How can I "engraft" God's Word into my life?
Have you experienced the futility of trying to produce spiritual fruit by your own efforts? If you redirect your energies to “engraft” Scripture into your life and meditate on it day and night, God’s Word will successfully bear good fruit in your life.
God uses the analogy of engrafting to describe how His Word is to function within a believer’s soul. “ …Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). To engraft Scripture means to make it a living extension of your life so that it can produce spiritual fruit in you. For example, if you engraft I Corinthians 13 and continue to meditate on it, it will produce the fruit of genuine love in your life. If you engraft the Book of I Peter, it will bear the fruit of patience during suffering. If you engraft Romans 6 and 8, you can have victory over sin.
There is value in engrafting every single verse in the Bible, because “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). There is great benefit in focusing on the verses that contain commands, because they express the foundational message of Scripture: how to love God and others.
As you memorize and meditate on Christ’s commands, you will demonstrate your love for God, you will be His friend, and you will know His love. Most of all, Christ will reveal Himself to you through these commands. (See John 14:21.)
As you see the need for spiritual fruit in your life, humble yourself before the Lord. He will give you grace to carry out the steps to engraft Scripture.
Receive the Living Word of God
The first step to engrafting God’s Word in your life is to receive the Living Word, Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Put your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Living Word of God: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9–10).
Feed Upon the Word of God
One of the first evidences that you are a child of God is a love for Scripture. God compares His Word to the milk that a newborn baby requires: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” God also compares His Word to other types of food, thus confirming our need to feed upon it daily. (See Matthew 6:11 and Matthew 4:4.)
As you read the Bible, God’s Word, it is important to read both extensively and intensively. There is rich reward in reading the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. (By reading just a few chapters each day, you can read the entire Bible in a year.) Read intensively—carefully and repeatedly—in order to discover Scriptural insights that God wants to reveal to you. Additional insights and applications will continue to emerge as you engraft the Word of God.
Focus on a Passage
As you read the Bible, certain passages will stand out to you. They will have special application to your life because of decisions you are making, goals you are establishing, questions you have, or pressures you are facing. Engraft these passages into your soul, so that God can transform your mind, will, and emotions through them. Other passages that are foundational to the Christian life need to be engrafted as well, so that you can understand the ways of God.
By memorizing a passage of Scripture, you become equipped to meditate on it at any time—day or night! God promises rich rewards to those who ponder His words throughout the day and night, so memorization is a worthwhile investment. Learn more >>
As you engraft God’s truth in your life, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about it. Begin your study of the passage by asking questions. Learn more >>
Search to understand the truth of God’s Word by studying the meanings of the words He has used. Consider the insights offered by the original languages, cross-references, and historical information. Learn more >>
The words of Scripture are living words. (See Hebrews 4:12.) By pondering the words, discerning their meaning, and applying it to your life, you gain their deep riches of wisdom and understanding. Learn more >>
When you immerse yourself in the study of Scripture, the Holy Spirit will show you ways to apply what you are learning. Obey God’s Word! The application of what you are learning is the most critical step of engrafting Scripture into your life. Learn more >>
Cultivate a Teachable Heart
Remember these facts as you begin to engraft Scripture in your life:
- This passage is inspired by God. (See II Peter 1:21 and Psalm 12:6.)
- This passage is profitable for your instruction. (See II Timothy 3:16–17.)
- God wants you to understand this passage. (See II Timothy 2:15.)
- The Holy Spirit is your Teacher. (See John 16:13 and I Corinthians 2:12–13.)
- You cannot exhaust the riches of this passage. (See Romans 11:33.)
- Your natural thoughts are opposite of God’s thoughts. (See Isaiah 55:8–9.)
- You will probably bring to this passage worldly ideas about what you think it means. Ask God to give you spiritual eyes to see what the passage actually says and means. (See Colossians 2:8.)
How Can I Get Motivated to Actually Do This?
“Your motivation or the lack of it will determine whether you undertake meditation as the lifelong adventure King David knew it to be. The critical issue in meditation is not time, but love. … He [David] knew how utterly valuable God’s precepts were, and as a result was willing to pay any price to make them a part of his heart.
“Why was David so passionate about God’s Word? He knew that meditation was the means of addressing the deepest needs he possessed. That is what makes the practice so critical. That is why David’s heart broke with longing for God’s commandments, and why he pleaded with God to teach him the Word! Meditation remains God’s chosen method of meeting the cravings of our hearts.” (Doug McIntosh, God Up Close: How to Meditate on His Word, Moody Press, Chicago, Ill., 1998, 44–45.)