Journal Entry ~ 11/20/17

1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! 
2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 
3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!  - Psalm 119:1-3

We are told here we will be happy when we walk in the law of the Lord. One of the ways we walk in the law of the Lord is by getting into His Word everyday, but another way is to memorize Scripture. We are told over and over in the Bible that His Word should dwell richly in our hearts. We are to store His Word in our hearts by memorizing it. Just like learning how to get into the Word consistently took some time for me, so did this one. I did know scripture - I could quote a decent amount from worship songs, and I knew the “big” ones, but I never took any intentional time to memorize scripture. I knew we should, but I just never really spent the time doing it - I thought I was doing great getting into His Word everyday. I rationalized that I was storing Him in my heart by meeting with Him every day. And really....memorizing scripture takes intentional effort every day...I was too busy for that. I had all those things on my schedule, and most of them were serving other people, so I was good. I was busy trying to live out His Word, which I reasoned was the most important ask from the Bible, so I didn’t really place a great deal of importance on memorizing Scripture. I figured since I had some already stored up in my heart, I was good to go. Oh, my pride. 

God knows us so well that He reminds us over and over in scripture we need to not only read His Word every day, but also to memorize it and store it in our hearts. He knows we need His Words in times of personal struggle, or in times of encouraging others, He knows we need it to see our way past a sin issue, or when we’re walking a loved one down the road of salvation - and in many of those situations, we don’t have the physical pages of a Bible to open. When we’ve memorized it, we can recall it whenever we need it. How many times have you pulled away from a conversation with an unsaved loved one because you don’t feel confident you will say the right things or take them to the right Scripture?  How many times have you thought you just don’t know what to say in a difficult time with a friend?  If you knew His Word, you would know the passages to call upon. 

We need His Word stored in our hearts so that we can readily retrieve it in times of need, but I believe it’s so much more than that. I believe it’s the very act of memorizing His Word He’s after. There’s something that happens when you’re working on memorizing scripture, when you are repeatedly saying a verse over and over throughout the week to commit it to memory. There’s a deeper understanding that comes from repeating scripture over just reading it - I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grasped His meaning in a completely different way as I review His Words over and over. Not only is there a deeper understanding of Scripture through the very act of memorizing, but there is deeper penetration into our hearts. His Word is living and active, the more you say it, the more it is pressed down and takes a foothold into your heart.  If you want a change in your life, to get up on top of those anxious thoughts, to find victory over a repeated sin issue, to become a more loving person, then memorize His Word. Nothing has more power to change you than His Word. 

I was finally convicted and decided to be intentional about memorizing scripture every single week many years ago - it has been absolutely life changing. I discovered what it means to say His Word is living - something amazing happened to me as I meditated on and memorized scripture. He began to speak to me in different ways. It has transformed my life and changed my thinking. When a passage of scripture is rolling around in my head over and over, He has the opportunity to reveal new understandings about that passage than just reading it one or twice, or only spending a few moments in quiet time ever brought me. As I began to store His Word in my heart, He has brought that passage back to mind at the perfect time, when I’ve faced a battle, when trying to make a difficult decision, or when I’ve needed to encourage a friend. And here's the big one for me - when I’m memorizing scripture, I can't think about all those things that make me anxious or fearful. I am literally taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ when I am memorizing scripture. Meditating on scripture became what I did whenever I had an anxious thought. 

But more than anything, memorizing scripture brings Him glory because He calls us to do it. I am thankful for the reminder today of the importance of memorizing His Word. Life can be distracting, and while I can remain steadfast in spiritual disciplines at times, I have a tendency to let those things fall away when the chaos comes. I love the way He grounds us and returns us to what is important in His Word.  Blessed are those walk in the way of the Lord - memorizing Scripture can lead us to blessings, or happiness. I have been blown away by the way He has used scripture memorization in my life. My life has been so richly blessed by it - I can't believe it took me so long to figure that out. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists.  It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst.  Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps!  Here is the link:


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