Happy Labor Day weekend, Siestas! We are on our annual camping trip in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, enjoying the sound of the rushing river, the sights of the beautiful canyon and wilderness, and the conveniences of electricity, running water and wifi in our tent camper. My kind of camping.
Last year at this time I was camping in this very same spot, but I had just returned from a weekend reunion with Bible study sisters in California. We had planned that reunion shortly after starting the memory verse challenge in January 2011. It was a blessed time, highlighted for me by a visit to our old home church, the 1st Presbyterian Church of Hollister. Perhaps those of us in attendance were primed and ready to be moved because of the joyous and uplifting nature of our reunion, but it seemed as though every song and every word and every precious word from the Scripture was speaking directly to us. I chose my next memory verses from that sermon.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly (sisterly) love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (parenthetical mine)
I love these verses. And I love how God’s Living Word gives you just the right verse at just the right time when you need it. Have you ever felt that?
This year we continue with the Sermon on the Mount. It hardly seems possible that we are nearing the end of Chapter 6, and that Chapter 7 contains the fewest verses of the 3 chapters we will memorize this year. Last time I shared that I was behind in my memory work, but with the return to school and some semblance of a routine (harried though it is), I have been able to catch up. I don’t feel confident in all of Chapter 6, but I know that it will come with regular practice. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment I get from working on the scriptures and committing them to memory, but even more, I cherish the knowledge that God has blessed and will continue to bless His Word hidden in my heart, and that those Words will bear fruit in my life as I try to live by them and share them with those around me.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Though the memorizing is coming more easily, the understanding does not always follow right away. I have been pondering these verses, particularly those about light and darkness. It helps to read the commentary I have been using, written by John Stott, Google other insight (like this very helpful piece by John Piper), and to follow my friend Cara’s blog, because she is doing a good deal more research and study on these verses, but sometimes just meditating on them eventually brings light and understanding which I believe comes directly from the Father. I also believe that He can and does use the same words to say different things to people, and even gives different meanings to the same words to me at different times. What I know for certain is that I have never been touched or moved or inspired more by any words more than His.
The Lord bless you and keep you! Please post your verses and comments below, and thank you as always for your company on this journey!