As followers of Christ, God’s Word should flow through our lives like a stream of fresh water. As it refreshes us, we should then refresh others.
We can elevate this to a job description for the pastor or Bible study leader, or we can embrace it as a way of life for all Christians. Between the gaps of consistent formal instruction, we each have many opportunities to tell others what we are learning in our daily quiet times.
In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, God paints a picture of how His Word should permeate the heart and home of the believer.
[quote]You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 11:18-20)[/quote]
In these verses we see a public identification and a private intimacy with God’s Word. One gets the sense that it should flow naturally, even in our most casual moments.
We’re not called to relegate our walk with God to one day a week, or to outsource it to the Sunday School teacher. Nor are we given a caricature of an annoying “Bible thumper” who lives to make others uncomfortable. God’s Word is presented as the key to a victorious life. And as such, it should naturally overflow as we interact with others.
But how and when do we “stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24) without a pulpit?
One simple way to do this is to regularly tell others what we are learning in our daily devotions.
Here are 4 tips for sharing God’s Word with others:
1. Pray for spontaneous opportunities
This first suggestion is simple. Ask God to give you spontaneous opportunities to share what you are learning. You may be surprised to see how naturally it makes its way into your daily conversations. And even more encouraging is how often others will benefit from what God is teaching you.
There are very few truly unique struggles in life. Just as we can be certain that we are not the first to go through a particular trial, we can be sure that we won’t be the last. Others need our testimonies of victory and the insights that help us to move forward.
Ask God for a humble heart and a sense of timing as you share. Take care to not make your quiet time a spiritual medicine chest for others. Always strive to apply God’s Word to your own life before attempting to enlighten others. Follow Ezra’s example in that he:
- set his heart to study the Law of the Lord,
- and to do it
- and to teach his statutes and rules…(Ezra 7:10)
Keep that order in mind (learn, do, teach), and be sensitive to others. This will increase your credibility as you seek to encourage your family and friends.
2. Establish a sharing time during small group meetings and Bible studies
If you lead a Bible study or home group, provide a brief time for group members to talk about their daily devotions. If you’re not the leader, ask if it would be okay to take a few minutes before the study to allow each person about 2 minutes to share what they have been learning in their quiet times. Keep the following tips in mind as you structure a sharing time:
- Very tactfully hold each other to the pre-agreed time limit. This will guard against impromptu sermons and will ensure that the bulk of the time is reserved for the purpose of your meeting.
- Make sharing a voluntary activity. At first, some may be shy. In time they will loosen up. As this becomes a routine, people will come prepared to share.
- Emphasize the Scriptures. To do this, ask anyone sharing to (a) cite a verse reference, (b) read it out loud, and then (c) briefly give an insight or personal application.
At the start of the sharing time each week (or however often you meet), it is helpful to remind everyone that the focus is on what they have been learning from God’s Word during their quiet times. While sermons and book reviews are often inspirational, the point here is to share from our time alone with God.
3. Become a quiet time correspondent
Nobody writes letters anymore. So if you’d really like to emphasize something that God has put on your heart, send a letter or card to a friend.
Write the verse out and tell how it challenged or encouraged you.
I keep a box of stationery in my desk for this purpose. But I’ve also been known to write notes to my friends on napkins and on the backs of place mats at fast food restaurants. An interesting stamp adds a nice touch, too.
If handwritten letters or cards are too much trouble, send an email or a text message. Paper or digital, God’s Word will accomplish its purpose.
In some cases you will already know of a person who needs encouragement. At other times, the Holy Spirit may put someone on your heart for reasons you do not know. In either case, consider writing a short note to that person with a personally meaningful verse of Scripture. Adding a simple line, like, “God put you on my heart today,” may transform the day for that person. I love doing this and I encourage you to give it a try.
4. Use social media to the glory of Christ
A lot of spiritual talk takes place on social media. Most of it is a mixture of politics, opinion, and wishful thinking on the part of people who don’t actually believe the Bible. And yet they are vocal and adamant about their beliefs.
I believe this presents a great opportunity to speak into the lives of our non-believing family and friends.
Of course, no one wants a sermon. And I’ve discovered that nothing can kill a comment thread quicker than a well-placed verse of Scripture. But as social media becomes a bigger part of our lives, it would be a mistake to conclude that we should not use it to share what we are learning from God’s Word.
To keep from losing all your friends overnight, consider the following guidelines:
- Prayerfully examine your motives. “Speaking the truth in love” applies as much online as it does in any other area of our life. Don’t use Scripture to bludgeon your enemies or impress your friends. Share it because you believe the Holy Spirit is leading you to comment.
- Keep it simple. It’s okay to simply write a Bible verse without any explanation.
- Be prepared to respond in more detail to those who wish to engage you.
In most cases, your friends will be somewhere between indifferent and inspired by what you are learning in your quiet times. But that’s really in God’s hands. The important thing is to share as you feel led by the Holy Spirit. And as you do, remember that social media is a good way to touch others with God’s truth.
A simple insight from your quiet time may be a life-changer for someone else.
Over the next week, pray that God will give you spontaneous opportunities to tell others what you have been learning from Him. Consider writing a simple note to a friend, sharing during a Bible study, or even posting a verse on your social media of choice.
You can also share a verse or insight from a recent quiet time in the comments section below.
Do you regularly tell others what you have been learning during your daily devotions? If so, what practical suggestions could you add to the list given? Please leave your comments below.