A BLOG SERIES ON THE PATH OF A DISCIPLE
Several years back I was forced to purchase a new cell phone to replace my current one due to an accidental screen shattering. I was informed that once everything was downloaded from the cloud (whatever that really means) I would then have a new shiny phone with all my past contacts and information on it. But until that happened the only use that phone served to me was that it was just a new shiny phone.
The contents which also included my contacts were stuck in a cloud somewhere and maybe I would be able to have them back in a few hours. But the problem was that I needed them now. I hurried out of the phone store knowing that if I did not hit any red lights, I could make the lunch meeting I had scheduled with just a few minutes to spare. And as I walked to my car, it hit me that I had no idea where I was meeting this young woman for lunch. I picked up the phone to call her only to be quickly reminded that my new shiny phone was only that –a new shiny phone. I walked quickly back into the store and asked to borrow the phone to call her. But as soon as I began to dial her number, I was immediately filled with panic. Because just like my contacts were lost in the cloud, her number was lost somewhere in my brain. Yes, I had called her ten times this past week already, but because of the advanced nature of today’s technology, I never had to dial her number –I simply had to tap on her name.
Sadly, I missed this important lunch date all because I had not taken the time to memorize her number. I had seen it and had it stored somewhere but I did not know it by heart. This lack of internal knowledge of her number inconvenienced and disrupted not only me but my friend as well. This situation sure would have turned out differently if I had only memorized her number.
Most often when we need information, we need it immediately. We may not have time to look it up or maybe we do not have “the cloud” with us. And if the information or those words are not available to us when we need them –well that moment may pass us by never to resurface again.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8
Upon the death of Moses, The Lord spoke to Joshua and gave him the tremendous task of continuing the journey of leading the children of Israel into the land which God had promised to them. He had been well taught, well prepared, and had a deep understanding of who God is, but do you know what Joshua did not have? A phone, computer, iPad, or App to find the words that he needed to keep Israelites on the right path. But what he did have was the Word of God that he had been entrusted to use as his guide. Not only was he to read it, learn it and know it, but the Lord tells Joshua that The Book of the Law shall not depart from his mouth, and he is to meditate on it. Not only was he to meditate on it but he was to do so day and night. He wanted Joshua to know and understand it to such a degree that it stayed on his heart, his mind, and his lips.
And here lies the beauty of meditating and memorizing Scripture. It does not depart from our mouths because it is planted in our hearts. While I would tell you that reading and studying your Bible is a necessary part of the Christian who is growing and thriving... Memorizing it assures that as those words reside in your thoughts, they are consciously and subconsciously directing you toward Christ and His perfect plans. Memorizing the Bible ensures us that regardless of where we are, we have always had access to it.
These God Inspired words of the Bible are not only for us to keep to ourselves but they are for the benefit of others. Imagine that you have a chance encounter with someone that you know in your heart needs to hear about Christ and His love for them. How would the magnitude and sincerity of this moment seem if you had to ask them to hang tight as you flip quickly through the pages of your Bible or search on your phone (let us hope it is not lost in the cloud) for a verse or passage to read to them? Or would you rather look them in the eyes and share with them the truths and the life-changing words of what a loving God has done in your heart and what He can do in theirs? Imagine the sincerity and power they would see in you. They would quickly recognize that those words were of absolute importance to you and that they had not departed from your heart or your mouth.
What better words, truth, and knowledge can we fill our hearts with than the words of the Bible? From the beginning of the Old Testament to the end of the New Testament, this book is a beautiful picture of God's sovereignty and the redemptive plan of Christ. We get to choose what we fill ourselves up with. My hope for you is that if you have never memorized Scripture, today would be the day. At this moment you would intentionally choose to fill up your heart, your thoughts, and your lives with the only words that will never steer you down the wrong path –the lifegiving Words of a Holy God.
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