The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, November 9, 2022, comes to us from Ann Stewart of South Australia, Australia.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
GOD’S WORD IN OUR HEARTS
My friend once encouraged me to memorize Bible verses – one beginning with each letter of the alphabet. I took up the challenge and carefully chose 26 passages of scripture. These memorized verses have grown to be an essential part of my faith journey. I’ve found that God’s word is powerful. It is the truth. As Proverbs 4:22 says, it brings life and healing. When I fill my heart and mind with scripture, it brings me peace and encourages me to worship. If I lie awake at night and can’t get back to sleep, I recite these memorized verses to focus my thoughts. If I am anxious during a medical procedure, I think through these verses to calm myself.
I have discovered that worry and worship cannot inhabit me at the same time. Following Jesus’ example, we can use scripture to speak truth against temptation, include it in our prayers, or say it as a blessing over the lives of those we love. This is all so much easier when we have God’s word memorized, living in our hearts. It is a spiritual discipline that I have found to be very helpful and encouraging.
Memorizing scripture passages is a helpful tool for meditating on God’s word. Ann’s reflection challenges us to take time to commit scripture to memory as an act of worship and spiritual discipline. However, allow me to challenge you not simply to memorize scripture passages, but to wrestle with implementing the lesson each memorize passage is teaching. There are a number of church goers who have memorized passage upon passage of scripture, but when we examine their lives, we find few of the lessons in the memorized passage applied. A seasoned pastor and friend once told me: “It’s not how much scripture you know, it’s how much scripture you live that makes the difference.”
Loving Father, thank you for the treasures and truth we find in your life-giving word. Grant us the strength and fortitude to meditate on your scripture, study it, and memorize it. Amen.
-- Ann Stewart
People who care for stray animals.
Thought for the day:
Every creature in God’s world has something to teach me.