January 1: A New Year’s Resolve

This Year, Be More in the Scriptures, for they are the very Word of God.

With appreciation of the Rev. Ryan Laughlin’s sermon this Sunday at The Covenant Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, I would press upon us all our great need to spend more time in the Bible.

Rev. Laughlin used an outline drawn from his background with the Navigators, and here I add a few comments to that basic structure:

a. Read the Word—It takes just twenty minutes out of your day to read through the Bible in one year. There are a lot of Bible reading plans published every year on the Web by various ministries. We even have a dedicated tab at the top of our page here on This Day in Presbyterian History, with links to a host of plans. Something to suit everybody.

b. Hear the Word—Take time to be with the Lord’s people on Sunday. Worship the Lord and and pay attention to the sermon. Paying attention–that’s what the Westminster Confession means when it talks of the “conscionable hearing” of the Word (WCF 21.5).

c. Study the Word—All manner of questions and problems come up all the time. Turn to the Scriptures and seek out their application. “What does the Bible have to say about….?”
And if you can’t find the answer, go to your pastor or your elders and see how they would direct you through the Scriptures.

d. Memorize the Word—This is not as hard as it may sound, though it is easier when you are younger. I would suggest just a verse a day, and at that rate, as one possible goal, you could memorize the first twenty-eight Psalms over the course of a year! Or you could apply that same discipline to some other book(s) of the Bible. Whatever you choose, the benefits for your life as a Christian will be immense.

e. Meditate on the Word—And here is the real reason for Scripture memory, to allow you to then meditate on those texts of Scripture. The Word of God is like a rare jewel. Hold it up before the eyes of your mind and examine it; turn it as you examine its many facets and see how the light comes through to illumine your understanding and to show you the path that the Lord would have you to walk.

 

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