Monday, November 18, 2013

Why Memorize?

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your Word.
With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart that I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:9-11

Scripture memory is hard work.  Period.  But show me in life what is of value that takes no effort?  
  • Parenting?  Yeah, might be easy to make a baby but carrying it for nine months and getting it out is not necessarily a piece of cake!  Then you have 18 years of molding and shaping - I don't care how sweet the child is, parenting is a sleep-deprived, battle-of-the-wills, because-I-said-so, God-given responsibility to produce responsible, tax-payers who, Lord-willing, will fear Him. Not easy but the potential for great joy and blessing is commiserate to the amount of effort applied.
  • Singing?  This one is on my mind because of the concert last night.  Some people wake up and sing like a bird - there is still great effort that goes into performing.  Yesterday, it took nearly a hundred volunteers, a bus load of equipment, a well-rehearsed though talented group of musicians, sound techies, and a bus driver, a versatile and patient babysitter, a sketchy night's sleep on a bus full of men and two babies, and schmoozing with a crowd of strangers for Meredith Andrews to use her God-given gift.  Was she a blessing? Yes, but it was with great effort!
  • Soccer? Practice.
  • Cooking? A series of failures leads to success.
  • Marriage?  Really? Do I need to record the effort it takes to have a good marriage?  Come on, friends...
  • Your job?  Effort.
I think you get the point.  Life takes effort but when you put effort into it, you can have a great relationship with your children, you can use your giftedness, you can hone your skills, you can feed your family, love your spouse and keep your job all for God's glory.

Memorizing the Word has great value - you can carry it with you all day long when it's in your heart.  When you're struggling, the Word can comfort you and give you something to put your mind on, rather than on your struggles.  It reveals the character of God and it gives you direction for life.  The Spirit uses His Word to encourage and guide, strengthen and convict.  But if you don't know the Word, if you don't put the effort into studying and memorizing, its power in your life is dramatically minimized.

Our passage today comes from Psalm 119, where every verse tells of the benefits of the Word of God.  In these few verses we see that the Word of God is a protection in our lives - helps us keep our ways pure and keeps us from sin.  Hiding the Word in our hearts, or memorizing scripture, takes effort but the rewards are great.

May I challenge you today to not only memorize the above passage, but go and read the whole chapter of Psalm 119.  Yes, it's the longest chapter in the Bible and it might actually take you 10 minutes to read, but you can do it!  If you do, you will have a greater appreciation for the Word and its value in every day life.

Question for the day:  Do you love the Word because of its transforming power or are you not sure what I am talking about?  

Now go and read Psalm 119.

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