Monday, February 28, 2011

What is Important to You?

Don’t waste your breath proclaiming what’s really important to you. How you spend your time says it all.  

If you really want to know what is important to a person, watch how they spend their time and money.  Someone may say that their family is very important to them, yet they are working 60 hours a week.  Or maybe they say that having a good retirement is really important, but they never save any money.  Perhaps one would say that the Bible is very important to them, but they never read or memorize the Word.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Psalm 119:11

I was so  inspired and challenged by a post I read recently, that I want to share it with you.  It's by Dakota at A Look at Life From a Deerstand, about memorizing scripture.

Having grown up in church, I was more than familiar with verses like Psalm 119:11 and Hebrews 4:12. I knew those words were undeniably referring to the power of God’s Word and the importance of memorizing it, but I still never recognized the necessity of doing so myself. Whenever the subject was brought up by a friend or family member, I would say what everybody else who wants to avoid memorizing Scripture says and rattle off something like, “Oh, I just don’t have a good memory like you do. I can’t memorize Scripture; it’s too hard.” What didn’t make sense about this excuse is that I’d never actually tried to memorize in the first place, and yet somehow knew I would be unable to. I guess because I couldn’t recite from memory the Scriptures I’d read during my devotions that night, I assumed I had a bad memory and shouldn’t try to burden it too heavily with something as “archaic” as the Bible.

Anyway, one night I sat down to read the first devotional in A Call to Die and my safe-haven of excuses began to slowly crumble. He wrote,
“I hear people whine, “I can’t memorize verses from the Bible. It’s too hard!” That’s ridiculous. These same people know every song on their favorite CD, and I know a couple of guys who can recite the entire dialogue from The Three Amigos word for word! The first thing I want you to realize is: yes, you can memorize verses from the Bible!”
These words helped me to realize that I actually had a much better memory than I was willing to admit; I simply wasn’t willing to utilize it for the glory of God. Not only did I know every word of every song on my favorite CD, but I knew the lyrics to pretty much every Third Day song ever recorded. This realization helped me to see that, if I could devote so much time and energy to memorizing song lyrics about God, I could at least memorize the words of God which were far more significant and far more eternal than anything else on this earth.

David Nasser then outlined a list of ways to strategically hide the Word of God in your heart and mind. Amazingly enough, the list he made bears a striking resemblance to the list of ways a student might study for a test, or even simply memorize a phone number or address. The items included reading the material multiple times; writing it down; reciting with a partner, and meditating on the Scripture throughout your day. Compare these activities with the way you memorize the lyrics to your favorite song:
  • First of all, you pressed the rewind button on your stereo several times.
  • You looked up the lyrics on google, or repeated step one until this was unnecessary. In extreme cases, you may have even purchased a T-shirt to express your love for the artist who wrote it.
  • Most importantly, you sung your new favorite song in the car, in the shower, and any other time you were a safe distance from any listening ears.
Basically, my point is that it doesn’t matter how much you love or hate the material, memorization requires genuine hard work. Obviously it helps if we are passionate about what we’re memorizing, and I think that’s why we rarely give a second thought to memorizing our best friends phone number or new song lyrics: we see the benefits of it, and thus pay the price and devote the time necessary to to do just that.

In Joshua 1:8, the Lord commanded Israel’s new leader to meditate in the law of the Lord continually. Memorizing Scripture allows us to do that and, what’s more, will bring a peace beyond comparison (Isaiah 26:3). It takes work, for sure, but is more than worth the benefits it brings us. We’re robbing ourselves of a great treasure if we allow the excuse of a having a poor memory to keep us from hiding God’s word in our heart. The fact is, even if your mind is like a sieve, the Scriptures will keep it pure as they flow through.

I don't know about you, but I was convicted by this post.  I want to hide His Word in my heart.  Not just read it, but meditate on it and even memorize it.  I want to become very familiar with the Bible.  That is why I am challenging myself to memorize the book of James.   How are you doing on the challenge?

What's important to you?
 


Memorizing James
If you are taking part in the challenge to memorize the entire book of James this year, you will need to memorize two verses each week. This week's verses are:
James 1:17-18
17.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

18.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruit of all he created. 

13 comments:

  1. This is so very true. We know songs by heart, movie lines by heart, even famouse quotes, but do we know the Word of God?

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  2. Great post! I, too, complain that I can't remember verses...not so much the verse but the reference. Seems I can never remember where a particular scripture is found. Not only that, but I find that with all the versions/translations I read...I get confused as to which version. Crazy. I am thankful for the concordance in my trusty KJV Bible and for the internet. I usually am able to find any scripture that I am looking for...if I take the time to do it. God's Word is so important and I truly desire to hide His Word in my heart.

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  3. Ok I feel like I just got God spanked. I've been using every possible excuse not to memorize James. I know I said I would but when I started I just quit. It's laziness is what it is and I will start today, thank you for this (even if it hurt a little lol) love you!

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  4. Ouch! My excuse is I just can't remember and it is true it is hard for me to remember but you know, it is worth while to work on it continually. I don't even know the words to many songs that I like but I do love the Bible and I know God would greatly reward me if I would just work harder at memorizing His Word. Thanks, this was a great post and I went over to Dakota's blog and did some reading. You have a great blog, Lisa. Thanks for sharing things with us. Blessings to you always.

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  5. My problem has always been memorizing where the verse is in the bible. I will know the verse and be able to say...well...that's somewhere in the book of Romans. You are right. It is just laziness. I love the comparison to song lyrics. This is so true!

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  6. You're right Lisa, this was an excellent, albeit convicting article. I know many more song lyrics than I do lines of scripture.

    Thank you for sharing this with us!

    Have a Blessed Day!

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  7. Hey Lisa,

    Thanks for encouraging others to memorize Scripture, and I pray God will bless you as you do so yourself. Hiding God's Word in your heart is one of the few things in life are truly worthwhile and provide lasting benefits.

    I'm glad you enjoyed my post!

    In Christ,
    Dakota

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  8. What a great post today. "Perhaps one would say that the Bible is very important to them, but they never read or memorize the Word." That is so true. The Word is our armor. Once I began memorizing verses I noticed I could better defend myself against Satan's daily attacks. It does make a difference for sure. What you wrote as well as your friends post is very convicting and worth pondering! Thanks for this!

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  9. Love the post from Dakota! Can you believe that wisdom comes from a young man his age (17?)
    I didn't get in on the James challange. I've never memorized Scripture and started the year with the commitment to do 2 verses a month on different topics.
    I'm doing well, with His help, and love being able to call to mind the verses I've memorized when I need them!

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  10. Great post Lisa. I too have gone deeper with memorization this year, learning a new verse each month. so far have kept it up. so glad I have connected with you and others online to encourage this spiritual habit. Thanks for visiting my blog and I will return to yours again!

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  11. Great post and Great blog! I am always confronted when I see myself easily remembering lyrics, quotes, and even school essays, but not remembering enough of God's word.

    God is the most important thing in my life, and i should live like it is...

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  12. What a great post today. "Perhaps one would say that the Bible is very important to them, but they never read or memorize the Word." That is so true. The Word is our armor. Once I began memorizing verses I noticed I could better defend myself against Satan's daily attacks. It does make a difference for sure. What you wrote as well as your friends post is very convicting and worth pondering! Thanks for this!

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  13. Great post Lisa. I too have gone deeper with memorization this year, learning a new verse each month. so far have kept it up. so glad I have connected with you and others online to encourage this spiritual habit. Thanks for visiting my blog and I will return to yours again!

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