Meditation & Memorization (Psalm 119:97-99)

January 2, 2022 | Kyle Bjerga


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

All right, you can go ahead and grab your Bibles open to Psalm 119. If you use one of the few Bibles in front of us page 498. In my personal Top 10 movies, no shock that eight of them are baseball movies. And one of them is movie A League of Their Own. So many of you probably seen that familiar with that movie is about the all women’s baseball league that was started when the men were sent to war back in World War Two. So they started this Women’s League and they went around the country, getting all these different recruits so that they continue to play baseball, keep it before the American people. And one of the star players in that was a player by the name of Dottie Hinson, at least in the movie, and towards the end the movie, they’re in the playoffs, and her husband comes back from war and she ends up retiring, she just says, I’m done, I’m going home. And when the manager asked her why she says, it just got too hard. And then the why is Jimmy Dugan, the manager for that team who has come to love this team and coaching this team has one of the most iconic lines, and it’s not the one you’re thinking of. It’s not there’s no crying in baseball. That’s probably the most iconic line. But another one right there. One of my favorites is he looks at her. And he says it’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard, that makes it great. And if you’ve ever played sports, or an instrument or been a part of anything, where it was difficult, and it was hard, you know, you know what that means. It’s the hard that makes it great. In fact, people who are really, really good at some things get really bored with it. Because it’s so easy to them. And so when you’re thrust into a position like sports, or something else, where you are working hard day in and day out and seeing just a little bit of fruit. And sometimes you’re gonna want to shrink back and quit. And some people do because it just gets too hard. And then there’s others who will go headlong into that difficulty and lean into it. Because they know it’s worth it. In the end, they know the reward that’s on the other side. And so my hope for us this morning is that we lean into the challenge of spiritual disciplines, lean into the challenge, lean into the difficulty of pressing pause in our daily lives in order to pursue God to choose rest in a restless world, okay to choose rest and a restless world. And my hope is that you’ll see the value of these spiritual disciplines we’ll discuss today for the everyday so he were weren’t here with us last week, let me just recap because this is a two week series. And so I laid a lot of groundwork last week, we are in the series called press pause, where we do want to choose rest and a restless world. And the goal of what press pause is the meaning behind it is this. We want to make intentional time, make intentional time in our day, to pursue God and to hear from him. And the spiritual disciplines help us do that. Some of you read Donald Whitney’s book, spiritual disciplines of the Christian life, and in that this how we define spiritual disciplines. He says the spiritual disciplines are the God given means we are to use in the spirit filled pursuit of godliness. So the Holy Spirit is working in us. But Scripture says Philippians says we are to work as well. And so when we have these spiritual disciplines, we’re we’re pursuing God, and we’re hearing from him and the Holy Spirit’s doing his work these two things work together for godliness for us to be more and more Christ like. And so what are some of the spiritual disciplines, scripture reading, scripture study, evangelism, giving, fellowship, worship, all sorts of things that God has given us to pursue him to get to know him more in the view of his people. And last week, we looked at two that we don’t often think of, and that’s silence and solitude. And this week, we’re looking at two others that are a little bit more difficult, maybe something we don’t normally do, and that is meditation, and memorization. But I love this definition, because we see the Holy Spirit working. And we see God has given us things to do, as well. And we will be more Christ like as we pursue them. So if you’re doing spiritual disciplines for any reason, other than to know God better, it’d be transformed by him. We need to step back and reevaluate why we do these things. Why do we do the spiritual disciplines, not to check them off, not to be in a competition, to pursue God and to know him better. And so we’ve talked about this idea of rests last week, and I want to talk about that this week, as well. Because biblical rest is different than the world’s rest. And so we define biblical rest last week as this ceasing from our work and trusting in God’s sovereignty completely. So the idea of rest in the world is, take some time for yourself. Do what makes you happy. It’s a very self focused thing. Are you in agreement with that? When people talk about rest?
