Posted by: pastortomvabeach | September 15, 2015

Thought For The Week September 20, 2015

I haven’t gotten much feedback on the recent postings which covered the sixteen basic biblical beliefs that unite our fellowship, the Assemblies of God, in what we believe. I trust that what I shared has helped you to look into the Bible and think on the truths that it contains. Studying yourself is one of the best ways to hear God’s voice and grow in your faith and intimacy with Him.

This week I’d like to share along those lines something that has resurfaced in my life over the last three months. We’ve been learning from Dr. Gary Smalley about the value of memorizing and meditating on the Scripture as a means of helping our children to keep their hearts open to the Lord and free from the unsavory influences of the world. As we discussed these things and memorized several verses from the Bible, I recalled how important it has been over the course of my life as a Christian to get the Word of God inside of me and to let the Lord lead me through the Word.

Proverbs 4:23 says Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Jesus said the same thing in Luke 6:45, out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. The word “keep” in Proverbs means “to guard or keep watch over”. What we put into our hearts will determine what comes out of our mouths and how we behave so it’s very important that we guard what we let into our hearts. I believe the best way to do that is by filling our hearts with God’s Word.

Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. We get our minds renewed by replacing the viewpoint of the world with God’s viewpoint which is, again, His Word. The more of His Word we get into our minds the more we can meditate upon that Word and let it filter down into the very core of our being, our hearts.

The Psalms give some powerful reasons to memorize God’s Word. Psalm 119:11 says, Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Probably the most important reason to “hide God’s Word in our hearts” through memorizing it, is that it gives us a weapon to resist sin. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God and having the truth within us aids us when we are tempted with the lies and deceit of the enemy.

Psalm 1 tell us that we are blessed when we delight in the law (Word) of the Lord and meditate on it day and night. Memorizing the Word helps us to meditate on it because having it available in our memory allows us to bring it up wherever we may be and think about the powerful truths it contains. One biblical idea of meditation is like a cow chewing its cud. The cow swallows its food and then over the course of the day brings it back up and chews on it some more to get all the nutrients out of it. When we have the Word inside of us, we can bring it up and get all God’s blessing anywhere, anytime!

Psalm 1 also says that those who delight and meditate on God’s Word will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. That’s an awful lot of benefit packed into one verse.

Since I’ve been meditating on the Word I’ve had some “God thoughts” about the Word. One of those thoughts helped me to learn patience over a little thing when I was about to become testy with my wife. Another time I was thinking about Ephesians 3:17, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, when I noticed the word grounded has a significant meaning when dealing with electricity. If a circuit is not grounded, current will not flow. That made me think that if we are not grounded (connected) to God’s love, His power and life can’t flow in and through us. It gave me a whole different perspective on that verse.

I mention these things to say that if I hadn’t been meditating on the Word, I never would have had those thoughts. The value of committing Scripture to memory and then bringing it to mind regularly can’t be overstated.

This year we will be adding a memory verse to the study guides that we prepare with each sermon. This is so that we all can begin to develop a habit of regularly working on Scripture memory and meditation. Will you take the challenge and begin to memorize the Word? It’ll do you a whole lot of good and help you guard your heart. These are my thoughts this week. I’d love to hear some of yours.

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