For this post I will start with my verses from January 15, 2011, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. How did these verses come to me? Last year I invited my old group of Bible study sisters to join me in the Siesta Scripture Memory Challenge. I had moved to Colorado from California 5 years earlier and left behind a wonderful group of women. Some of us had still been in touch, and a couple of others had also moved away, so I sent out an email to all that I had contact info for, inviting them to join me in memorizing scripture. To my shock and delight, almost every one of them said yes! What’s more, we all began catching up, reconnecting, and one of these darling ladies even suggested a reunion, which we all decided was a wonderful idea! This reconnection was the first of many unexpected blessings to come from hiding God’s word in my heart.
One of my lovely California friends, Anita S., chose 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a for her first verse (sometimes a “verse” ends up being a passage, and that’s okay!).
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.
At the moment I received Anita’s email sharing these verses, and her precious explanation about how she wanted to love her family and those around her better, I was completely irritated with half of my family over something trivial and silly. My sweet friend’s words instantly convicted me, and the phrase “love is not easily angered” kept ringing in my mind the rest of the day, and helped me recover from my quick and easy anger. I knew right away that this passage would be my 2nd verse. Anita had read somewhere that we can insert our own names in place of the word “love” and see how much of it is true. (I also read this later in Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love.”) This was a great exercise for me, and I found it so powerful that I started reciting the passage with my kids, having each of us insert our own names as well. We all fall so short of the mark, but these verses help so much to remind us exactly how high the mark is to truly loving people as Jesus did and does. Go ahead, try it! Say your name instead of the word “love” and she (or he) instead of “it” in the passage above!
You may be wondering, why memorize Bible verses? Isn’t reading them enough? In case you need some reasons, here are a few:
1. Going deeper into God’s Holy Word. Of course it’s good to read the Bible, in fact it’s completely necessary if you really want to walk with Him. Even better to study His Word. By committing scriptures to memory you are going even deeper into His Word and your walk.
2. If that’s not enough, and because I love mulitasking, it’s also good exercise for your brain.
So last year those were my reasons for starting the challenge, a new way to go deeper, and a new challenge for my aging brain. Through the course of the year I learned of another reason.
3. It will change your life.
How? In many ways, in different ways for different people. I’ll elaborate more as we go through the year, but for now take it from some other ladies who completed the challenge last year. You can read their comments on Beth Moore’s Living Proof Ministries blog. This post was a roll call, designed for those who had successfully completed the challenge to check in and also to let Beth’s ministry team know who was coming to the celeberation, but some of us just couldn’t help throwing in a few words about how memorizing scripture had affected us in unexpected ways. You can read the blog and the comments by clicking here.
My verses this time, continuing with Jesus’ sermon on the mount, are Matthew 5:4-7.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
I would love it if you would join me in learning more about this sermon on my friend Cara’s blog (and I hope that you will!), even if you are memorizing different verses. (My verses are slightly off from hers because she is posting them weekly and I am continuing with the 1st and 15th for posting.)
Now it’s YOUR turn! Please post your verse(s) in the comments below. If you have done the challenge in the past, consider sharing something about your last year’s verses or how memorizing scripture impacted you, and I’d really love it if you ladies would comment on each other’s comments, so that we can build a real network of accountability, support and friendship. And it’s never too late to invite a friend or group of friends!
Thank you so much for coming! Hope to see you again on February 1!
“The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”