Although my dad was a farmer, when he was a young man, he occasionally helped out as a lay preacher. In one service at which he was to speak, he put money in the offering, unaware that the offering would be given to him. At the close of the service, someone handed him the offering with the light-hearted comment, "If you had put more in it, you would have gotten more out of it."
I thought of that comment during an early morning Bible reading, so I decided to put more into it. I began memorizing the first few verses of 2 Corinthians 4. At first I didn't find much for application, but I continued to memorize the verses as I had been taught to memorize piano music--repeating each phrase six times by memory, always including the beginning of the next phrase.
While saying the words, I let them filter through my thoughts. Did they give any direction or any promise for today? Paul instructed Timothy: "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them" (I Timothy 4:15 KJV). I tried to set my mind to gain understanding and to give myself wholly to the words.
Suddenly I understood how one phrase applied to me. As always when my search is rewarded, I realized I was indebted to my Guide. "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 16:17 KJV).
The best way to make a verse come alive in our spirits is to memorize it. As we go through the day reflecting on it, the Holy Spirit helps us understand what it means.
"Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all of this" (2 Timothy 2:7). When we've tucked His words into our hearts, just at the moment when we need a promise or a command, God's word will come to mind. We'll gain practical knowledge of how to put it into practice.
Thank you, Jesus, for the Holy Spirit who guides me when I read Your Word.
"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law" (Psalm 119:18).