In the fast-paced, impatient world we live in, it can be easy to miss the important things. If we’re not careful, we can slip into the habit of routine- go to church, go home, and repeat from week to week. However, that’s not how it should be. We are meant to learn, to analyse, and to go deeper into the words ordained by God. He uses His faithful people as a means for us to know more about Him, and to know Him more. So it’s crucial to understand one of the most valuable tools at your disposal in your walk with Christ: note-taking.
You’re not writing a report or a paper for college. You’re not writing to impress anyone. If no one but you understands what you’re writing, that’s perfectly fine. All that matters is that you record anything and everything God reveals to you during a sermon. Make sure you also jot down any scriptural references so that you can meditate on them later as you’re reviewing your notes. It can help to categorise your notes by topic, or even chronologically if it helps. The last thing you need is to become lost in your own notes- such an ordeal would completely defeat the purpose.
If you don’t have a notebook, you can always take notes on an electronic device. However, use pen and paper whenever possible- the benefits are endless. First, looking at it from a metaphorical perspective, just looking at your own handwriting can allow you to see the thought that you put into taking notes. Clearly if you wrote it down, it must be important, right? It’s a reminder of your spiritual growth and of your desire to grow even further. Not to mention, there are several practical uses for pen and paper as well. You can underline, bold, and highlight all you want for emphasis. You can even doodle on the side if it helps you to focus. Remember- taking notes isn’t about being overly neat or professional. It’s about connecting you with God.
Finally, one thing you have to remember as you take notes is that note-taking is not a one-time deal. Writing during the sermon can help instil important points in your head, but that’s all useless unless it sticks. Look back over it in a couple days, weeks, even months. There’s always something new to learn, and God’s Word never grows stale. The purpose of taking notes is not to memorise a couple phrases and then move on with your life. You have to first apply what God has revealed to you, and then build off of it, branching into further spiritual maturity. While it’s worth noting that note-taking isn’t necessary, spiritual growth is. We are meant to take what we’ve been given and give it to others. Through our faith and actions, we can show love to those around us and that tends to be easiest when we are revelling in the love of God ourselves.
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