If you had suggested I memorize an entire book of the Bible, I would have looked at you like you might be a little bit crazy.
I can remember watching a Sunday TV evangelist as a child - one in a long succession of television preachers who came and went through the 70's on our two-station, pre-cable, partly-fuzzy TV set. He gave his main sermon of the program and as he said what he wanted to say, he would throw in quotes of Scripture with chapter and verse provided like an abrupt, emphatic aside... and then he would continue on, his immediate point backed up by the Word of God.
I didn't understand that the words were memorized for more than the program I was currently watching. I likened it to some child memorizing the mandatory poem for the upcoming oratory competition held yearly in their school gymnasium.
It didn't occur to me that maybe there was more to it. I was even disdainful of it, thinking of it like showmanship. A blasphemous display of showmanship.
Fast forward to today and I no longer have to ask 'why?' Instead, I welcome the Biblical words I have learned and hidden in my heart.
I enjoy learning His Word and I value each chapter and verse.
I'm not sure when my perspective changed but it is a recent-ish change. Not one that came about simply because of time and age. Moreso because of reflection, and a heart change, and a better understanding of what His word is all about. And I can see the beauty in the words and in knowing them. Really knowing them.
These are His words for Me.
They apply to my life right now.
I have discovered I Like having them when I need them, whether in joy or sorrow or anger. I like having them in my heart. I can bring them to the surface whenever I need them and I can examine them whenever I have a moment. I can say them to myself when I need calming and I can say them to others when they need comfort.
I Like His Word in My Heart.
When I started learning verse with my children at the start of the year, I thought there would be objections and complaints. But so far, nothing. They say the words with me each day. They smile when they learn a new verse before anyone else, and poke fun at me when I mess up (I'm the slowest learner apparently and my kids seem to have some kind of crazy photographic memories. I'm starting to wonder if they are really ours).
Most of the verse we have learned are ones of inspiration. As I read my Bible, devotionals, or any number of sources, I come across scripture that inspires joy and brings forth feelings of comfort. From these verses we choose one to write on prayer cards and this is what we have started with.
Eventually we may try something a little longer like an entire psalm or the Sermon on the Mount, or perhaps even an entire book like 2 John or 3 John, but for now we will get warmed up on delicious small bites of living food for the spirit.
I had originally planned to post about how we go about learning our verses but I'm a little wordy
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.