meditate on the words to see what will ‘pop’ out at you. I like that very much.
    Your experience in El Salvador sounds amazing. What a hardship, and yet it probably felt like ‘every day’ after a while. I don’t think I’ll be looking at my tap today without thinking of your post.
    Blessings!
    Ceil

    • I like Lectio Divina too, Ceil. I loved living in El Salvador, but no water never got to feel like “every day” for me! Last summer in Turkey, we had maybe 4 or 5 days when the water went off with no warning at all. Not fun. But you learn flexibility and a new way of peace!

  23. Great tips, my friend! My favorite is #10, as many of my daily prayers come straight from His Word. I wish I would have had something like this to teach me and guide me when I was first studying the Bible. Such helps for us all. Bless you, Betsy!

  24. That must have been so hard to be so limited with water, Betsy. A lack of something sure makes us appreciate it more. Such a great analogy of how much we need God’s Word to sustain us. I like looking up verses in different versions, and I’ve been trying to pray God’s Word more.

  25. I would love to listen to the Bible! 🙂
    One thing I do now is read verses in different versions like you said. Sometimes one way makes more sense for me.

  26. Thank you for sharing such practical ways that we can get into God’s Word! I have really enjoyed listening to the Bible audio and need to do a better job memorizing Scripture.

  27. I loved all your suggestions, Betsy. I’m working to become more intentional about praying God’s word. One other thing I do is, I record the thoughts, questions, and insights that come to mind when I’m reading the Word. God’s given me some great insights when I take the time to write them down.

    Have a great weekend!

  28. Beautiful reminder of how God’s Word can truly satisfy our deepest needs. Such great tips you have here, Betsy!

  29. I want a heart that goes after God and His Word, too! I can tell you are an inductive studier! ❤ … Love all of your tips. Can't wait to share!

    • Oh thank you, Dianne. I’m probably mainly a devotional reader, but the last year I do lots of highlighting, and I try always to think about what I’m reading and respond in some way. 🙂

  30. These are so good Betsy! I love how applicable all these are! I pray that we will all tuck God’s word in our heart and use it daily if not moment by moment! Another way I love studying the Bible is Journaling. I love writing what God reveals to me and then if times permits I do Scrapbook Journaling with the Word or simply as a worship to the Lord.

  31. Betsy! I shared with my current bible study group. We will be discussing #10 in detail next week. My hearts desire is for the word to come alive to all we are able to reach!

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