It is discipline, it is work, and it’s a labor of love. You know, you love the Word of God, but there is a discipline that comes with it. You constantly, consciously, not this, but I choose this. …I am resolved, things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight. So it’s constantly carrying the Bible around, picking it up every time you can, and just plowing, and plowing, and plowing, and searching, and studying, and meditating. In some ways it does not do too much good to read fast, you have to meditate, you have to deeply meditate. Heres Joshua chapter 1, This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may… How does it go? Study to do all that is written therein, for then you will make your way prosperous, then you will have good success. So here is Joshua…here he is appointed to succeed Moses. He was the one that…Moses laid his hands on him, he was anointed with the Spirit of Wisdom and so on. He was a man who commanded the Sun to stand still. There was no day like it, before or since. He commanded the Jordan and the Jordan split. So Joshua was a mighty man of God, he was one of the two that made it in to see the Promised Land, you know. Yet, with all of that here, the Lord was saying to him, Joshua, if you want to see success, you are going to have to meditate on the Word of God and obey the Word of God.
So meditation, just like a cow chewing its cud, you have to take time to be holy, you have to take time to sit down and meditate on the Word, study the Word, follow the themes, look for a message. C.T. Studd was asked, “What are you doing up here at 3 o’clock in the morning?” He said, “I’m looking for a new command to obey.”
I like to draw lines in my Bible, take a lead pencil and a ruler, I always carry a little plastic ruler in my Bible, so it’s real handy. …You know, follow the theme, here this word is mentioned here, here’s this word here, here’s this word here, and make connections. Connect the dots. It helps you to remember the themes the next time you go through it.
Another thing that helps too is to always have a notepad with you, or scratch paper, something and write down every fresh thought. Write it down. If your father entrusted you with a ten dollar bill, you would feel ashamed if you had to tell him you lost it. So here God gives us some precious thoughts, fresh thoughts, thoughts that I can share, thoughts that I can relate, thoughts that might be a seed of a sermon, or whatever. You know you don’t want to lose them. We want to be good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Good stewards, especially, of His thoughts, which are more valuable than silver and gold. It helps too to memorize. Well let me back up on this other thing of taking notes. I found it helpful to, like in the book of Deuteronomy. Although I couldn’t do it now, but at one time I could. Write down the one main theme in chapter one, some key thing in each chapter. Then you can always think; Leviticus 16: the atonement. Leviticus 13: the leprosy, and chapter 14. You have something that you can remember in each chapter and it kind of helps you to know that book. A skeleton, you know, on which you can hang other things, that helps. But it especially helps to memorize. To memorize the New Testament epistles. When I started out as a Christian, well I was around some navigators and you have the topical memory system. But that’s the tough way of memorizing, one verse here and one verse there. It’s much easier, proportionately, relatively speaking, to memorize a whole chapter, then it is to memorize one verse here and there. Also, it’s much easier to memorize a whole book. …You may get rusty and forget, and you can’t quote it word perfect after a while, unless you are just faithful to review. Nevertheless, you never forget what’s in that chapter, you know that chapter like the back of your hand.