Updated: Jan 13
Last week, we stepped up to the challenge that the apostle Paul gave to a young Timothy.
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2.
He was telling Timothy to pick it (God’s truth) up and pass it on. How you do that? Through being a good listener. But we all know there is a difference between being a listener and being a LEARNER. You can listen to someone tell you how to replace the alternator in your car or how to get to the nearest gas station, but until you purpose to learn the information, you are just hearing a bunch of noise. So how do we cross the bridge from a listener to a leaner? Well, we have to hide it, not just in our heads, but in our heart.
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalms 119:11.
Here is an acrostic that has helped me tremendously to hide God’s wonderful truth in my heart.
There are so many ways to consume information in our tech savvy society. Podcasts, YouTube videos, livestream, etc. But one great addition to all this tech is the tools we can utilize to consume God’s Word. In Old Testament times, what Jews learned about the law of God was verbal. It was repeated from one generation to the next and it was not foreign to read the scriptures aloud.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27. Your heart will follow who you choose to hear. Much of the problem comes when allow some much noise into our lives. We get distracted by all the bells and whistles of the world, hustling and bustling its way through life and all the while God is speaking in a still small voice. (I Kings 19:8-12).
EXAMINE – read it daily
It’s amazing how little of an emphasis there is on reading now a days! Reading is good for the soul. It stimulates the imagination and open doors vibrant worlds unknown. If that is true, then why do we give so little attention to the written Words of God? If anyone has something to say, it is Him! Well, how should I read God’s Word?
Read it lovingly. Psalm 1 reminds us, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
Read it reverently. There is a reason why we call it the Holy Word of God. It is indeed Holy! It’s not a compilation of stories or elements of good proverb, but it is literally from the heart of the God who formed you. Make your times in His Word special and sacred.
Read it prayerfully. Amazing things happen when you pray the Words of God! I’ve heard many preachers say, “Every time you pray in the Word of God, you pray in the will of God.” Turn the Scripture back toward heaven, and watch God etch His Truth into your heart.
Read it daily. What did you have to eat in October 17th, 2004? Do you remember? I certainly don’t! God’s Word is our daily food. We may not remember everything we have ever read, but it helped us for that moment in that day. As sure as we are to nurture our bodies, we should give diligence to nurturing our soul!
ANALYZE – study it often
I know what you’re thinking, “Studying is for students, right?” Right! But when do we ever stop being a student?
True ignorance insists upon those who choose to be their own teachers.
We should always have an appetite for the Bible. It is by digging into the well of God’s truth that we will draw the sweetest waters.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.
I think too often we study to show ourselves approved unto our friends. We fill our head with Bible facts but we miss the heart of what God is saying. “The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not...” Jeremiah 2:8.
It’s possible to handle the Word of God in your study, and miss living it out in the world.
REPEAT – share it with others!
We all know that some things that are not worth repeating! But there is one thing you can repeat to others all the time-God’s Word. You will never go wrong by pointing others to the holy pages of scripture. I have learned that some of the most influential truths of God’s Word have been ones that I have shared with others over and over again.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:4).
My youth pastor used to say, “Whatever is in the well of the heart, will come out of the bucket of the mouth.” I think that is true both ways. When we learn to recite God’s truth to others, it is woven a little deeper into the fabric of our hearts.
Have you shared God’s truth with those around you today? If you were asked to teach others what God is doing in our heart, would you have something to share?
THINK– meditate, memorize and master it!
The thoughts that are in your head, will eventually wiggle its way down to the belief system of your heart. That’s why Paul challenges us in Philippians 2: 5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” How amazing is that! You can have the same thoughts as the Lord Jesus! If we learn to think like Christ there is a good chance we might act like Him. How do we think like Christ? We think on His Word. Notice:
Meditate on the Word
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8).
Many messages that the Lord has given me has been from time spent meditating on His Word. Its amazing how the truth of God blossoms like a spring flower in your soul when you take the time to think through a passage. You work on it, and it begins to work on you!
Memorize the Word
Memorizing scripture is one of the best ways to hide it in your heart. There are a thousand and one tools out there to help you keep verses on the forefront of your mind, but keeping it as simple as writing down verses on a flashcard and carrying it with you throughout the day will do the trick as well. Whatever tool you use, USE IT! You cannot afford to let God’s Word be an after thought on your long list of “to-dos.” If the Bible is going to be primary in your life you must be purposeful, punctual, and prayerful in your use of it!
Master the Word
We will never get to a place in our lives where we have fully mastered the Bible. We are all still students of the Word. But we do ourselves and the world around us a disservice when we let biblical principle sit on the shelf of laziness and excuse. We must meditate and memorize the Word, but we must also live it!
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:22-25).
It’s not so much us mastering the Word as it is letting the Word mastering us! It is a Living Book we are reading, and when it gets in our hearts it begins to live through us and shine as a bright light of hope to a world left in darkness.
For more on this topic, check out this podcast episode!