Well, biblical rests what God thinks is it should be very God focused. That’s what I should be very God focused. Which means we need to say God is in control. We need the rest. We need to be still and know that He is God. And so when you think about Biblical rest is whether you’re talking about the day of Sabbath. Whether you’re talking about like a Sabbath year, whatever you’re talking about, as far as biblical rest goes, here’s how I want to summarize it. It is the practice of realizing or remembering that we are not God. That’s what biblical rest is. It is stepping back and saying, I’m not God. I’m not God, he is, and he will keep these things moving, he will continue to be in my life. And that’s what biblical rest is. And so the disciplines we looked at last week of silence and solitude, will help us to do this. To be in the silence, to be alone to be just with our God with our Savior. And these two disciplines of meditation, and memorization will also be there for us, as well. So time is important. time is valuable. And time is the number one reason why people give Christians give for not spending time in silence and solitude. What about for meditation memorization? What’s the number one reason time? It is that’s what it is? That’s what it is for silence and solitude. That’s what it is for meditation memorization, The number two reason I can’t memorize. It’s just too hard. I don’t have a good memory, anything around that. And then down when he challenges us in his book. He says, What if I offered you $1,000? For every verse you could memorize this week? Do you think your attitudes towards scripture memory would change? Unfortunately, it would, for the wrong reasons. But then it goes on to say that the value of having scripture in our minds is infinitely more valuable than $1,000 or $7,000. If you do want every single day, the problem for us is we don’t live in a culture of memorization. We don’t live in a culture that prizes this. Okay? So we have to come at that from that angle. We have to know that. But but our attitude and communist to Scripture is wrong. When we think of Scripture memory as a chore, or the thing we go about. I mean, how many of you don’t have to raise your hands on this one, when you hear scripture memory, or see it’s something required in a class or a journey group or something like that, where that’s your first instant? That’s the first instinct you have, oh, I don’t want to do that. I’m telling you in our journey groups, this is probably the one thing that we have the hardest time with early on with people who are in their first year of Journey group to say we’re going to memorize a lot of Scripture. Word for word, by the way, not the gist of it. But memorizing Scripture. And it is difficult. But it’s worth while. And the author of Psalm 118 understands that he understands that about meditation and memorization, so we’re gonna look at verses 97 through 99, we’re gonna have the same outline we did last week, we’re gonna look at the evidence for meditation memorization, we’re gonna look at the benefits. And we’re gonna look at the practice. And I’m hoping to get very practical for us on how to do this as we get to the end. But first, let’s see what this says in Psalm 119, first 97 Oh, how I love your law. I meditate it, meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me, and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers for and meditate on your statutes. So the author here starts off. Oh, how I love your law. And law just means I love your teaching. I love your instruction. That’s what he’s saying. He’s saying, I love what you have to say to me, God, I love what you have for me. I love the word. I love what you’re seeing here. Is that how we approach this book when we open it? Do we come at it first with I love this word. I want to know it. Or is it? Well, it’s the morning I’m supposed to do this today. Oh, how I love your law. I love your instruction. How important is this motivation back in Psalm one, the very beginning of Psalms. Psalm one verse two says blessings, the one who’s delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on it day and night. So we see I love your law. I delight in your law. And so the delight here is inclining yourself to something for pleasure. If the author loves it wants to run to it wants to read it and get dig deep into it to see what God has for him. And then to love his look on with great affection.
