Verse 16

It does not even seem possible that it’s August 15 already. Anybody else feel that way? Where did the summer go?

Last year at this time I chose a familiar passage, Galatians 5:22-23:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I think I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed by my previous verses and their impact (Romans 8:38-89) and needed something gentle, a loving reminder of what could come from abiding in the Spirit. Thank you Lord!

I was recently blessed to spend a long weekend with 4 very dear friends who I first came to know through Bible study in Hollister, California, and more recently reconnected with over scripture memorization. They all accepted the challenge to hide God’s word in their hearts with me last year, and out of that commitment was born what we hope will be annual reunions for years to come. Our time together was so sweet and uplifting in so many ways, inspiring, relaxing, challenging, inspirational, but above all blessed by the Lord’s Spirit. We sang, prayed, studied Scriptures, talked, and even shared a “Jesus feast,” comprised solely of foods that Jesus would have eaten. I am so blessed to know that this precious, unforgettable time came out of the simple but powerful idea to commit God’s Word to our hearts.

This year, as at this time last year, I am feeling slightly overwhelmed by the activity of the summer, and I confess, I am behind in the passages I am working on now. I should be memorizing the following:

Matthew 6:16-21

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I haven’t even begun to work on committing these verses to memory yet. So if you are feeling discouraged because you are not where you had hoped or planned to be right now, don’t despair. Keep going, the Lord will honor your efforts. School starts for us next week, and with that my routine will become more regular and hopefully less harried. I know that every moment I devote to working on these scriptures will produce the fruit of the Spirit in my life, so I will not give up. Satan would love for me to say, “Can’t do it, too far behind, throwing in the towel,” because he knows the power that will come from God’s mighty word being imprinted on my heart or anyone else’s. I won’t give him the satisfaction. Instead I will trust in the Lord and lean not on my own understanding, in all ways lean on and acknowledge his loving guidance, and allow him to make my paths straight. (Prov 3:5-6, paraphrase mine). Will you join me?

Please post your verses below, and any struggles, and any encouragement!

The Lord bless you and keep you, make his face shine upon you, and give you peace.

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10 thoughts on “Verse 16

  1. Linda says:

    Yes, I am struggling too. I even considered not choosing a new verse this session and using the time to review all of my past verses. But then I came across a short verse in Hebrews the other day and decided to memorized that quickly and spend the rest of the time reviewing and brushing up on past scripture. I don’t have the verse with me yet, so I will have to post it another day, but wanted to let you know you are not alone! And yes you are so right that the Lord will bless every moment we spend studying and memorizing His word. The other day I was mentally beating myself up for doing something stupid, and I asked God why He didn’t give me a different brain – seriously, I think I even said that outloud as I was driving. And immediately the verse: “My grace is sufficient for you.” popped into my brain. I am sure my Father was speaking directly to me and answering my question. (i.e. “Your brain is good enough for Me, now shut up and quit complaining!”) Got to get back to work. Love you sisters!

  2. peggylangille says:

    Great encouragement my friend and you are so right, the enemy would like nothing better than for all of us to pull the plug on this scripture memorization journey. But the Lord is rejoicing with every word that gets buried in our hearts and minds. Keep going — there is only grace, so if it takes 13 mths or longer to memorize the SoTM who cares? The time is not the important thing. (BTW, the fasting ones were hard but this week’s verses were easy in comparison so you can make up time there if you want to.)

    My verse last year was 1Tim 1:16 “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.”

    I don’t remember how I chose this verse but it really continues to speak to me. It is such a lesson in humility. Some times I have to keep reminding myself of these words. I think about how much patience he has had to use with me. It is lucky He knows everything from beginning to end because certainly to anyone watching and praying for me it probably seemed like I was a lost cause at many points.

    But He was patient and has shown me so much mercy – that is LOVE!

  3. this is a good one! I need to memorize this one as well! Thanks for sharing Christy!

    • christypond says:

      Katie, I am SOOOOOOOOO excited to see you here! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! We have to figure out a way to keep in touch regularly, you are a precious friend!

  4. Hello ladies,

    I’m not so late this time 🙂 Last year, i was continuing in Romans 5:6-8 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    I appreciate seeing again now that God’s timing is always just the right time. I need to continue speaking that truth aloud, especially when tempted to pull my hair out because our house is still not on the market. Here i am wishing to have sold and bought a new house before school started. Ha!

    Continuing to work on Isaiah 61, tackling verse 2 (although i am also still finishing up verse 1): “to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,” Trying to read Beth’s book on Breaking Free (not the study book). Really wanting to be freed from the stronghold of fear and any others that i am not aware of.

    Christy, so glad to hear of your great experiences in growing relationships through scripture memorization. Hopefully i can join you in a future time 🙂

    Peace to you all and rejoice in the fact that the Lord never has to fill out a change of address card once He inhabits your heart 🙂

    • christypond says:

      Yes, Delores, I am counting on hanging with you in Houston in January 2014, Lord willing!!! Thanks so much for your faithfulness to commenting here and sharing your heart! I am finishing up the Breaking Free study in the next two weeks, have you done it? I have thought of you so many times as it deals greatly with overcoming strongholds of fear. Praying for you now!

      Love you, Siesta!

  5. caragab says:

    i too am struggling a bit with the sermon on the mount verses. some of them come so easily (the treasure verses i have down pat) but the rest of 6 is sketchy. a friend inspired me to read the Bible through in 90 days so i am doing that (in numbers right now) and that is taking up a lot of my time. but no excuses. i just need to get up earlier, stay up later – it is all worth it.

    last year at this time i think i was feeling the same way – needing a break from the longer verses and feeling behind, so i chose a short verse. i had been struggling with a new church and it’s teaching – do we believe based on our experiences with God or stand on the truth of his Word in spite of what we experience? it is still a question i wrestle with.

    John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

  6. Linda says:

    OK – here is my verse for this session: Hebrews13:8
    “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Short, simple and oh so very sweet! My verse last year at this time was from Ephesians 3:17b-19. I wanted to memorize this and speak it over my Jesus Sisters at our Hollister reunion:
    “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
    And that is still my desire for all of my Jesus Sisters! God bless you gals!

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