Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Convicted!


Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf
does not wither
Whatever he does prospers.

I do not hail from a church tradition where the memorization of Scripture is either practiced or encouraged.  Although I read my Bible daily, and peruse dozens of Christian blogs where Scripture is always present, I've never attempted to commit any to memory with the exception of my life verse, Micah 6:8.

But as I read Chapter Ten of Jerry Bridges' book, The Discipline of Grace, I am convicted by the following words:  "Meditation on Scripture is a discipline.  We must commit ourselves to be proactive.  We must memorize key passages (or carry them on cards) so that we can think about them.  We must be alert for those times during the day when we can turn our minds to the Word of God, and then we must do it.  Even the practice of daily Bible reading is insufficient if we go the rest of the day without meditating on some truths of Scripture."

Convicted!

As luck God would have it, just this week I ask my friend, Jean Wise, who blogs at Healthy Spirituality, which prayer app, alluded to in one of her posts, she uses on her phone.  It's called Echo Prayer, which my husband, Danny, promptly downloads for me (yes, I'm technically challenged).  This app allows you to type in your favorite prayers, and it will send you reminders at specific times or dates so you can recite that prayer.  How awesome is that?

But for me, the best part about Echo Prayer, considering my new commitment to memorizing Scripture, is I can type in the verses I wish to learn, and it will rotate through them at random.  Or I can choose to focus on one verse at a time, all day long, until I feel confident that I have it down pat.

So which verses do I start with?  Again, I take Bridges' sage advice:  "So I encourage you to memorize Scriptures that deal with particular temptations to which you are especially vulnerable.  Then ask the Holy Spirit to bring them to your mind at times of temptation."

One particular downfall of mine, which I described in last Wednesday's blog, is being judgmental and angry when someone on the road pulls a foolish stunt.  So I'm beginning with these verses:

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  ~Matthew 7:1

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.  ~Isaiah 26:3

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.  ~2 Chronicles 7:14

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.  ~Psalm 86:15

I'm so looking forward to adding more Scripture and memorizing God's Word as the weeks and months roll on.

What about you?  Do you regularly commit Bible verses to memory?  If so, how are some of the ways that have helped you to be successful in this endeavor?  Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section.

God bless!





For the next three weeks, I will be participating in a study of Jerry Bridges' The Discipline of Grace.  It is led by fellow Christian bloggers, Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter.  Hope you will take a moment to visit their blogs, and those of the other participants, Glynn Young and Dusty Rayburn.  Be sure to leave a comment!

16 comments:

  1. Bridges is teaching us all kinds of new things. And as for me, he can teach an old dog new tricks -- or new disciplines.

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    1. I know, Glynn, it's truly amazing how much we can continue to learn regarding our faith walk. I'm so thankful I chose to participate in this study - I have grown so much.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. I used to be so good at memorizing verses but the older I get (and the busier I get) the less I am able to memorize passages of scripture. In fact the verses I do have memorized come from my youth. I've felt convicted about this lately. I'll check into that app (my hubby will have to put it on my phone too, lol).
    Thanks for sharing. I pray this app helps us both!

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    1. So glad you've decided to try it, TC. I think you'll truly enjoy it; it's just so great to get reminded to either pray or recite Scripture.
      I just started reading your book and wanted you to know that I'm really enjoying it!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha, Thanks for mentioning Echo Prayer. I'm looking into that one! Like you, I'm working on scripture memorization as well. You are so correct in saying it's a discipline, but We aren't alone! (here's one I memorized) "God is working in us, giving us the desire and power to do what pleases Him." Phil 2:13. And knowing scripture pleases Him while strengthening us.
    Blessings on you and yours!

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    1. Yes, Beckie, knowing Scripture does please God while it strengthens us! Glad you are going to look into the Echo Prayer app. I'm really loving it, as you can probably tell by my enthusiasm in this post. And I love the verse you quoted here from Philippians - I'll add that one to my growing list!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Oh I love this idea! I DID come from a background of Scripture memorization through Sunday School and Wednesday evening groups along with Bible verse finding contests (the teacher yells out a verse and you have to find it in your Bible before everyone else). One thing I do when I can't fall asleep, and I don't have a clue why this works, is to start at Genesis and see how many verses I can recite in my head by memory through each book of the Bible. I rarely get to Psalms before falling asleep. I will have to look up this app. It sounds delightful. Thank you for this encouragement! I also will have to read this book by Jerry Bridges (he does have my last name so he must be a good writer. LOL!) :-)

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    1. Lol, Marcie, Bridges IS a wonderful writer. If you order the book, I promise you you won't be disappointed!
      Thanks for sharing, too, about your early years of memorizing Scripture. I must admit, I'm a wee bit jealous as I think memorization is so much easier when we are young than when we're much older. But I'm going to stick with it anyway, and see where it takes me. Surely, it will bring me closer to the Lord.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I'm not good at memorizing Scripture - and I often find myself saying a verse, but then saying, "Well, it goes something like that, and it's somewhere in the Bible." I would like the Lord to help me improve in this area. After all, it is with the Word of God, and specifically memorized verses, that Jesus fought the enemy. I'm thinking His example is a good one to follow!!

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Sharon, I was right where you are now. I could recall pieces of Scripture all over the place, but tell you where it is in the Bible? Forget it! I don't know how I'd have ever written this blog if it weren't for Biblegateway!
      And it's interesting that you brought up Jesus fighting the enemy with Scripture. Bridges describes the very same thing in his book. That was also a part of what convicted me to try the memorization. So far, so good!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Martha, in the last several years I've been absorbing more and more of the Word (no formal memorization plan at this point), can pull out Scripture when needed (at least in a paraphrase) and then be able to find it with relative ease. Even at that, I know that memorizing Scripture would be a good thing for me to do. Convicted? Perhaps.

    I recall memorizing some Scripture when I was a young girl--how much I retained is another matter entirely! By the way, at one point, I memorized Psalm 1. Time in God's Word is always time well-spent!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, I certainly agree that time spent in God's Word is never wasted. It should be our first desire and joy each and every day, many times each day. I'm really excited to tell you I've memorized four verses already and am adding more. Hope I can retain them, too, over time!
      Like you, I can pull bits and pieces of Scripture, and sometimes whole verses, from my memory, but it's the chapter and verse I'm determined to associate with it.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. I was actually very touched by the reminder to memorize scripture as well. I have many verses and passages committed to memory (some only able to paraphrase), but the idea of memorizing a specific passage for a specific temptation really clicked with me. It just makes sense! Like Jesus in the wilderness being tempted, He didn't come up with that on the spot. He knew the scriptures and knew how to use them against the adversary. So good! Happy memorizing to you, Martha! I'm there with you. Thanks so much.

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    1. Yes, indeed, Jason - Jesus was prepared, and so should we be for those times when temptation hits. I'm working on it, hoping this "old" brain can learn some new tricks. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Thanks for the mention and so glad you like that app. I know tech can be such a distraction for me but at times like with this app, it does remind me, open my heart, return my focus to God. God is in all things - it's just hard for us to find him at times. convicted! couple of meanings of that word... will ponder that this week. So glad we have connected Martha!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words here, Jean!
      Technology can be distracting, but this app, I'm finding, too, is the perfect reminder upon whom our focus must be each day.
      I'm so glad we've connected, too, my friend! God doesn't make mistakes.
      Love and blessings!

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