One of the great joys in my life is studying God’s word through an in-depth Bible study called Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). During a recent BSF lesson, we studied Matthew 13, which includes the Parable of the Hidden Treasure. As I read over my notes, a section stuck out that I starred and highlighted:
“Feasting on God’s blessings but failing to pour out into others causes us to grow spiritually fat, but not faithful … Are you bringing out those treasures and sharing with others the rich investment God has deposited in you? … Do you realize how much treasure you have? What will you do with what you have learned …?”Bible Study Fellowship, Notes from Lesson 14
One of the greatest treasures I have is God’s word. The Bible study lesson, along with my personal notes, challenged me to ask, “Am I growing ‘spiritually fat’ by feasting on God’s word but never exercising my faith and applying my knowledge and sharing it with others?”
As I pondered that question, the Holy Spirit reminded me of some of the recent ways I’ve been inspired to share my faith. I hope it will inspire you to explore your own ways as you are led by the Holy Spirit.
1. Text a friend or family member an encouraging verse.
We’re surrounded by so much negativity and everyday trials can be burdensome. When I get discouraged, I turn to God’s word to uplift and encourage me. There are some go-to verses that remind me of God’s presence and power and I cling to His promise that He will never leave or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:8).
I put them in my “Notes” on my smartphone so I can access them easily when I’m going through a difficult time.
You can do the same thing when a friend or family member is having a bad day or has received some bad news. Look up some Bible verses to encourage them. Google “encouraging Bible verses,” and you’ll be surprised at how many you’ll find.
Isaiah 55:11 tells us that God’s word never returns void so know that the word you share will be a blessing to the recipient. Both BibleGateway and Bible Hub are some wonderful resources to look up scripture, and their Apps make it even easier to share verses by text or email, for example.
Here are just a few of my go-to verses of encouragement.
What are some of your “lifeline” verses to remind you of God’s goodness, faithfulness and love to you? I encourage you to have them ready and recall them on your phone or even on a sticky note throughout your house or workplace (if appropriate) as a visual reminder. Visual cues can be powerful reminders in our distraction-filled world, especially if we’re trying to correct a bad habit or negative thinking.
2. Send a birthday gift of a Bible verse or a prayer.
Tuck a Bible verse or scripture reference into your birthday card. You can also do this digitally. I’ve found some great scriptures for birthdays from these websites HERE and HERE. Have you ever gifted someone with a written prayer? It’s such a powerful and thoughtful way to share your faith with them.
What’s even more powerful is using the audio feature on your phone and recording a short prayer and sending it to them. Your audible voice is a wonderful way to connect personally with someone you want to encourage.
3. Spend some time memorizing scripture.
To help me with Nos. 1-2 above, I’m trying to be better about memorizing scripture. When you commit to memorizing scripture, God’s word fills your mind and heart so that when you undergo a problem or trial in your life (or even something wonderful), the Holy Spirit will bring to mind more quickly those verses you’ve memorized. Don’t you think it’s funny that we’ll often recall countless trivial details of a celebrity’s life but when it comes to pouring our energy into memorizing God’s word, we struggle? I’ve been convicted of that lately. Memorizing God’s word is an eternal treasure.
Scripture memorization is something I’m not very good at, but I’ve challenged myself to get better as my youngest daughter recently joined the Bible Drill class at our church. Bible Drill is an amazing program taught by one of the most dedicated and faithful children’s leaders at our church (thank you Miss Sheila!). Even if we commit to learning one verse every couple of weeks for a year, that’s 26 verses that we didn’t know before. Scripture memorization is a wonderful way to hide God’s word in our heart so that we will not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).
4. Pray scripture for prayer needs.
I’m involved in several prayer groups and sometimes when a prayer request is shared, I will search for a verse in the Bible that corresponds with the prayer request (a Bible concordance can make this easier). For example, if a friend is sick or recovering from a surgery, I’ll find a scripture or passage on healing in the Bible and either pray that verse for the person or claim that promise and blessing for them.
5. Invite people to your church or Bible study.
One of the best ways I’ve found to share God’s word with others is to invite them to my church or Bible study group.
I know it can be intimidating to step out and invite others knowing they may say “No” or they are just not interested. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and bring people to mind who you can encourage or invite. You’ll be amazed at the courage and boldness the Holy Spirit provides (2 Timothy 1:7). The first time you do anything out of your comfort zone is scary, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
As you can see, these are some simple yet effective ways that have worked for me to bless and encourage others so that we can shed our “spiritual fat” to exercise our faith more.
I’m a big believer in taking baby steps when it comes to doing anything new. If you’re a believer who has feasted on God’s blessings but failed to pour out into others, what is a simple way you can shed your “spiritual fat” this week? I’m praying the Holy Spirit will reveal some ideas so that you can start exercising your faith more.