January Scripture Memorization

“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness,
The power and the glory,
The victory and the majesty,
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O LORD,
And You are exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You,
And You reign over all.
In your hand is power and might;
In your hand it is to make great,
And to give strength to all.
Now, therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.”
1 Chronicles 29:11-13 (NKJV)

Around Christmastime, my mom texted me and my sister to see if we could learn these Bible verses together. I agreed, and it took me the whole month of January to learn them completely. (I find memorizing harder the older I get!)

These verses were part of the prayer and praise that King David gave to God upon the collection from the people of all kinds of offerings to be used in building the temple.

As I’ve rehearsed these verses this month, I can’t think of a single situation in life where this doesn’t bring encouragement! Our Lord is sovereign. He rules over all and is exalted over all. All things are his (in heaven and in earth, all greatness, power, glory, victory, majesty), and all is in his hand to give. He is worthy of praise!

You can take these verses with you anywhere. I’ve recited them in my living room and in my car, in the doctor’s office and as I traveled. I’ve pondered the repeated words, such as “all” (this leaves out nothing and no one!) and “hand” and “power,” and I’ve been reminded of other verses that have taught me similar things (Jeremiah 32:17, Psalm 103:19, etc.). And I leave my time of interacting with these verses full of wonder and praise and thanks.

I’ve realized how easy it is to forget the value of memorizing Bible verses, sometimes going long periods of time without doing this spiritual discipline. But what a blessing when we do! There are so many benefits, including:

  • Hiding them in our hearts to help guard us from sin (Psalm 119:11).
  • Keeping our minds focused on those things that are good and true and right, noble and pure, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
  • Giving us direction as God’s Word is a lamp to our feet, a light to our path (Psalm 109:105).
  • Providing us with new words to use when we pray and praise God, using Scripture as a pattern.
  • Applying them to our everyday lives and the situations we encounter.
  • Having something to share with others to encourage them.
  • Knowing God’s Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).

So I’ve challenged myself to pick a short passage of the Bible to memorize each month of 2020. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few verses. But something is better than nothing. Though I wish it were otherwise, we tend to grow little by little, step by step, not typically in large leaps and bounds. But after a while, with a little time, you see the cumulative effect of those little steps and daily decisions in big ways!

If I can keep up, by the end of 2020, I’ll have added a short collection of new verses, and by giving a month for each selection, they can be fully learned.

So along with that stack of books I hope to read in 2020, I add to it a list of memory verses from the living Book that will give us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). I invite you to join me!

How have you seen memorizing Scripture impact your life?

Happy New Year 2020

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Happy New Year 2020! The picture above is the first sunrise of the year that greeted me this early morning.

Over the years, it has been my pattern to write down a word or theme for the coming year. I’ve had themes around prayer, Bible reading, “firstfruits,” the Lord being our Shepherd, “whiter than snow,” “God is Light,” the fear of the Lord, and others. Each year I’ve written about the word or theme to record it. Read more

A Prayer from Psalm 26

I found this brief prayer below on my computer today, written back in 2015. It seems like a random psalm to pray through, but I probably wrote this when we passed Psalm 26 in our church’s Bible reading plan. I love it that we can turn God’s Word back into prayer and praise to Him.

This psalm reminds me of Psalm 1, giving instruction on how we should sit, stand, and walk (26:3-5), which really is to say that God’s Word gives guidance for every aspect of our lives. And as Psalm 139 reminds us, God knows when we sit down and rise up (139:2). He comprehends our path (the way we walk and go) and our lying down and is acquainted with all our ways (139:3). What wonderful knowledge (139:6)!

PRAYER:

Praise you, Lord, that you are a merciful Redeemer (v.11). You show us the way to walk and to go, a path that leads to life. May I trust in You without wavering, and may my foot be on a level place that it might not slip (v. 1, 12). May I have a sturdy trust in You, my faithful God. Examine me and prove me; try my mind and heart (v. 2). Keep your lovingkindness before my eyes, help me walk in your truth (v.3). May I bless you in the congregation, proclaiming with a voice of thanksgiving, and declaring all your wonders (v. 6-7, 12). May I walk in integrity (v. 1, 11). In Jesus’ name, who has made these things possible, Amen.

Book Review and Giveaway

9780802419194This summer, I went through a new Bible study on prayer called On Bended Knee: Praying like Prophets, Warriors, and Kings by Crickett Keeth. Crickett is the women’s ministry director at First Evangelical Church in Memphis, where I grew up. She is also a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, where my husband earned his Th.M. So we have many mutual connections which helped stir my initial interest in this study. I’ve also been impressed with the growing number of Bible studies being offered by Moody Publishers (where my husband also happens to work!) and have enjoyed using them over the last few years as resources to dig into God’s Word. Read more

A Salvation Story

Let me tell you a story. It’s a good story, a true story.

In the beginning, God created all things—the heavens and earth, the far-flung galaxies, the deepest oceans, the highest mountains, the farthest lands, the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky and the animals of the land—and he did so with precision and order. And then this wholly other, indescribable and perfect God also created you and me. So vast and big; so personal and near. This Creator God cared about relationship with us.  Read more