The church I began attending as a college freshman, and still attend today, told us every week during the sermon to pull out your Bibles and something to take notes on as the pastor began to preach. Every. Single. Time. I love taking notes. I remember taking notes during the motivational speaker at orientation day in college. I am pretty sure I was the only one taking notes that day. So it was not a big deal to find an adorable notebook to take notes in each Sunday.
One day I got the idea to actually do something with the notes I took each week. At the time I was attending both the Sunday morning service, and a mid-week Bible study. What I decided to do with those notes each week actually helped me learn, grow, and transform. This one habit turned a great message into a transforming message.
What was that habit? On Sunday morning I attended church and took notes. As I felt something really standing out to me, or the Holy Spirit speaking to me, I wrote it down and “starred” it. I have over the past 15 years come up with a strange coding system for my notes. There are stars and brackets and arrows. Each one means something different to me. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning I would take out my notebook and Bible to revisit the notes I had taken. Wednesday night was Bible study – more notes! Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I would take out the Bible study notes and study them as my devotional each day. Just a little bit at a time. Just one scripture and idea.
The Bible is full of instruction about studying, learning, and allowing God’s Word to transform us. The goal is never to know more, but to allow the Word, like a sharp sword, to cut and shape us, until we look like Christ. The process begins with hearing the Word, then we must meditate it. The process of meditation is basically chewing it, thinking about it, studying it, until it has been digested and fully integrated into every part of us.
That habit of reviewing my Bible study notes helped me grow so much in not just hearing and being excited about the Word of God, but allowing it to actually take root in me, and begin the transformation process.
What habits have helped you grow in your walk with God?