The “Word Hand” shows us the five methods of “getting a grip” on the Bible:

  • Hearing the Word taught by pastors and Bible teachers.
  • Reading the Bible to gain an overall picture of God’s Word.
  • Studying the Scriptures to make personal discoveries of God’s truths.
  • Memorizing God’s Word to help guard against sin and make the Word readily available for witnessing or helping others.
  • Meditating on God’s Word—thinking of its meaning and application to our lives.

You can use the hand illustration to explain to a new Christian how to absorb God’s Word into his life.

1. After explaining what each of the fingers symbolizes, try to hold a Bible using only your little finger (“Hearing”). Point out that it’s difficult to get a good grip on the Bible only by hearing others teach from it.

2. Add the “Read” finger and show how it helps to stabilize your grasp of the Bible. Ask the other person to take the Bible away from you—he should be able to do it easily.

3. Add the remaining fingers one at a time, commenting about how each additional finger (“Study” and “Memorize”) provides a firmer grasp on God’s Word. With each step, have the person snatch the Bible from your hand.

4. Finally, grip the Bible with all four fingers and the thumb. Show how adding “Meditation” significantly strengthens your grip on the Bible—and makes it very difficult for anyone to take the Scriptures away from you. — Discipleship Journal, Issue 51 (May/June 1989) (NavPress, 1989).


This article excerpted from The Discipleship Course.

The Discipleship Course is available on Amazon, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking subscription service.

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