June 09, 2022
I once had a lawyer I had the privilege of discipling that would always ask me "What's the purpose of the exercise?" Great question. So, why would I get up early every morning and meet with God? What's the point of reading and studying the Bible over and over again? The wise writer of Proverbs 22 answers that question.
Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge; for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, that they may be ready on your lips, so that your trust may be in the Lord. (Proverbs 22:17-19)
God uses strong words to encourage us to come to Him through His word daily. Four powerful admontions that we should heed each time we come to Christ through His Word and prayer.
Incline Your Hear
We must move in that direction. You will never discover God and all He is and says if you do not read; if you do not get in a position to hear; if you do not come prayerful to the Father; if you do not ask, seek, and knock; if you do not "incline your ear." Inclining means that are bent that way. That you lean in to God and wise is the man who does this every single day.
Hear The Words Of The Wise
It's possible, isn't it, to listen but never hear. We must listen carefully. If you read the words daily but realize that you didn’t understand a single thing, it’s not because God is not speaking. We may be preoccupied, our mind a million miles away. We should read it again and again until we “hear” what God wants to say to us. He has something for us every day if we will listen!
Apply Your Mind To My Knowledge
We must engage our minds. We must give ourselves to study if it is to be of benefit. No mindless, careless reading of God's word, but careful study. Pay attention to important words. Underline them. Look them up, even in an English dictionary. Every word of the Scripture is inspired (“God-breathed”) and was chosen for a purpose.
If you were intent on learning something for your work, you would study it until you mastered the information. How much more should we do this with God’s word and the wisdom that is eternally valuable to us and others.
Keep Them Within You
Not only should we be in a position to hear and diligently listen and apply our minds, but we must digest the Word so that it literally becomes a part of us.
One of the ways we do this is by journaling. Studies show that we retain more of what we're studying when we write it down and see it. This process forces us to engage our minds and hearts at an entirely different level than just reading. Another key is memorizing the Scripture and meditating on God's words throughout the day.
Another means of keeping the word is by memorizing. Passages that I memorized in college still direct me. Those are the ones I use. That are ready on my mind. Even if it’s just one verse a week, it would dramatically affect your life if you’d write it on a card, place it in your car or bathroom mirror, and go over it until it’s yours. Meditate often on these Scriptures. Like a cow “chewing the cud,” bring them up to your mind and heart often and find every bit of nourishment that is there.
So That They May Be Ready On Your Lips
God wants His truth to change your life, but also equip you to be used to change the lives of others! He wants His truths shared. I cannot tell you how many times God has shown me something in His word in the morning that was EXACTLY what someone else needed that day. This is why journaling is so important so that you can return to that passage and refresh what God has told you to be ready to tell others.
So That Your Trust May Be In The Lord
It's always about dependence. God's great goal is to move us from an independent life to a dependent life, from a trust in ourselves to trust in Him; to FAITH. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God," Paul said.
Nothing builds our faith like growing in our knowledge of the faithfulness, the integrity, the soundness, and the promises of God. To know God’s wisdom is to know God. To understand His mind and heart. What could be more important?
I have been reading the Bible now for over 55 years. Some may say, "Why would you give yourself diligently to read and study God's Word every single morning?" I would say, "How can you live without it?" There is a cumulative effect—a growing wisdom that is gained through the years. It is the most essential part of every common day!
Father, help me see the value of Your Word so intensely that I pursue it greatly. Let me be driven by an insatiable desire to know You and trust You. Help me understand that this only grows by listening to You daily. Help me lay aside other pursuits that I may know You!
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