God’s Word in My Heart

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Psalms 119:11-16


I.         God’s Word is important to the Christian

            A.        It tells us how to live - II Timothy 3:16-17

            B.        It has everything we need to know about life and godliness - II Peter 1:3

            C.        But it is frustrating for a lot of us when there is a passage we want to find but you can’t remember where it is at.

II.        Hidden in my heart

            A.        Psalm 119:11 - We should have God’s word always with us

            B.        Jeremiah 15:16 - Chew on them

            C.        Colossians 3:16 - Let it live with you

            D.        Not just memorization. God is talking about His word becoming a part of us.

            E.        When we speak, we speak as God’s word - I Peter 4:11

III.       How to make it a part of us

            A.        Memorization is one method, but let’s face it, not all of us can memorize portions of the Bible.

                        1.         Being able to quote passages is good, but what about the person being quoted to – how does he know you are reciting the passage accurately?

                        2.         They need to look up the verses for themselves - Acts 17:11

            B.        Even when I happen to have a verse memorized, I turn to the passage and have the person I’m studying with turn there as well.

                        1.         Then I am less likely to misquote because of a faulty memory

                        2.         Then the person can see for himself that this is really what God said.

                        3.         They can also read the context to see that it wasn’t being pulled out of context.

                        4.         You’ll notice that I turn to passages during lessons, give at least a moment to turn to the passage and read the verse. All so that you can check to see if what I am saying is so.

            C.        Grow - II Peter 3:18

                        1.         Never become satisfied that you know enough

            D.        By reason of use - Hebrews 5:13-14

                        1.         Memorizing a passage doesn’t do you much good if you don’t have an immediate use for it.

                                    a.         I’ve met a few excellent mathematicians who can solve the most complex geometric problems. Most of us can’t. We wouldn’t even know where to begin.

                                    b.         But I’ve seen carpenters solve complex geometric problems daily, without effort, because they use the same methods over and over again.

                                    c.         Repeated use, locks ideas in our head

                        2.         Use also increases interest.

            E.        How to encourage growth and use:

                        1.         When you answer a question in Bible class, don’t answer with “I think.” Find the passage first and then state “Over in ... it says ...”

                        2.         When someone tells you about a problem in his life, think about what passage would best address his situation and then share it with that person.

                        3.         When something really bothers you, think about what passage would best guide you and then go read it again.

                        4.         Start a cross-reference in the margin of your Bible. When you run across a verse that particularly fits well with other, jot the reference down in the Bible.

                        5.         Keep a list of key verses on the blank pages in your Bible.

                        6.         When a speaker mentions a passage, look it up.

                        7.         Talk with people about the Bible. There is nothing like a discussion to get your mental gear engaged.

            F.        Give yourself reminders - Deuteronomy 6:4-9

                        1.         Write out a favorite passage and put it where you can see it.

                        2.         One woman took the idea from Deuteronomy 17:18 and copied books of the Bible. She then bound them as gifts.

            G.        Think about it

                        1.         Think about it day and night - Psalms 1:2

                        2.         A meditation all day - Psalms 119:97

                        3.         A meditation at night, during boring times - Psalms 63:6

            H.        Help someone else learn - Proverbs 15:7

IV.      Reasons to learn

            A.        Few learn purely for learning sake. Most of us need a reason to learn, a goal in mind

            B.        One way is to figure out why things are as they are.

                        1.         You can memorize all the English grammar rules you are able, or you can figure out why those rules exist and the rest comes easy

                        2.         Knowledge is easy to him who understands - Proverbs 14:6

            C.        Never allow yourself to think you know it all. Understand that you will be wrong at times - Proverbs 12:1

                        1.         A corollary is that you don’t have all the answers.

                        2.         Studying with others helps because they will bring up a point you never thought about before.

                        3.         So go learn. Never think you must have all the answers before you start studying with another.

            D.        Don’t ignore a subject because you don’t understand it - Proverbs 1:22

                        1.         It is easy to mock what you don’t know, but it doesn’t make you a better person.

V.        Bible study is hard for some because they never make learning the Bible a part of their lives.

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