Today’s Scripture: Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. Hebrews 2:1

After an evening service, a church member approached and said: “Pastor, that was a great message! It really helped me!” I told them that I was glad God helped them through the sermon, then asked what it was, specifically, that helped them. The member replied in all honesty and sincerity: “Well… to be honest, I don’t remember anything you said. But I remember liking it!”

This humorous exchange highlights a problem that we all have. We come to church, listen to the singing and messages, and walk out the doors without having retained any of the teaching and preaching. Later, we encounter a difficult situation or heartache and wonder what we should do. This is a situation of our own making. We don’t have guidance and direction because the teaching has slipped away from us.

How can we avoid this common pitfall? By being “active” listeners and readers. By default, most of us are “passive” listeners and readers. We read and listen, but without really focusing or concentrating on what we’re hearing. We’re allowing ourselves to be distracted by other thoughts. Because we’re not paying full attention, our mind doesn’t retain anything that we consume and can’t retrieve the information later. An “active” listener is one who deliberately decides to concentrate on the information being presented. The “active” listener’s mind is engaged on the sermon or the book being read. As a result, the mind will store and retain that which it absorbs and keep it ready for later use.

Another good way to re-enforce our memory is to take good notes and review them frequently. Just about everyone learns by repetition. By repeating a lesson or sermon via our notes, we will cement the material in our minds and be less likely to forget it.

We can, and will, forget the things of God so easily. Don’t let them go. The teachings of God’s Word are too valuable to let go so easily. Hold fast to them and commit them to memory. When a difficult situation arises, you’ll have that which you need to come through it– because the answers didn’t have a chance to slip away.

Devotional by Pastor C.J. Armstrong