Do you feel guilty if you miss a Bible reading? Perhaps you woke up later than intended and had to rush out the door without spending time in the Word. It happens to all of us. Sometimes, we make ourselves artificial rules to keep us in line, such as the “no Bible no breakfast” rule. But even if you miss your reading, there simple things you can do to keep the word of God in your mind today.
You’ll remember that we saw the three functions of the heart. We saw the primacy of the mind and the need for Bible reading, but there are other methods to transform your mind that will keep working even when you miss your regular quiet time.
While you might not be able to sit down and read, there is a good chance that in the car on the way to work or at some point, you’ll be able to listen to something. With modern technology, you can purchase the Bible, and listen to it on your phone. For example, you can get the ESV, Holman Christian Standard Bible or NIV in Audible.com format (grab the free app and log in with your Amazon account). I don’t recommend this as a replacement for reading, but it is a great supplement to your regular Bible reading.
The Psalmist said, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against you” (Ps 119:11). The Psalmist was on to something. Memorization is a powerful way to keep the word of God available at all times. It takes discipline, but it is well worth the (minimal) hardship to gain the benefit. Because memorization requires repetition, you are consistently going over scripture in your mind and it is constantly coming to your mind during the day. While this is happening, it helps you analyze your actions throughout the day. Here are 10 tips to boost your memorization of the Bible.
Once you’ve got the Bible in your memory banks, it is much easier to meditate on it. When God told Joshua to meditate on the law (Josh 1:8) the word he used literally means to mumble it under your breath to yourself. That is to say, he was to connect his mind with his mouth and continually speak the word of God to himself. The outcome was that, he would “be careful to do according to all that is written in it” with the result that “then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Reciting the scripture you’ve already memorized and thinking about its application is a great way to do this.[shareable]When God told Joshua to meditate on the law (Josh 1:8) the word he used literally means to mumble it under your breath to yourself.[/shareable]
If you’ve memorized any scripture you can probably recall enough of it to pray through it. Think for example about John 3;16, “For God so loved the world…” You can start there. “Thank you Lord for your love for us as a people, which reminds us of your goodness and desire to bless…” Later it says, “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” To that, you can give thanks for how the Lord has saved you and granted you eternal life. If you feel too rotten to pray, use this as an opportunity to the reason you feel this way (i.e. confess sin). In fact, praying scripture should be a regular part of your quiet time. Don Whitney’s new (short) book is a helpful resource for Praying the scripture.
None of this is to say that you shouldn’t read your Bible, but there are times where we neglect it for whatever reason. In those times (and in others) these are additional opportunities for the word of God to continue the work of renewing your mind and transforming your life.
[reminder]Which of these do you find most effective for keeping the word of God in your mind?[/reminder]