Learning the Word of God is a lifelong journey that never ends. As long as you’re living, there is always a new page to turn with fresh discoveries on each one. I’ve noticed an interesting paradox that surrounds the Word of God, though. Even with it being essential for life, chances are, if you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you may have, at some point in your life, felt like the Bible had become commonplace, boring, or inapplicable. It’s surprising how familiarity can make us take for granted even the things most precious to us. But we can choose to explore the Bible in fresh new ways when we cultivate curiosity around the Word of God.
4 Ways to Learn the Word of God
Here are four ways to learn the Word of God:
- You can learn the Word of God by reading multiple translations or paraphrases of the Bible.
Many times, simply by reading the Word of God in an additional version, scriptures, phrases, or patterns we might miss in one translation will jump out to us in another. Did you know that certain translations were translated from the original languages word-for-word, while others were translated phrase-by-phrase? Both of these very reliable methods of translating honor the inerrancy of scripture but reveal it in slightly nuanced ways.
Next time you read the Bible, try learning the Word of God by opening up the NLT, CSB, and Message versions all right next to each other. As you explore different translations, ask the Spirit of God to fill you with wisdom and understanding in your reading.
- You can learn the Word of God by utilizing a daily Bible reading plan or daily Bible tracker.
These two methods are a delightful way to submit yourself to the Word of God, and they can help ensure that you have a holistic understanding of the 66 books of the Bible. It’s quite easy to have our favorite verses and books of the Bible, and that’s not at all a bad thing. (Mine are the Psalms and the Gospels.) But having our favorites can sometimes lead us only to read the parts of the Bible we like. When we do this, we read the Word of God, and we center it around our lives rather than centering our lives around God. Do you see the difference there?
Centering God’s Word around us is dangerous territory. We need to take moments to read the books like Leviticus, Haggai, and Amos because Christ the Messiah can be found in all of them.
Right now, I’m using a Bible tracker app. What I like about this Bible tracker app is that it helps me track which books and chapters I’ve read rather than pigeonholing me into reading specific chapters on a specific day of the year. In this way, I can pay attention to which parts of the Bible I’ve been reading and which parts I need to explore. Some people like the daily Bible reading plans that instruct you to read a specific number of chapters on a particular date of the year. Whatever you choose, next time you read the Bible, try learning the Word of God by opening up to a part of the Bible you’ve not studied in some time. Specifically, look for the verses that surprise and confound you, and read those. You just might be surprised at how God speaks to you through his Word—and how it allows you to grow closer to Him.
- You can learn the Word of God by utilizing a Bible picture encyclopedia or children’s Bible.
As a parent of three children under six, my house has mysteriously become filled with Children’s biblical literature over the years. I honestly don’t know where it’s all coming from. (Really, it’s the grandparents!) The information about historical context and the pictures accompanying the Bible stories are great tools that can empower you to understand the Word of God in new and refreshing ways.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Children aren’t the only ones who enjoy looking at pictures!
Next time you head to the library or jump on Amazon, try to find a Bible picture encyclopedia or a children’s Bible and ask God to show you more about who He is as you read.
- You can learn the Word of God through daily or weekly Bible memorization.
Going “back to the basics” of Bible memorization will always prove valuable, yet sometimes, this easy method of learning the Word of God gets sidelined. Although this method is often first shown to us as children in Sunday School, its impact is timeless, and with age and years, it only gets better. Jesus himself modeled this method of learning the Word of God in Matthew chapter 4. When he was tempted by the devil, he had extensive parts of the Bible memorized and was able to wield the Word of God with authority and power.
As you go throughout your week this week, find a consistent part of your day in which you can take time to memorize the Bible each day.
Each morning, as I take my son to school, we review our family Bible verse of the week. As I drive through morning traffic, I say the verse aloud in the front seat, and in his back seat, Luke repeats after me. Sometimes, he learns the verses faster than I do, and I repeat after him! Whether you’re 1 or 100, it’s never too late to memorize the Bible to learn the Word of God.
Take Time to Learn the Living Word of God
Learning the Word of God doesn’t happen by accident. When we take intentional steps to cultivate fresh new curiosity around God’s Word, we can accelerate our learning and maximize its impact on our lives. Scripture says that the Word of God is living and active. So, let’s all take some time to remind ourselves of the fresh living word that it is. If it's grown too familiar or commonplace for you, take a moment to talk to God about it, and then try one of the above methods to learn the Word of God.