What gets celebrated gets replicated. A lesson I have learned as a parent is that if I want my kids to make good choices, I need to celebrate when they do. My seven-year-old does not enjoy cleaning her room (shocker right?). So when she does clean, to any degree, I celebrate that moment with her. I try to make sure she understands that this is a huge victory, an enormous win! Likewise, when my son does well in math (which he hates), we celebrate. Whether it is an encouraging word, a pat on the back, or eating ice cream, we find a way to celebrate those moments. We celebrate because I want to encourage them to continue in the way that they are going. I want them to stick with it.
How much more important is it to celebrate the life-giving practice of engaging God’s Word? One of the greatest challenges hindering us from reading and applying God’s Word is the way we choose to celebrate. Think about the time you have already spent this year engaging in the Word. What was your follow-up? Did you simply read, check a box, and move on? If we are going to stick with our goal to engage with God’s Word consistently, then we must learn to celebrate. An obvious benefit of engaging the Word is the work of God in our lives through His Word, as we apply it, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Less obvious is the slow and steady shaping of our hearts over time as we immerse ourselves in His Word. Here are three ways we can celebrate engaging God’s Word:
Share the Word
While this may not seem like a celebration, sharing the Word is perhaps the best way we can celebrate. When we tell others what God is doing in our lives through His Word, we highlight the impact and importance of the gospel in our lives. We can share what we have learned with fellow believers to provide insight and shared understanding. We could share the Word with those who do not know Christ as a means to expand the gospel and lead them to the Lord. One thing I like to do is share what I have learned with my children. I would have loved to have gotten biblical insight from my parents as a child. While I can’t change the past, I can impact the future by investing in my children with the Word. And you can too. Sharing the Word may not seem like a celebration, but it is probably one of the greatest ways we can celebrate reading God’s Word.When we tell others what God is doing in our lives through His Word, we highlight the impact and importance of the gospel in our lives. Click To Tweet
I am not a fan of journaling. I do not like to take notes, and my handwriting is atrocious. But there is simply no avoiding the impact of journaling what you are learning from God’s Word. I can remember countless times I have looked back at a note I wrote in my Bible, or a journal I wrote years ago. Particularly, journaling your prayer time is very powerful. To be able to look back on what you were asking God to do and how you were hearing from Him is such a profound experience. We can see the long term sanctification process much more clearly when we journal. Again, this may not seem like a celebration, but it is. This is a way for you to celebrate what God is doing and how He is shaping you. This is a gift you will be thankful for the rest of your life.
OK, Ice Cream
Sometimes you just need to celebrate with something you really enjoy. Whether it is, in fact, ice cream, or something else, don’t hesitate to enjoy the moment and relish in victory as you pursue your goal to more consistently engage in God’s Word. You could do this on a daily basis by celebrating your reading with a great cup of coffee, or you could set a weekly or monthly goal that gets celebrated when you accomplish the task. Find something you love and celebrate as you grow in the habit of engaging God’s Word.
When it comes to sticking with your goal of engaging God’s Word, you need to find ways to celebrate consistently. One of the benefits of having a discipleship group is that every single week you can celebrate with your group. But even if you don’t have a discipleship group currently, find ways to celebrate and focus on engaging with the Word of God to learn, apply, and grow in the likeness of Christ.