Psalm 119:15-16 NKJV - I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. 16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
A comprehensive study of hundreds of churches conducted by the Willow Creek Association revealed that the number one factor in becoming a consistent, growing disciple of Jesus Christ is this: a thoughtful, contemplative study of Scripture. This assumes the Bible is not only studied but also understood, digested, applied, and even discussed with others. (The following questions apply mostly to those who have been Christians for some time, but newer believers can develop habits by considering these questions also)
Do you mostly do quick-hitting Bible reading bits in which a devotional has already been prepackaged for you, or do you invest time with an actual Bible - highlighting, note-taking, asking questions about the text, and perhaps praying to God about how the text applies to your life?
Do you mostly scroll through a Bible app and follow along with a verses on a screen at church, or are you so familiar with your actual Bible that you can easily turn to various passages, events, and doctrines - and either quote them or paraphrase them to bless yourself and others?
When the psalmist refers to “meditating”, “contemplating”, and “delighting” in the word of God, do you feel that enthusiastic about interacting with Scripture? If you aren’t already doing so, will you commit to carving out daily time to fill your mind with Scripture before your day gets going? If you aren’t already doing so, will you be consistent and participative with the public teaching and preaching of Scripture as well as any small group discussions that center around God’s word?
James 1:22-25 NCV - Do what God’s teaching says; when you only listen and do nothing, you are fooling yourselves. 23 Those who hear God’s teaching and do nothing are like people who look at themselves in a mirror. 24 They see their faces and then go away and quickly forget what they looked like. 25 But the truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.