Psalm 119:11 says,
"Your Word I have treasured in my heart that I might not sin against You." As we have been discussing in Family Bible Hour this month, the process of sanctification begins with knowledge of God's Word, then a genuine belief of that knowledge lived out in our inward character and our external actions. But it all starts in the mind and the heart. In order for the external actions and internal character to be conformed into the image of God, we must start with God's Word entering our minds. We do this by reading, through preaching, and through Bible study. But in the Psalmist's mind, simply reading is not enough for him. He needs to meditate and memorize.
Psalm 1 says that the person who is blessed, who lives life in the most satisfying way possible, is the one who meditates on God's Word day and night. Meditation usually brings to mind a person in tight gym clothes, sitting in a strange position, with their fingers curled up, chatting some strange word or phrase. But that is the opposite of
true, biblical meditation. The word "
meditate" in the Bible is a word describing a chewing, a regurgitating, similar to how a cow eats grass, swallows, and then regurgitates the grass back to be chewed on some more. The goal of reading the Bible is to take the truth of God's Word and chew on it, digest it, ring out every last drop of glory from the text, and that cannot happen with just one pass over the text. So, in order to enable and enhance meditation, the Psalmist says that he
treasures, or stores up, God's Word in his heart.
Memorizing Scripture is one of the best ways to meditate on a passage as you are saying it over and over again and repeating it and learning it by looking at it from all different vantage points. And once a passage is memorized, meditation of that passage is now always readily accessible.
As we start a new year, I always think of what new passages I want to commit to memory. I have been praying for a few weeks, thinking through what portion of Scripture I want to start diving into, and this last Sunday confirmed for me what I'm going to start memorizing. I realized this last Sunday as we finished up the High Priestly Prayer in John 17, that I was incredibly sad to be leaving that chapter I have found so rich, so theologically deep as we discussed on Sunday, so comforting to my soul. So, I have decided to go back through my sermon notes on the chapter during my devotions and begin memorizing the chapter so that I will always have it with me. What better words to have with me than my Savior's prayer for me! I hope to commit that chapter to memory and then I want to start working on the book of Titus. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First off, John 17:1-3. :)
What about you? What passage of Scripture will you commit to memory this year so that your mind, heart, inward character, and outward actions will be conformed into the image of Christ more than ever before? Want some encouragement (and some conviction!)? Read this short blog post from a son who would watch his father's life and see his father's love for the Word lived out every morning through reading, meditating, and memorizing. May we all pursue God's Word with every ounce of energy we have. May others look on and see our love for Jesus and may it infectiously permeate through our families, our church, and our communities. And may Jesus be honored as we give careful attention to His Word, finding our greatest satisfaction in communing with our great God!