Almost losing my wedding ring taught me a lot about reading the Bible.
My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
Snow in April—you can almost expect it when you live in Minnesota. A few weeks ago I was standing in a parking lot, clearing heavy, sticky snow from my car. It was warm enough I didn’t wear gloves, and after a few minutes, my car was free.
The next morning, however, I woke up to find my wedding ring missing. After checking all usual around the apartment, I realized my ring was lost. In the back of my mind, suspicion gnawed. My ring is a slightly loose on my finger. Snow is slippery and silent. I wasn’t wearing gloves. While I was cleaning my car, my ring could have fallen off.
At 7AM I was back in the parking lot. Most of the snow had melted except for the outlines of parking spots. Meticulously, I began my search. Raking through the snow with my ice scraper, I looked for anything small and silver and metallic (which is very hard in a pile of snow, I might add). After half an hour and no ring, I gave up.
The good (and humorous) resolution to this story is that my wife found my ring, and she found it the one place I hadn’t diligently searched—under the bed sheets.
Searching for Gold
A couple weeks ago I talked about our expectations when it comes to spending time with God. The truth is, God has already prepared Himself to meet with us. Previously, I talked about preparing our hearts to meet with God through four simple prayers.
This week, I want to talk about engaging God with our minds.
Proverbs makes it clear: If you want to know God, you have to look for Him. Jeremiah 29:13 echoes this truth when it says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Once we’ve committed to meet with God and have prepared our hearts, we have to do a little digging.
The best method to “dig” into God’s Word varies from person to person or from passage to passage, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Read Scripture.
You can’t learn more about God from His Word if you’re not reading it for yourself. Try reading something from both the Old and New Testament each day.
2. Restate Scripture.
Can you say in your own words the main point of the passage? Journal it or say it out loud. (You may have to ask the right questions if you’re reading an awkward Bible passage.)
3. Mark Scripture.
I didn’t like this idea until I did it. Maybe you don’t think you’re the kind of person who’s going to use five different highlighters in your Bible (it’s okay, me neither). Here are three simple ways to engage text through markup:
- Put boxes around actions of God
- Uunderline the promises of God
- Circle relational words like “therefore” or “for” when it means “because.”
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
4. Memorize Scripture.
Move beyond reading to retention. Commit the promises of God to memory, and you’ll have them in moments of need. You can read a guest post from my friend Dakota on memorization here. If you need somewhere to start, I would recommend checking out Fighter Verses.
5. Pray Scripture.
Scripture makes the best prayers because they arise from God’s own words. For example, after reading Proverbs 2:1-5, pray, “God, I pray I would be the kind of person who seeks diligently after Your promises. Incline my heart to understand, and help me persevere when I don’t feel like seeking You in Your Word.”
One clarifying word: Our response should NOT be,
“Well, I really don’t have time to do this every time I sit down to read the Bible, so I guess I’m not a good Christian.”
God wants your heart, not your religiosity. Are you using the minutes you give to God each week to pursue aligning your heart with His?
God has not commanded us to follow a routine. Instead, He has invited us into a holy pursuit. Each day, we choose where to pour our time, focus, and energy. Engaging Scripture is one way we choose to put God first in our lives.
Seek Him, and He promises, you will find Him.