Monday, July 21, 2014

On Memorizing Scripture

When I opened Facebook this morning I was greeted by this wonderful post from my fiend Kelley:
We get together every Sunday night... Tonight, THREE year old Levi came up to me while we were watching RIO 2, & said "Grama, I want to whisper something in your ear." Expectantly, I bent down to hear maybe something sweet, or funny or silly. Then, he whispered, "Jesus said, I am the way, the truth & the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me" John 14:6 To you at Warm Beach Free Methodist who labored in love this last week, THANK YOU. Do you hear me? THANK YOU
Last week was our VBS. Levi's mama thought he wasn't paying attention while she helped her older son memorize the verse. but he was paying attention and learning the verse too.

Just three posts later was this photo and comment from my friend Laura:

Verna Black, Eastern Washington mountains
My beautiful mom turned 75 today... We hiked to the top of the mountain behind their house & she quoted The Sermon of the Mount to me...
To study and memorize scripture is to make deposits of rich jewels in the treasure chests of our lives. It is to take in truths that we can ponder on for days, weeks, years to come. It is to taste sweet honey that fills our mouths with such pleasure that we want to return again and again to it. Hiding God's Word in our hearts equips us for the trials that will come and reminds us that God is faithful.

We are told that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). What we think about is what's revealed through our words.

Don't you want to have a mind and heart full of truth? Isn't that what you want for your children?

Here are just a few of the benefits of taking in God's Word, as mentioned in Psalm 119. It:
Helps us obey God (verse 11)
Strengthens us in sorrow (28)
Gives freedom (32, 43)
Brings delight (35, 92)
Renews us in our suffering (50)
Gives us songs in the night (54-55)
Imparts knowledge and good judgment (66)
Preserves us (86-88)
Makes us wise (97-100)
Tastes sweeter than honey (103)
Sheds light on our path (105)
Offers protection (110)
Inspires joy (111)
Gives great peace (165)
Keeps us from stumbling (165)
Elicits songs (172)
Sustains us (175)
Do you wan to experience these blessings? They are all available -- and many more -- to those who are willing to feed on God's Word.

"Memorizing is hard for me," you say. Then choose a very short scripture, one that is meaningful to you but not too long. Read it over and over. Let its truth soak into you. Break it down into short phrases and meditate on the meaning of the phrase, and once you've got that down, move on to the next phrase. In time you will discover that you have indeed memorized it!

And even if you can't repeat it word for word, it has found a place in your heart. It is now a part of you. Who knows but that the Lord will bring it to mind when you are discouraged, or tempted, or need something to share with a friend.

Spend time reading the scripture with your children, talking about its meaning, rejoicing in the God who gave it to us. And help them memorize it. What greater gift could you give your children than a love for the Bible and a passion to hide it in their hearts?

God's living, active, sharp Word (Hebrews 3:16) applies to our lives today just as surely as it did when it was first written. It's never too soon to start to memorize it, and to do so will bring lifelong rewards. Plunge in!

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