Hello dear Siestas,
Well this is it, the end of the line. I cannot thank you enough for joining me in this Scripture memory journey. I know that for every minute you have invested in hiding God’s Word in your heart, you have been blessed many times more, and have hopefully blessed those around you as well as you have let His light shine through you.
I have decided not to continue this blog next year. I started it to fill a void left when Beth wasn’t providing a place for us to post our verses, but she is doing the Siesta Scripture Memory Team again this year, so I don’t feel the need to continue. Please check out her blog here on Monday. I have so enjoyed the community and support I’ve seen and experienced here, don’t get me wrong, but I would rather have everyone who posted here this year post on Beth’s blog in the coming year so that we can all meet up together face to face in Houston in January 2014. I will be sending out an email on the 1st and 15th of each month to remind people to post and to offer encouragement, so if you would like to continue to hear from me (and share with me your verses and insight), let me know with a comment below if you would like to receive this email.
Last year my final verse was Psalm 119:11:
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
I think that pretty well sums up the whole thing, why we do this. At least it did for me in 2011. By hiding God’s word in my heart I hoped to draw myself nearer to God and hopefully be more like Jesus.
This year my final verses are a bit stronger. Well, a lot stronger. After all, it’s Jesus talking this time, not David.
Matthew 7: 24-29
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rains came and the streams rose and the wind blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like the foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rains came and the streams rose and the wind blew and beat upon that house and it fell with a great crash.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things the people were amazed at his teaching because he taught as one who had authority, not as their teachers of the law.
I find the contrast of these two passages interesting and a bit symbolic of the progression in my own journey. Last year, as you have seen here if you have been following along, memorizing Bible verses was a great comfort to me as I journeyed through a very difficult year during which my Dad suffered and died of cancer. I gained much more than just comfort from those verses, hopefully some wisdom and more. But this year we end with the very strong words of Jesus telling us to put them into practice, or our house will fall with a great crash. Notice that we are not promised that if we put his words into practice our house will be protected from any storm. On the contrary, we are promised that our house will come under the same duress as that of the person who does not put the words of Jesus into practice. The difference is that those who are taking his words to heart, and even more, really trying to live them, not just knowing them or being able to say them, those are the people who will withstand the promised storms of life. I learned earlier this year that in Jesus’s time, Hebrew children learned vast quantities of Scripture by heart, that was a large part of their schooling Most of them memorized the entire Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. Those who showed promise went on to memorize even more. This is astonishing to me, but even so, Jesus made a point of saying, to His Hebrew audience, many of whom would have committed huge portions of The Holy Scriptures to memory, that it was all for naught if they weren’t putting those words into practice. A powerful way to end the year in Scripture memory.
So thank you again for joining me here. If you came late to this party, not to worry! It starts over again in just two weeks, on January 1, 2013! If you think you can’t do it, take a look at Philippians 4:13 or Matthew 6:7-11. If you commit to doing this, you will not be alone! This is a gift that God wants to give you, He will help you receive it! And you will have a community of Siestas to help you as well. Take this leap of faith, and I promise, you will not regret it.
I love each of you with all my heart, and again I thank you.
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.
It’s your turn. Please take a moment to post your final verses of the year below, and let me know if you’d like to be included in my emails for the 2013 SSMT Challenge.