Retaining Scripture in our Minds and Hearts -- By: Ryan M. McGraw

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 03:2 (Jul 2011)
Article: Retaining Scripture in our Minds and Hearts
Author: Ryan M. McGraw

Retaining Scripture in our
Minds and Hearts

Ryan M. McGraw

The Word of God is sufficient for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness so that the man of God can be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The man of God must meditate upon God’s law day and night, and rejoice over it above all riches (Ps. 1:2). The Word must be upon his lips when he sits down, when he rises up, and when he walks by the wayside (Deut. 6:7); and if we have indeed tasted that the Lord is gracious, we must desire the pure milk of the Word that we may grow by it (1 Pet. 2:2). It is only as we let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly that we will be able to teach and admonish one another, give a reason for the hope that is in us, tear down everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and contend earnestly for the faith delivered to the saints. For these reasons, I have put together some practical suggestions, mostly drawn from my own reflections and experience, to help drill the Scriptures into our minds, root them in our hearts, and express them in our speech and our lives.

Systematic Reading

Read the whole Bible carefully, regularly, and frequently. Believers are held accountable and are often condemned for their ignorance of what the Word of God says. This is illustrated throughout the book of Judges (especially ch. 17), the wrath of God upon the Samaritans (2 Kings 17), and Josiah discovering the immanence of God’s wrath after finding the Book of the Law (2 Chron. 34). If we cannot afford to be ignorant of any part of Scripture, then we must be familiar with all of its parts. This can only be done by systematically reading through the entire Bible, repeating the process often enough that what we have learned will be remembered and built upon.

This type of Bible study provides context and allows us to think about the text in connection to a larger whole. For example, when the reader realizes that Isaiah 13-24 is a single discourse, it sheds much light upon the otherwise difficult content of chapter 24. The Gospel of Matthew is also filled with long sections and drawn-out strains of thought. Chapters 5-7 represent one sermon with an introduction, body, and conclusion. Chapters 23-25 denounce the Scribes and Pharisees, pronounce the resultant destruction of Jerusalem, and then naturally end with the destruction and judgment o...

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