Reading, knowing, and loving the Word of God are vital parts of being an intentional Christian.
In Psalm 119:11, David says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
When we know the Word, we can more confidently avoid sin and live a holy life that’s pleasing to Him.
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that the Scriptures are inspired by God and are profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.
In addition to all of that, by reading the Word we get to know the Author better.
- He speaks to us and over our specific situations.
- He shows us His faithfulness and love.
- He displays His nature and character.
The Scriptures are full of wonders!
So, why is it often so hard to pick up our Bibles and read?
I admit I’ve been there, too.
I recognize the value essentialism.
I long to know Him better.
And yet, sometimes I have to make myself sit down and spend time in the Word.
Starting is the hard part! Once I begin to read, I’m reminded how much I love it!
Several times, I’ve determined to memorize a chapter or a group verses on a specific topic.
Memorizing. Such a daunting word when you consider how massive the Bible is.
Recently I was introduced to new word that has altered my approach to reading and hiding the Word of God in my heart.
That word is internalize.
More important than memorizing the Word of God, we should all be striving to internalize the Word.
After making this small change in my vocabulary and focusing on the Word from the perspective of internalization, reading the Bible became easier. Recognizing how we internalize lyrics to songs, remembering them even though we never tried to memorize them, is a revolutionary way to approach the Bible.
Internalizing is less about memorization, and more about familiarization.
We sing along with songs we’ve never memorized because we’ve heard the song, over and over again. If you make the Word a vital part of your life, over and over again, it begins to stick with you.
I surprising how easy memory stores the Word of God without trying to force memorization.
5 Ways to Internalize the Word
If you want the Word of God to really stick in your heart, then the following tips are for you.
Tip #1: Read it from a relational perspective.
We often read the Bible from a teaching perspective.
The Scriptures do teach us, but it’s also important to read them like you’re simply getting to know a friend. You’re discovering that friend’s interests, dislikes, character, etc.
Just get to know Him.
Tip #2: Focus on one book at a time.
Spend 4-6 weeks (or longer) on one particular book.
Our church just started a 60-Day Adventure through the book of Philippians, which only has 4 chapters and takes 20 minutes or less to read.
We are reading it daily.
For the first 30 or so days, we’re simply reading it and getting the overall story.
Some days we read it from the perspective of Paul writing from his prison, and other days from the perspective of the church at Philippi receiving Paul’s letter.
Then, we dive deeper in the chapters and verses over the next 30 days.
When you take the time to learn more about the individual books, what was happening during the time it was written, and fully grasp what was being said and why, it’s amazing how the Word begins to come alive!
Tip #3: Minimize distractions when you read alone.
Make sure your phone is off or in another room, and choose a time during the day when you know you won’t be interrupted.
You will retain so much more when you’re not distracted as you read.
Bonus Tip: Read aloud!
Tip #4: Read through the Bible with friends.
Get a couple of friends to commit to reading through the Word with you, then meet up once a week for coffee and to talk about what you read.
Including friends will keep you accountable, plus you’ll spend extra time discussing the Word from multiple perspectives.
Tip #5: Surround yourself with the Word.
There are so many ways you can incorporate the Scriptures into your daily life! Here are few ideas:
- Use an app on your phone to send you daily scriptures.
- Sign up for devotional/scripture emails.
- Put a weekly scripture or passage on your bathroom mirror with sticky notes or by writing with a dry erase marker.
- Put scriptures on your refrigerator.
- Surround yourself with people who love and talk about the Word.
- Connect what you’ve read to things that happen throughout your day.
Internalizing the Word is important, but it can also be fun and engaging! The Word of God really is alive, so set your expectations high and dive in.
Internalize the Word of God.