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:
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.