There’s nothing wrong with saying like, I love this book. Not because I love the book itself. I love the God who it’s talking about. And the fact that he gave me these words, so I can know Him better. Oh, I love your law. Totally A different way of thinking about it. A thing of meditation of memorization, it’s not a chore. It isn’t a competition. It isn’t a way to prove something, it isn’t another notch in our belt. It’s something to come to in love, and pleasure. And when we love something, when we delight in it, we want to spend time with it. And we need to do so throughout the whole day. So here we see, it says I meditate all day long. And someone says day and night. The point is, Scripture is constantly coming back to me. Whether I’m intentional about it, or the Lord brings it back, because I’ve been spending time in it earlier in the day, it just keeps coming. So we get to know what the word say we need to know what they mean, we get to use them in our life. So God, we love your word. So what do we do with it? We meditate, and we memorize. So that’s what we see here in this passage. First meditation, what is it? Because when I say meditation, you might have like those red flags go up. So let’s talk about what meditation is not here in Scripture. There’s no matter how popular it is, in our culture, to empty your mind. To become one with yourself, to have positive positive thinking or positive vibes, whatever that might be. That is not biblical meditation at all. So how does the Bible look at meditation? What does the word mean? Here’s what meditation is, it is reflection or concern for someone else’s thoughts, God’s thoughts, and then turning them over and over again in our mind and heart with the expectation of change. That’s radically different from the world. To say, I want God’s thoughts in my mind, I want them in my heart, I want to turn them over and over and over expecting that those words will actually change me. That’s what meditation is. David Matheson his book sums it up perfectly. He says meditation is pause and ponder. Okay, pause and ponder. I think that’s a helpful way of looking at it. So in other words, meditation is not emptying your mind. Okay? Meditation, biblical meditation is filling your mind with God’s words and forcing everything else out. All the other junk that we fill our minds with up in a day, all the lies that we hear it saying, I need God’s thoughts as my thoughts, and I need to push out everything else. So it’s not emptying your mind. It’s just filling it with something better. So raise of hands again, this is important, because we’re all here. We all struggle with these things. Okay. There’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, we want to pursue him. But we know we struggle in these areas of spiritual disciplines. Okay, so let’s just be honest here. How many of you ever read the Bible walked away and said that was dry? I got nothing from that. Okay, thank you for being honest. Because that’s true. You’ve been walking load for any amount of time, you know, there’s days we go to the word and you say, I love your law and days, we’re just like, I don’t even remember what I read. I don’t remember what book I was in. I don’t remember the last time I read, we’ve all been there. We’ve all been there. So what do you try and do to change you maybe you prayed, for a long time, the Lord would light a fire of desire in your heart for His Word. And that’s a good thing to do. Maybe you read a different translation, maybe you try to dig deep into study, to get to know what words mean, what the Lord is saying here. But I think meditation, of picking a word or phrase or verse or two is actually where we’ll see the greatest change. If we just sit in the word for a little bit and roll it over and over in our minds. And Thomas Watson said this, the reason we come away cold from reading the Word is because we do not warm ourselves at the fire of meditation. So we walk away, I don’t understand it. I didn’t, I didn’t really get anything out of that. We’re not sitting down by the fire of meditation, and sitting there and enjoying the warmth of God’s Word. So I know this has happened to me before I’m reading through scripture, and a verse pops out at me. But I’ve got places to go people to see that day. So I can’t meditate. So Oh, that was cool verse. And I keep reading. Okay, and I come to another verse. And I just said, that’s great. And then I keep reading. And then by the end of the day, somebody asked me, What do you read this morning, and I don’t remember.
But if I take that verse, for whatever reason, the Holy Spirit in that moment has said, This is important for you. And then I sit there and I say, I’m not reading anymore. I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna read this over and over again. And I’m gonna pray through it. I’m gonna meditate on it. When that happens, when somebody asked me at the end of the day, what did you read? What was your teaching that day? I’ll know exactly what it was. Because I’ve meditated on it. I spent time in it, rolling it over in my mind. And chances are the Lord will use it throughout the day, as well. So it’s easy to see meditation here we see it mentioned twice actually. Now memorization, granted memorization, the word there is not used in this passage, but look at verse 98. You’re man’s are always with me. So my understanding of that is commands can’t be with him. Because he’s not carrying around a bunch of scrolls. He doesn’t have a phone with a with a Bible app. So your commands are always with me. How are they always with me because I have them memorize. Because I know what you’re saying, I know where to go. So he’s not talking about