Studying God’s Word Isn’t for a Test Score but for a Life Change

Last Sunday I took notes during the sermon. I also have many Bible study books full of notes I’ve taken over the years. I take notes at women’s conferences and file them in a folder when I get home.Lately, God has been speaking to my heart about all those volumes of notes and shelves full of study guides. I often refer to my notes to write these devotions. It makes me see that all that note-taking is useful.

However, the thing God has been speaking about isn’t my writing or reading or studying. It’s what I do with the information I’m learning. I have to admit that there are some pages of notes I never look at after I write them. You could argue that simply writing things down helps you remember them. In fact, I learned a long time ago that if I make a list for the grocery store, even if I forget and leave it on the counter, I can usually remember most of what I wrote down. If I tried to remember without writing anything it would be a useless trip to the store as I would forget much of what I went for.

But the notes I take when I’m listening to someone speak about the Bible are meant to have some sort of impact later. The idea is that I learn more about God and about myself in a way that brings about changes in me. The goal is to be more Christlike. If I take all these notes and even if I study them so I could pass a written test with flying colors, I would gain nothing unless it changed me.

I think God is saying to me, and perhaps to you as well, that it’s time to take my studies up a notch. I am challenging myself to actually revisit my notes and meditate on what God would have me do with what I am learning. I want to be more intentional about internalizing what I hear and not be just a collector of words on the page.

Let’s consider what we can do to become a more faithful students of God’s Word. The time we spend studying will never be wasted.

“Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15 (CSB)

“Let a wise person listen and increase learning, and let a discerning person obtain guidance, for understanding a proverb or a parable, the words of the wise, and their riddles.” – Proverbs 1:5-6 (CSB)