A Hand (Illustration) for the New Year


I was fortunate as a new believer in Christ to be encouraged from the start to hear, read, study, memorize, and meditate on the Bible as God’s Word. I was in college and followed up by someone with The Navigators campus ministry. Knowing the Word was their M.O. The Hand Illustration was one of the tools I was taught to assess my intake of God’s Word.

Marriage, babies, schooling, ministry, sloth, and life have all had their effects on how The Hand has played out in various seasons, but I still find it a helpful image to periodically assess my intake of God’s life-giving Word. Perhaps it will help you, too.

Hold up your left hand. From left to right, look at your fingers and how each one can remind you, your children, your friends of the varied means we have available to be nourished by God’s Word.

  1. Hear the Word.
    • Ideas: Go to church on Sunday. Listen to a sermon while you drive or work out. Listen to Indelible Grace songs or kids Bible songs.
    • Personal fav: Listen to the ESV Bible via the phone app while I drive Anna to school in the morning.
  1. Read the Word.
    • Ideas: Read through the whole Bible; there are all kinds of reading plans. The YouVersion app and ESV app are free. Read The Story one chapter per day for a month for an overview of the Bible using Scripture.
    • Personal fav: Read through the One Year Chronological Bible (until I’m finished, not necessarily in a year).
  1. Study the Word.
    • Ideas: Group Bible study. Personal Bible study. City Group Bible study. With-one-friend Bible study. With-one-or-several-of-your-kids Bible study.
    • Personal fav: Sermon on the Mount discussions with our City Group.
  1. Memorize the Word.
    • Ideas: Topical Memory System by The Navigators. Post-its near your bathroom mirror or kitchen sink. Verse pack or index cards on your dashboard. One per week, two weeks, month.
    • Personal fav: Index card by the bathroom sink in the morning.
  1. Meditate on the Word.
    • Ideas: Reflect on the verses you are memorizing. Reflect more on a passage from the previous week’s sermon. Reflect on a song. Pray through a passage.
    • Personal fav: Journal.

When we do these things, we will have a firmer grip on the Scriptures. The goal in all these things is so that we may know we are loved by God in Christ and that we may share that love in action with others.

Let’s be creative. For the New Year, think of one new habit you can start that will help you abide more fully in God’s Word.

Julie profile pic  Julie Serven craves shalom for people and places. She enjoys editing, helping people with literacy skills, hearing people’s stories, exploring all things OKC, yoga, NPR, and spending time with her ultracool family.