having the Bible, just look it up. It’s always with him. He’s literally carrying them with him. Earlier in Psalm 119, probably one of the most famous verses in this really long book about God’s Word. In verse one it in verse 11, I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I’ve, I’ve hidden your word in my heart habits. I can pull it out, can you use it whenever I need it, so that I don’t sin against you. This is not referring to a quick Google search. Versus for when I worry. Versus for when I have a lustful thought. Versus for when what happens when I don’t know what the test results are going to be all that kind of stuff. Like we have that that’s great, we should use technology. But man, it’d be much better to just be I got a verse. The Lord is with me, he won’t leave me. When I’m when I’m face to face that temptation, which we’re going to talk about here in a little bit, I have something that I can pull to address that specific temptation in that moment. And that’s what Scripture memorization does. For us, it will help us defeat sin and temptation. So biblical rest, coming back to that idea of biblical rest, and biblical meditation, as we think about this, they’ll go rest is not naps and TV all day. That can be a part of it. I’m sure many of you have done that before. That can be part of it. One of my professors in school said sometimes the godly thing we could do is take a nap. Because we’re unbearable to be around otherwise. And so maybe that’s part of it. You just need to rest that’s fine. Naps are good. But Are we pursuing God? Are we pursuing him in a hearing from him? Throughout the day, and meditation memorization are vital to this goal, vital to this goal to fill our minds up with the word of God, we will not walk away hunger, we shouldn’t walk away hungry for meditation. It should feel like we just came from Christmas dinner. Like I am full on on God’s word. I am full on God’s word. And this is what Paul wants the church in Colossians he’s writing that Brandon read for us this morning. Colossians 316 Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly. Let the message of Christ Let the gospel dwell in you richly. So if you think about writing someone 18 Now it’s like, Oh, how I loved your gospel. Oh, I love your gospel. And I want to be in I want to be thinking about that day and night. I want to dwell on it. So that’s meditation and memorization. As we see it in Scripture. There’s many other verses we can go to, but we don’t have time this morning. So let’s move to the benefits. What are the benefits of meditation memorization? First, we have the mind of Christ. Okay, we have the mind of Christ. So the apostle Paul, right into the Corinthians tells them about the Holy Spirit, that they received the Holy Spirit as Christians, as those who believe in Jesus Christ, they receive the spirit that we might have understanding of the things that the Lord has freely given us in Christ. And then he asked this question which is taken from the book of Isaiah. He says in first Corinthians 216, who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him, which you know, the Holy Spirit knows the mind of the Lord, because the Holy Spirit is God. And then he goes on to say, but we have the mind of Christ. We have the mind of Christ, Christians, with the Holy Spirit, have the mind of Christ. This is what the cross gave us. One of the things that the Christ gave us, is the mind of Christ. How good is that news? There is no condemnation. There’s good news. And Jesus just brought this to us to say you can think my thoughts after me. You can think my thoughts after me. And that’s an amazing thing to think about. Right? We can know God exhaustively, we’re not gonna understand everything, but we can start to understand, we can start to discern and to judge rightly, all because our mind is being transformed,
being transformed. So why do we need memorization of meditation that if we have the mind of Christ, when the Holy Spirit comes in our life, he doesn’t automatically download all 66 books into our mind. That’d be awesome. Right? come to faith in Christ, get all 66 books ready to go. You know, for you know, chapter, you know, verse, all of that. That’d be wonderful. It’s not how it works. He doesn’t do that. So we’re called, instead to do the hard work of meditation and memorization It is hard, but it’s worth doing. And then we want to use these verses, we have to know them down when he says, later in his book, but until the verses are hidden in your heart, they aren’t available to use with your mouth. Have you ever been in an instance where the Holy Spirit brought you a verse, word for word that you’ve never memorized before? If we don’t memorize and meditate on God’s word, what do we go into each day with? I know about where to find it. And that’s where a lot of us probably are. But I’d rather be able to use it in the moment, kind of like Jesus does. In Matthew four, when Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. Jesus was not quoting words that you and I don’t have access to. That’s important. He’s quoting from the Old Testament, the same old Testament we have. This isn’t some new stuff that Jesus is saying. He’s using the word of God. In that moment, the same word that we have the very words that Jesus memorized, and used, we have access to the very words, the Holy Spirit inspire the New Testament writers, to give to these churches in the area. And these people in the area have the same words we have access to today. Let that sink in for a moment. We’re not waiting for a word from the Lord, we have the word from the Lord. And He wants us to do the hard work of knowing it, of rolling it over in our minds