Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "To God Be The Glory"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 119:11 – Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, that I may not sin against You. (AMP)
Recently, I purchased a book with a title that included Bible verses to "know by heart". That phrase, to "know by heart" jumped out at me. I wondered what important things I actually do know by heart. I have many hidden helps in my head — among them my social security numbers, my medical patient IDs, passwords for online access to bank accounts, and the directions to find my home. All these bits of information, and more, are necessary for me to manage life on a regular basis.
As children, we may have experienced various ways of learning. Remember flash cards? They helped us to recognize many things by looking often at them. Frequent repetition is a proven method of learning. Singing the alphabet song is often a proud accomplishment for toddlers. The rote memorization of times tables was a useful tool long into my adulthood before a calculator was on my cell phone. Playing piano exercises over and over taught my fingers how to find the keys and work together. All of this repetition takes time, effort, and dedication. God designed our brains to lay down pathways to use in this way. This dedication results in storing resources within us. Our hearts work this way, too.
Long ago, an acquaintance encouraged me to begin a method of Bible memorization using small printed cards with Bible verses that were kept in a handy little pocket packet. I was to use bits of time to review and repeat the verses over and over until they could be recalled without looking at the cards. By using both idle time and concentrated time, I discovered that the verses began to store up in my mind and then in my heart. There are times even now in my old age when one of those verses will come to mind in a moment of life. It will remind me of God's truth, and instruct, encourage, or correct me. The Holy Spirit flashes those words before the eyes of my heart to remind me of God's eternal truths and to help me to be obedient to them. They are passwords into a full life!
Psalm 119:9 – Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (KJV)
Matthew 4:4 – Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (NIV)
Psalm 119:114 – You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. (NLT)
Today, even as an older person, I want to "take heed" and review and refresh these verses in my memory bank in the same way as I might open up a storage box and look through it to remind myself of what is in there. What verses are in your set of flash cards? Can you recall what is there? Maybe it's time for some review, and time to store away some newly found verses, as well. I'm sure that it will be a refreshing exercise for our hearts.
Prayer: Our Father, holy is Your name. Thank You for Your Word. Forgive us for our frequent inattention to Your Word. Help us, Your beloved children, to be more diligent in continuing to memorize Your Word in our hearts. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.