Engraft God’s Word Into Your Life: The importance of meditating on the Word of God
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. “ …with meekness receive the ingrafted 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, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice” (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 that you must hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
The second 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).
Jesus said: “For if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sin.” (John 8:24)
The third step to engrafting God’s Word in your life is that one must repent of his sins in order to be saved: “The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent:” (Acts 17:30)
The fourth step to engrafting God’s Word in your life, is that one must confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. “For if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
The fifth, step to engrafting God’s Word in your life one must be baptized in order to be saved. “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)
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 pure spiritual milk of the word, that thereby you may grow unto salvation” (I Peter 2:2) God also compares His Word to other types of food, thus confirming our need to feed upon it daily. (See 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.
Memorize the Passage
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.
Ask Questions About the Passage
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
Study the Passage
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 early Fathers, the Church, the original languages, cross-references, and historical information.
Meditate on the Passage
The words of God 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.
Apply Your Insights
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.
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.)
The Holy Catholic Church is your Guide. (I John 4:6)
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. Find out from the Early Fathers and the authoritative teachings of the Church what is meant by the passage. (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.