of using it every chance we get. So as Christians, we have an in to the mind of Christ. David Mathis brings us I love how he says this. He says good theology forms our minds in general. Okay, and a general way to think God’s thoughts after him. But memorize Scripture molds, our minds, molds, with as much specificity as humanly possible to mimic the folds and the creases in the mind of God. Theology gets us in the ballpark, memorize Scripture gets us into the clubhouse. And I love that we get to go into the mind of Christ. Through the words, he’s already given us, the words we have access to second benefit, we are wiser. We see that right in our passage here. Your commands are always with me make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. So this is in contrast to teachers, and enemies who are not submitting to God’s Word or not meditating and memorizing the Word of God. So it makes sense when we have the mind of Christ, we have some wisdom, we have access to wisdom that we wouldn’t have. Otherwise, we have godly insights into things that can only be revealed to us through Scripture can only be revealed to us through the Holy Spirit. And Solomon, King Solomon was known throughout the world for his wisdom, but it wasn’t his wisdom. It was a gift the Lord gave him when he said, I want wisdom, and God gives it to him. And we have the promise in James chapter one, that if we ask God for wisdom, He is Generous, and he will give it to us. So we have the mind of Christ, we are wiser, wisdom and insight that we have that others don’t. Third, we can fight temptation, and sin. And so I’ve told the students hear this before, when we talk about scripture, memory, or Bible reading. When we go out into the world, each and every day, we’re going to come face to face with dozens, if not hundreds, or maybe even 1000s of lies. And if we go into that, without the word of God, what chance do we have? Okay, we go into the world, and we’re bombarded by all these messages. What is it in us that can grab hold of those, and bring truth to them? Whether it’s in the songs that we listen to, whether it’s in the conversations we have with people, or the messages we’re hearing, on the TV, whatever it might be, how are we able to grab those, and then bring truth in them? If we don’t have God’s Word on our hearts and our minds if we don’t know it? We need to use the armor of God, every single day, we need to put it on. How can we extinguish the flames of the evil one, if we don’t have the shield of faith? And not only do we have the shield of faith and we put it up to extinguish those arrows of those, that temptation and those attacks he brings to us, we then pick up the offensive weapon we have the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and we use it to be truth.
It’s what Jesus did again, when Satan came in, tempted him with God’s word, just out of context, not using it the right way. What did Jesus do? He had access. What was Jesus doing? He was in silence and solitude in the desert for 40 days and 40 Nights, praying to his father, and I guarantee you he was meditating on the Scripture he’d already memorized and he uses it. When he needs it. He uses it. It’s rolling over and over in his mind. So when Satan tempts then he’s able to grab that and say that’s not true. And then he brings the truth to bear on it, and says this is the truth. And that’s what we’re called to do. And meditation and memorization will help us to get to that point, to be able to use it. To defeat the lies, to bring the truth. Jesus has the right words every time when Satan tempts him. And so we need the right words in the moment. I’m sure most of us have had or still at John 316, memorized. Okay. It’s a great verse. But when you’re in a situation that says, I can gossip about someone or I cannot, are you going to say John 316? Maybe, I don’t think that addresses that specific thing, that temptation in that moment. So you’re like, oh, wow, there’s there’s verses about gossip in Scripture. I should probably memorize some of those things so that I can bring that in that moment when I’m tempted. So it’s saying the God’s word is, is all true. God’s word is perfect. But there are verses that we need to memorize for specific circumstances, sins, temptations in our life. Great Commission is a great verse. It’s really good verse. But when you’re tempted as a kid to steal, you’re probably not pulling out the Great Commission. And so again, these are all God’s word. But how can I take that because that’s what Jesus said, He took verses and applied them directly to what Satan was doing. In that moment forth, it helps us to minister more effectively, we’re called in Scripture to encourage one another, to speak the truth in love. And the best way to do that is to tell other Christians God’s word back to them. The word they already know, if you come to advice from me, and I give you my advice, look out. It’s not good. If it’s my advice, if I’m not standing on it, I can’t point to things, then who am I? Who am I, we need to go to this because God has something to say. It may take some digging, may take some work, it will probably be hard. But it’s worth it. So it helped us Minister more effectively. It also helped us evangelize better. We have God’s words in our mind all the time, we can bring truth into people’s lives when they need to hear it. And lastly, and just for the sake of time, I’m just gonna mention it will change your prayer life. Okay, these are God’s inspired words. These are the words he gave us if we can pray scripture back to him. It’s like when Moses was telling God, do you remember what you said? Do that. And for us, it’s like, oh, here’s a promise of God. He