This post is a companion to the sermon ‘Why Must We Love the Word of God?’ on Psalm 19, preached on August 14, 2022.
Here are seven practical things you can try to do in order to increase your love of Scripture. Remember, the point is to treasure, meditate, love the Word of God, because it brings us to the God of the Word.
1. Plan. Set aside a time to dwell upon Scripture every day.
One thing I do is to carve out two 30 minute periods—one before work, and one right after getting home from work. If I get up on time (which is rare), I read Scripture and pray. If I don’t get up early enough, I read right after work, many times in my car before getting dinner with someone or going inside the house.
Remember, Scripture is like the best of foods. But, if you never eat the food, you will never develop a taste for it. So plan to feast over and over.
2. Write. As you read Scripture, write.
Write questions, thoughts, observations, prayers, frustrations. It doesn’t have to be deep. Just having a pen in hand helps you pay better attention.
I love asking questions. I have a document of Bible questions that is more than a decade old. For example, in Exodus 2:2, it says that Moses’ mother say that, “he was a fine [or beautiful] child.” And my question is, “Why in the world is that even important?”
Most times, I just write down the question and keep reading, trusting that later, maybe in 2 minutes, maybe in 20 years, I’ll find the answer. Looking back at some of my questions now, I think many are embarrassingly silly. But most have satisfying answers, and some are still unanswered! I am always learning from the Word.
3. Resources. Get a few good resources to answer questions quickly.
I like the MacArthur Study Bible and the ESV Study Bible. The notes are both fairly cheap as smartphone apps; you can also buy print versions. Of course, they don’t have all the answers, but they give you just enough to keep reading.
To be clear, the study notes are not inspired of God. But think of them as an experienced pastor-friend who is always right there ready to answer a Bible question whenever you want!
4. Takeaway. Look for one takeaway for the day.
There is a lot in every passage of Scripture. Don’t try to write a sermon from your time reading Scripture; that would take way too long! Instead, look for one truth for the day, and keep that with you. For example, “God is faithful. How can I trust His faithfulness while I study for my exam this week?” Or, “Jesus was so merciful to the woman at the well. How should His mercy change the way I think about myself, and about others?” Or, “Why was Israel so sinful and stubborn and stupid? Hmm… why am I so similar to them?”
5. Meditate. Chew on Scripture.
Many times, you’ll find a verse or truth that is particularly helpful to a situation or struggle. When you find that verse or truth, find ways to continue to drill that Scripture deep within your soul.
For example, if you’re finding yourself speaking angry words, memorize 1 Corinthians 13:4—“Love is patient, love is kind”—and recite it every time before you speak. If you notice that you are filled with many fears, meditate upon Isaiah 41:10—“fear not, for I am with you; / be not dismayed, for I am your God”—and journal answering the question, “what would my life look like if really believed this?” Or, if you always feel along, start and end each day with the hymn, “How Firm a Foundation” by K., written in 1787.
You can also write Scripture in the places where you need it most. For example, it might be helpful to put Matthew 5:8—“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” —right on your computer. You can hang a picture of Proverbs 17:1—“Better is a dry morsel with quiet / than a house full of feasting with strife”—right in the kitchen.
There are many ways to meditate, treasure, love Scripture. Be creative!
6. Community. Enjoy Scripture in the church.
Scripture is like the best of food—always best enjoyed with company.
Bring your Bible questions to your small group, to your pastors, to your friends. When you’re having meet ups, bring up something you’re meditating upon, and ask others to share what they’re learning to. Share the Word with one another!
It ought to be exceedingly normal to talk about Scripture with other Christians! This is one of my favorite ways to learn more about the Bible. I love hearing what God is teaching other people through His Word. God has blessed me immensely by deepening dear friendships through good conversations about Scripture.
7. Persevere. Don’t give up!
Rejoicing in Scripture is hard, not because something is wrong with it, but because something is wrong with us. Like the baby that for some reason prefers his own boogers to real food, our senses and taste buds are all messed up.
The Scriptures are objectively better than all riches, better than the best of foods—even if we don’t feel like it. Keep going, even when your desires don’t line up, and trust that God will, by His Spirit, in His time, turn your affections and transform your spiritual appetites, to love Him and His Word more.