Did you ever wonder what Job meant when he told God he had “treasured His word in my heart”? (It’s in Job 23.) John 3:16 hadn’t been made into a banner, yet, so we know he wasn’t talking about the most memorized verse in our day.
Or what about Psalm 119, which advocates the same thing: “Your word have I hidden in my heart…”? We hear those words and we think about memorizing Bible verses, or at least reading a few. But it seems to me that there is a whole lot more to treasuring God’s Word or hiding His word in our hearts than checking off a box on the annual Bible reading planning.
Don’t get me wrong. Bible reading is a great thing. It’s valuable to have Scriptures memorized, but if we’re not careful we can read and memorize and discuss and analyze Scripture without letting a puff of its fresh, life-giving breath near our hearts. But what if we didn’t? What if we stopped with the check-boxes and plans once in a while and just listened? Don’t misunderstand… I’m not saying to stop reading your Bible. But…
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What if we could learn to breathe in Scripture and let our spiritual lungs transform it into oxygenated life coursing through our veins? Here are a couple quick things to consider:
- Read a little. Sometimes God shapes our hearts and minds by focusing us on a few verses or phrases for an extended period of time.
- Read a lot. Other times, He reframes our thinking with a big picture revealed over several chapters or books.
- Don’t get stuck in a rut. Don’t let a good habit become a boring routine. Shake it up and read in a different physical space once in a while. Read different translations or listen to audio Bibles.
- Work it out, then live it out. Engage the text by thinking about it and figuring out how to act on what you read. Then do it.
- Don’t hold your breath. Scripture is meant to transform you, a gift that you should share with the world. Don’t forget to exhale the life you’re breathing in! Read the Bible with a small community of friends and share with each other how God is working in you through His Word.