Happy New Year! Time for resolutions- changes we make to improve ourselves. We resolve to keep fit, lose weight, work harder and smarter, (for us teachers- keep up with our grading,) save money, or improve our relationships.
In Preparing for Spiritual Growth in the New Year, Chris Rainey writes how we can improve our relationship with God. He suggests five goals- Developing a structured Bible reading plan, reading additional (self improvement) books, finding mentors, focusing on specific spiritual disciplines and focusing on a specific Word from the Lord.
This final suggestion- focusing on a specific word from the Lord- is something that I am especially excited to do this year. It involves finding one Bible scripture, and reading, writing, focusing on it everyday. God’s word is so powerful that it’s a mystery, and I believe memorizing a scripture over and over in this seemingly simple act has the ability to transform us and accomplish things. You can focus on a scripture that is epecially meaningful to your needs, or a promise you are leaning on, or one that inspires you. The Scripture can help you conquer a sin that eats at you, a bad attitude, or an uninspiring mindset. It can help you reach goals, or generate new love for others, yourself or even the Lord. The capacity of the Scripture is summed up in Hebrews 4:12,
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Let do this! I want to hear how God changes us through the memorization of the Word of God. I have chosen Ephesians 6:19-20.
Pray also for me that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel for which I am in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should.
Here are some suggestions categorized by topic. (It’s a somewhat short list, I will add more daily.) Join me on this endeavor and lets see what happens, and please share with me what verse you decide on. Write it in the comments below. And let’s try to encourage one another. Note: these lists are not exhaustive. Continue to search the Scriptures and find one that resonates with what the Lord is showing you,.
Praise the Lord! Happy Memorizing, and Happy New Year!
Psalm 34:10b Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Isaiah 26: 3-4 Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.
Psalm 32:7-8 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Isaiah 43:1-3 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Philippians 4:6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Psalm 27: 1-3 The LORD is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me,it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;though war break out against me,even then I will be confident.
Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Psalm 145: 18-19 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.