In the parable of the sower, Jesus said, ‘Some people are like seed along the path, where the Word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the Word that was sown in them.’ Ever notice how you can sit at home and watch a two-hour, advert-packed film without feeling restless or bored, yet when the sermon exceeds thirty or forty minutes, you keep glancing at your watch and can’t wait to get out of church? And if someone asked you the next day what the preaching topic was, most times you couldn’t tell them. Jesus said, ‘Satan comes and takes away the Word.’ So how can you retain it?
(1) Write it down (see Exodus 17:14). When you make notes on what you read and hear, you’ll retain more, be more impacted, and get much more out of it.
(2) Pray it through. Unless you pray over the Word you’re hearing, you’ll keep coming home from church moved but unchanged. Many of the great saints of old read through the Bible on their knees. You should try that too!
(3) Discuss it with others. God’s Word is like a seed that multiplies and grows when it’s watered by conversation with others who share your faith. The Bible says, ‘Those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard.’ (Malachi 3:16 NIV)
(4) Practise it daily. John tells us, ‘The Word was made flesh.’ (John 1:14 KJV) The best way to retain God’s Word is to practise its principles, or ‘flesh it out’!