In Colossians 3:16 the Apostle Paul challenges us to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly.”
Jesus says in Matthew 4:4, as he is victorious over the onslaughts of the evil one, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Early in my walk with Jesus, I was told that sin will keep me from God’s word or God’s word will keep me from sin. One of the ways the Lord has provided for me to be victorious in my life is His written and inspired Word.
As a young believer, I was strongly encouraged to memorize passages from the Bible, thereby giving the Holy Spirit a tool to encourage and challenge me. The Lord has helped me in staying faithful to this practice for 50 years. All praise to Him.
Monthly I pick a new verse, or short passage, to memorize, meditate on and, with His help, apply to my life and ministry.
In May of this year, I memorized Mark 8:17,18 in the ESV. Jesus says this to His disciples right after feeding the four thousand. It is a rebuke because of their spiritual blindness and short memories.
“And Jesus, aware of this, said to them ‘Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?’ ”
I am amazed at how much can come from a single verse (or two) that so dramatically influences my thinking and frame of reference. These two verses have been a template for prayer for me as I trust Him to:
- Not have a hard heart
Here are a few thoughts by way of application that have come to me from this passage:
See- What God is doing-In Henry Blackaby’s great book, “Experiencing God,” he tells us that God is at work all around us and wants us to join him in His work. I need to pray for eyes to see where he is working in my world and ask for wisdom to know where I should join Him.
Hear-What God is saying-I believe my # 1 priority as a leader is to regularly hear from God regarding life and ministry. I desire to listen to Him and, by His grace, respond to Him. There are so many voices and so much noise in my ears and head. I am motivated to regularly get alone with Him and hear His unique words to me. “The sheep hear his voice, and He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all His own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” - John 10:3,4
Remember-What God has done-It is so easy for me to forget what He has done in the past and be fearful in the present about the future. It is so helpful to remember and give thanks for His past faithfulness. Many times, when God did something huge in the Old Testament, He made it a national holiday or had them construct a physical reminder of the event.
I'm asking for lots of grace in seeing, hearing and remembering!