gave me this promise. And let me pray it back to him. Not because he needs reminding. But because in that moment, we’re saying is I trust you completely, because you are God who fulfills your promises. So it will change your prayer life, if you have scripture, memorized. years ago, Jackie was challenged by her disciple to memorize Romans 12, one through two. And she was really proud of that in that moment, because I think that was the first verse she’d ever intentionally gone and memorize, and she still has it. And what is verse to say, Do not conform to the pattern of this world. but be transformed by the renewing of what your mind by the renewing of your mind, and will be transformed. I will be transformed by God’s word, because it will renew our mind, it will hit us in our hearts, and it will change us. So there are way more benefits that we could cover. But that’s probably good for right now. So we come to the part we’ve all been waiting for, or perhaps dreading putting it into practice. So I hope you’re convinced by Scripture that this is important. Okay,
I hope you’re convinced the evidence is there through scripture, I hope you see the benefits of memorizing and meditating in there. And so here’s what I want to do. I want to hopefully offer some helpful tips to get us started. Okay, to just get us started. And so we’re gonna look at what do we do? We’re gonna look at what can you use, and then we’re gonna look at how to start. Okay, so if you’re our note taker, we’re going to kind of move through these very quickly. So last week, I mentioned, the natural rhythms we have in life with rest, we have daily, weekly, monthly kind of rhythms where it’s a little bit easier for us to kind of schedule some rest out in our calendar. But I don’t think that’s very helpful, helpful for meditation memorization, because these are more daily things that we should be doing. We should be meditating day and night, all day long. We should be memorizing Scripture. And in order to do these things, well, we need to be doing them consistently. So meditation memorization have long term goals is good, but I don’t want us to kind of think about that just yet. Okay, I don’t want us to think about that just yet, I would just want us to get started with this worthwhile goal of meditating and memorizing daily. Because here’s the thing if it takes you three, four or five days, two weeks, three months to memorize one verse, good. Because guess what you’ve been doing in those three months, meditating, meditating on God’s word. That’s not a bad thing. So maybe it’s a struggle. Memorization does come easier to some people. But all of us can memorize, you can. Because we have the mind of Christ. And God wants us to know His Word we can all memorize, doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there. There are huge benefits, just spending that time meditating, rolling it over and over again. So maybe you include these as part of your silence and solitude, maybe those will be separate. But let’s dive in. What’s the first thing what can we do? The first thing is memorize verses on the character of God and His promises. Okay, memorize verses that tell us who God is. Because we’re going to need that. And we’re going to need his promises. So maybe just find some verses that talk about the holiness of God, maybe you memorize Isaiah six, one through four, so you can be struck by the holiness of God. And you go to verses where he is faithful, and you go to verses where he is full of grace, and love, and whatever it is, but memorize those verses about God’s character. Second, memorize gospel verses and passages. This is great for our own life, but also for discipleship and evangelism. Get to know what the Bible says about the gospel, those verses that you can use in evangelism, those passages that you can use to walk through like First Corinthians 15. I’ve just seen the gospel laid out and memorize and meditate on it. Memorize fighter verses, maybe some of you are familiar with fighter verses, you can find these online. I’ll tell you another place, you can find them here in a moment. But you can use a Bible concordance, you can find keywords. So you can say, Okay, I struggle with this. And this, what does it say in the Bible about these and you go there, and you meditate, you memorize those specific ones, so you can fight each and every day when that temptation and sin comes. And then maybe you also have to memorize different types of verses, John Piper says, sometimes we need the hammer of the word. And other times we need the warm blankets of the word. So sometimes we need that tough passage that hits us between the eyes. And then other times, we need to feel like that blanket is surrounding us, and comforting us. So get to know different types of verses. And then the last one, memorize chapters, or big chunks of Scripture, or whole books of the Bible. So I’ll let you in and Brandon and I do this. I see him doing this, I do it too early in the morning, he never sees me. But I see him doing this in his office, and he’s old school. He’s got no cards, who use no cards to memorize anymore. But he does, and he flips has no cards, and he’s got his verses to memorize. And so we both memorize different books of the Bible, and it is so worth it. It is so worth it. And it’s hard. And it takes a lot of consistency, and a lot of practice, and a lot of review. But it can be done. Okay, it can be done. And so I’m going to link in the pulse later this week. A way to do this, okay, a method that I use. It’s not the only method but the method I use for, for learning memorizing big chunks of Scripture. So I will provide that for you. And so you can kind of see that.
