Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 2

A Joyful life begins with a joyful heart.


I love to read.  Reading takes you away deep into the soul of a book and allows you to escape from this world for just a little while.  I have also learned the same is true with spending time in the Word.  I have learned that if I really want to get to know the heart and mind of Jesus, I need to know Him.  And if I really want to know Him, I have to read about Him - read things that describe Him, His ways, His thoughts, His nature.  I have wished often times for a photographic memory, but alas, that is just not happening in my pea-sized brain underneath this big hair.  So, I have to memorize scripture.  And as I do, an amazing thing happens.  When I need it - and sometimes when I least expect it - I remember it! Scripture is our strongest and best link to the heart of Jesus, our living God and the promises of our final home in heaven.

I wish I could report to you that I know 1,000 scriptures by heart.  Or maybe just 250.  But I don't know that many.  I am trying, attempting to memorize scriptures that I want to emblazen on the tablet of my heart.  You know the ones.  The ones that I need to call forth when I feel puny, insignificant, foolish or fearful.  So I began with those.  A smart person once wrote that  'all the heart really knows is what it knows by heart.' 

After struggling to memorize scriptures for a while, I came up with a plan that seems to work for me.  I have a few tips that have proven helpful that I will share with you. 

The first thing I did was remind myself of WHY I was doing this (it's a personal thing.  I have always had to know the WHYS of everything I was going to do.)
So this was my WHY, and naturally, it was my first scripture memorization goal;  Psalm 119:11 - "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." 

  • Set yourself a goal.  For me, it was two new scriptures each week.  Small goal, I know - but a realistic ad achievable one for me.
  • Pick verses that are relevant to your circumstances right now - they just seem to come alive and offer the comfort we need.  I believe that is what is meant by the 'living, breathing word of God.'
  • Write them down on index cards and put them on your mirror in the bathroom (that's my special place) or someplace you will see them often (my second place was the refrigerator.  Go figure.
  • Take the card with you on the commute to work or running errands.  Say them several times on the way to your destination and the way home.
  • If you are having trouble remembering a certain verse or passage, put it to music.  Make up a tune and sing it to yourself until you can recite it perfectly.
  • Ask God for His help if you are struggling to remember.
  • Before you get up in the morning, try and recite scriptures from the day before.
  • Same thing at night - recite scriptures from the day before going to sleep

Remember that you are not just memorizing words, but God's Words.  His love letters, his promises, his description of himself.  Don't get discouraged.  Be joyous about your goal and give yourself a break.  Lord knows we have enough rotten, negative chatter going on around us that we don't need to beat ourselves up if we didn't get every word just right.  Be thankful you have a desire to memorize verses from the letters written by "the lover of our soul."  Memorizing scripture can start small, but will prove to reap a harvest of blessings, comfort and joy if we keep it up.  I have never regretted the time I have spent memorizing God's word.

How about you?  What tricks have you learned which have helped you to memorize God's word? 

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