If you've read a few of my posts, you've most likely seen me mention scripture memory. Of all of the habits that I have tried to pick up, it's one that I have actually stuck with, and I'll tell you why: it has truly changed my life. Psalm 119:9-11 says,
"How can a young man (or woman) keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you. Let me not wonder from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."
The results of "hiding God's word in my heart" have been amazing! Almost immediately after I memorized the first passage, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, God started using it to gently remind me not to complain about temporal circumstances. God has also revealed to me the importance of confessing my faults not only to Him, but to a trusted believer, and then asking for prayer to overcome the sin (James 5:16). Silently meditating through all of our passages got Ben through his first marathon in April, and one verse in particular stood out to him:
Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Through developing this habit, God has changed my heart, resulting in a changed thought process. When conflicts arise, when stress hits me in the stomach, when my friends are hurting, when my toddler is disobeying, I have the wisdom of God stored inside to direct me. I've been re-programmed.
My idle time is spent differently. Couch time does not always involve TV watching- instead we will "quiz" each other; and car rides have definitely become more interesting. Even Rush, our 3-year-old has started memorizing verses. Here's where I got his plan.
Speaking of re-programming, our pastor issued a challenge to our church yesterday morning (the last Sunday of 2012) to read one chapter of the Bible a day for all of 2013. In his sermon about the importance of knowing God's Word, he explained that being in God's word as a habit will re-program our minds. I can attest to that this is absolutely true! 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (one of our memorized passages) says:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I feel trained and equipped more than ever! But there is still so much more for me to learn! I am so, so thankful for the blessing of God's Holy Word, and I cannot wait to see what I learn from it in 2013! I urge you to join me in memorizing one verse or passage per week and reading one chapter a day this new year. If you need a reading plan, visit our church website. You will also find a link to our pastor's blog where he will be sharing his thoughts on each day's reading.
I pray that 2013 is a year full of new wisdom for you as you make every effort to get to know Him more and more!