Alright, second thing is what can you use to do this? What can you use to do this one, maybe it’s just the Bible. You just open up the Bible, you find a verse, and you sit there and you meditate and you memorize, maybe it is no cards for you. Maybe it’s the printed off and you keep it with you. That’s what one of my disciples did. Every time we met at Panera here in Elmhurst when I was in high school, he would get there early, and he would have his coffee, and I’d always see him with this folded up, it looks terrible, because he was used it so often, but he just unfolded the paper and he’d be memorizing Ephesians. And so just those minutes before I got there, he was doing that. So maybe it’s that you you print the paper off and you have it with you wherever you go. Use technology. I know last week you like you said Put the phone away was silence and solitude. Yes. The phone is probably not our friend. We’re trying to be in silence and solitude. But for meditation and memorization. I think there are so many good things out there to help us in this. Okay, so here are a few that I want to mention. Because I think many of us would probably take advantage of these. First the Scripture typer if you’ve been in the journey group with me, everybody has heard about this. So it’s a it’s an app that you can use to basically everything’s you’re texting, but you’re actually memorizing Scripture. And so it’s got a verse there and you text the first letter of each word, and it’s kind of goes across then you can take words out and then you can just have that Everything vanished. And you’re sitting there and you’re just memorizing. And then it gives you these reviews every day, every couple of days, every couple of weeks to review the verses that you’ve been memorizing, and you can catalog everything. And so maybe that’s the one that you would like. The second one is dwell, the dwell app. This is a Bible listening. So it’s an audio Bible that’s done in different translations with different voices, people from around the world, reading scripture, but what I love about is they have a dwell mode. And in this mode, you can pick whatever scripture you’re in that day, you can have it repeat until you tell it to stop repeating. And then you can have it reflect. So after it’s done, it leaves silence for you to reflect, and then it comes back, and it does it again. And so all these things that if listening to Scripture, as you’re driving, if you’re on the train, whatever it might be, and you can kind of set that dwell mode, you could just sit there and hear the same scripture over and over and over again, I listened to Felix, he’s from South Africa. So it’s awesome. So the next one is fighter verses I mentioned this, this is something that John Piper has done through his ministry desiring God, but there’s an app called fighter verses. So you can go on there and just find specific verses, again, for those sins, temptations or circumstances in life, to be able to have these meditate and memorize them. There’s a handful of resources in the lobby as you go today on the table. That will be some talk about some of these apps, some other verses and things that you can memorize. So encourage you to check those out on your way out today. And I can also let you know what those are, if everybody takes them. Third, then is how do you start? In many ways, meditation memorization are very simple. Okay, they’re very simple. The only thing you need is the word of God. And consistency, repetition and patience, things we’re really good at. It’s simple. It’s very hard. Okay? It’s simple. But it’s very hard because those three things consistency, repetition, patience, I’m pretty sure the things every year I pray for God to give me more of so will be difficult. But it can be done. So how do you do this? First is pray, pray that you would be able to come to God’s word to say, Oh, how I love your law. Oh, how I love your word. So pray that first, to come up with a delight in God’s word. The second thing is we need to stop making excuses. It’s not about having time. It’s not about having time, it’s about making the time making it a priority to press pause and practice these things. We need to remove I can’t memorize from our vocabulary. If the Holy Spirit is in you, you can because God wants you to have it. So again, it may take you three months to memorize a verse, you may you may be able to get 100 verses in in three months. It’s not a competition. