All kinds of media clamor for your attention – news, social buzz, marketing, movies, music, books, gaming, and gossip. They utilize an overwhelming variety of platforms – desktop computers, laptop computers, tablet computers, e-book readers, cell phones, smart phones, mp3 players, theatres, satellite TV, cable TV, radios, billboards, magazines, tabloids, libraries, newspapers, post mail, e-mail, RSS feeds, social media, blogs, websites, forums, and gaming systems (to name a few). In the wake of this media storm, we easily lose contact with the most important media influence of all – the Word of God. Is the Word of God the most dominant media influence in your life?
Consider with me some timely advice given to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:8-9.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
First, notice that the Word of God deserves a deeply personal place in your heart. Before you tune in to other media outlets and platforms, consider first whether you have tuned in to the Words of God. Have you read the Word of God? Have you memorized and meditated on it? Have you studied, written, or asked questions about it? The words of God are more valuable than any other words in the world. So would a close evaluation reveal that your heart is occupied by the words of God more than any other? Oh that the words of God filled our hearts more than the words of Facebook chatter, Fox News, Wii scores, the Wall Street Journal, mp3 playlists, soundtracks, sitcoms, blockbuster films, or any other thing!
Second, notice that the Word of God deserve a deliberately prominent place in your daily routine. How much have you spoken about the Word of God today? With your spouse? Your children? Your workmates, disciples, neighbors, or friends? Any thoughtful reflection will reveal that you tend to talk about what you think about. If you haven’t spoken much about the words of God, you probably haven’t thought much about them either.
Believers who are heavily influenced by the Word of God will speak about them in two ways. First, they will teach them. If they are parents, they will teach them especially to their children. They will explain and apply them throughout the day in conversations with their children. Parents make a critical mistake when they assume that public instruction from preachers and Sunday School teachers will be sufficient Bible education for their children.
While children need the vital influence of the body of Christ, they will benefit minimally without the undergirding, permeating influence of parents who systematically teach the Word of God in the home. Sunday School and church services are not sufficient – especially when the world pummels families today with so many other media forces. In the face of an anti-Christian media barrage, parents need to embrace their role as the primary teachers of God’s words to their children.
In addition to teaching the words of God, Word-influenced believers will talk about them. When does this talking happen? According to these verses, it happens in four different times throughout the day.
1. When you are sitting in your house – in the down times
2. When you are walking by the way – in the busy times
3. When you lay down – in your evening routine
4. When you wake up – in your morning routine
It is helpful to consider these four daily stages. How noticeable is your tendency to talk about things related to the Word of God during each of these times? If you only think and talk about the words of God in scheduled moments (and you should do this, too), how real is your love for God’s words? True love prompts spontaneous discussion and comments at any time of the day, early or late, busy or relaxed.
So does the Word of God provide the dominant media influence in your life today? Complain all you like about the influence of the many other media trends and pressures of modern life, but you cannot win the battle for your own heart and the hearts of your children against the modern media barrage until the words of God become the dominant influence in your own heart and life.
Allow me to share just a few ways that you can embrace the words of God in your life and the life of your family. May the Holy Spirit give you wisdom and power to establish God’s Word as the dominant media influence in your life.
1. Establish a regular devotional time for yourself to spend time in the Word of God.
2. Read a verse a mealtime; talk about it with your spouse and children while you eat.
3. Plan for regular family devotions.
4. Ask questions about something in the Word of God that is on your mind – ask your spouse, your friends, your children, your mentor, your parent, your pastor.
5. Establish a Scripture memory strategy.
6. Sing Scripture songs; hum your own little tunes for Scripture verses and record them on a voice recorder to reference later.
7. Hang Scripture verses and art on the walls of each room in your home.
8. Listen to audio Scripture recordings. (Bible.is offers some tremendous resources.)
9. Obey the words of God.
10. And of course, be faithful to teaching and preaching gatherings at your own local church!
Thomas Overmiller serves as a Bible professor at Baptist College of Ministry in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.