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. –Jas 1:25
In one week, the typical Christian hears 1 Sunday school teaching, 1 or 2 preached messages on Sunday, attends 1 Bible study during the week, and reads a portion of the Bible 7 times a week.
Herein a person is exposed to the Word of God at least 10 times a week, and many of us much more than that. We can be exposed to the Word of God in the reading of spiritual books, conversations with other Christians, in meditation on the scriptures, and when God speaks to us throughout our day.
We are instructed in the above scripture by James to be “not a forgetful hearer”, and that if we apply ourselves to what we hear, we will be “blessed in our deed”. In verse 22 and 23 of the same chapter, James tells us that if we are a “hearer of the word, and not a doer”, than we are “deceiving your own selves” (Jas 1:22-23).
If you talk to most Christians and ask them what the Sunday preaching message was about last week, they can’t even remember the topic, let alone the thoughts that were presented or the issues that they found convicting and where they felt they had a need.
This is a shame and should not be.
The following are a number of ways that will help you remember the Word of God that comes to you.
1. Taking Notes — One of the most important ways to remember the Word of God that comes to you is to take notes. If you don’t take notes in meeting, you are a slothful Christian! Even if you are a father or mother with children, try to take some notes.
You should have a Bible case to put your Bible, a good concordance like Cruden’s Complete Concordance, and a note book in! Take your Bible, concordance, and note book with you everywhere you go. When you go to pray, have them with you. When you go out for a muffin, bring them with you. When you go visiting, have them with you.
2. Share your notes — The next way you can remember what you have heard is to share it with others. This is very good right after the preaching or Bible study meeting. Go to other spiritual-minded Christians and share what you got out of the message and ask them what they got.
Even go to the non-spiritual and open up a conversation with them and share with them the good points, and ask them what they thought of the message or study. This can open doors for you to minister to others.
Phone others throughout the week and share with them the blessings you received from the message or Bible study. You can call other Christians, your family, and your friends.
If you have questions about the message, write them down and go to the preacher or Bible teacher afterward and ask them.
3. Review your notes — When you get home, read over your notes prayerfully, asking the Lord to show you the actions you need to take concerning what you have heard. Make further notes on what you feel the Lord has spoke to you.
4. Study your notes — Look up the scriptures in different commentaries to get further thoughts on those scriptures. Record any good thoughts you receive.
5. Review your notes monthly — I made a point of marking the important notes I make with a large asterisk. This enables me to go over a month or so of notes and quickly review the very important ones. Let me give some examples from my notes for the last month or so.
*Get out of your comfort zone!
*Seek to excel!
*Be temperate in all things.
*Keep under your body.
*Where art thou?
*1Pet 5:8 the devil is looking for someone to devour.
*The time we feel least like singing is the time we need it the most.
*The first question in the Bible was “Yea, hath God said?”.
*What will be the eternal consequences of you not spending time (list of things).
*Tit 2:15 that Jesus gave himself to redeem us from all sin, to purify for himself a people that are eager to do good works.
*What we do to please God must be done in the realm of faith.
*John 5:28 the “hour is coming” in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice… they that have done good… and they that have done evil — one general resurrection.
*Martha was amillennial – she believed Lazarus would “rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (Mat 11:24), not during some secret rapture 7 years before the last day.
*There is a danger in being non-committal?
*Read, study, mediate, do, apply.
*Build ON the Word!
*Get book from Mark V on Vinegar Boy!
*Embrace the grace!
I also make some of my notes with a question mark. These are items that I want to review further or items where I am asking myself a question. Here are a few examples.
?Do you have a single eye?
?What is the etymology of mother?
?Are your needs supplied?
?The blood keeps us clean – by repenting over and over?
?My righteousness – 2Sa 22:25
?Look up in Ezek. where it says your righteousness will be remembered no more.
?Find the scripture where it says you need to reprove those that swear.
?Eph 2:3 by nature children of wrath.
?Give us the desires of our heart – does God give us a desire or the things we desire.
This marking system helps me to go over my notes easily and get the main points that I have taken notes about.
6. Write a review — You can write an article on what you have heard. You can use this article to post online on your own blog, make a tract, or put in your congregational newsletter.
This blog post was inspired and taken from the notes I made while listening to last Sunday morning’s opening message. If I had not taken notes, the thoughts I would have received would have more than likely been lost.
With the thought of “taking heed to how you hear” being lost, there would have more than likely been no blog post, no commitment to do better in reviewing my notes, no commitment to talk to others about the messages after meeting, etc.
7. Get a copy of the message — Last Sunday I heard a very provoking message on “taking heed to your ministry”. I need to listen to it again and I want to write a blog post on it also. It was a very simple, but yet provoking and profound message.
When God deals with us strongly on a weakness we have through a preached message, we need to take special heed to that. We need to get a copy of the message and listen to it a number times.
We need to give ourselves wholly to the content of that message that God so mercifully dealt with us through and showed us our need. To hear a message and be deeply convicted of our need and go away and not think of it again is to be deceived.
I tried to get a copy of the message but didn’t have a USB drive with me. Seeing how the iPhone doesn’t have Diskmode, I will need to remember to bring my USB thumb drive me with next Sunday (I just put it in my car’s glove box so I won’t forget).