How much time do you spend with God? Is it once a week, daily, hourly, or not at all? A follower has to spend the time with him so he can do His work in us. We all lack discipline these days, particularly spiritual discipline.
Matthew 28:19-20 is the Great Commission, however, we tend to forget the making disciples part. Or even being a disciple ourselves. Recently, I read a book called The Great Omission by Dallas Willard on the spiritual disciplines. His two favorites, solitude and silence, like turning off your phone and going for a drive or walk in the woods.
He has another beginner discipline that ties into the Greatest Commandment, ‘love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, mind, body, soul, and strength. It’s to help keep your focus on God always.’
How to do that?
By memorizing Bible passages.
Impossible, you’re thinking. Ah, but it’s easier than you think. He recommends Matthew 5-7 (The Sermon on the Mount), John 14-17 (Upper Room Discourse), 1st Corinthians 13 (The Love Chapter), and Colossians 3. It looks like a lot of work, right?
In a sermon series on 1st John, Pastor Rod said when he studied the Bible that he would read an entire book for a month. Reading and rereading in different translations, and he would end up accidentally memorizing a lot of it.
That’s how I’m going to memorize passages. I started with the Sermon on the Mount, reading it every day. A simple 10 minute addition to my usual study time. In fact, for convenience, I read it during my rest periods while strength training. It’s easy to make time for.
It’s not memorized verbatim, but the essence of it I remember. Which is important since it’s considered the Christian’s code of conduct. Here’s the breakdown:
- Find the passages
- Pick just one, and read it every day for a month
- At the start of the next month, repeat with a different passage
Soon, with just 10 minutes a day the passage will start to sink in. You’ll consider them throughout the day. Perhaps a question will arise and chase down the answers. Not a bad thing at all.
More importantly, you’ll be growing as a follower of Jesus. What disciplines do you practice?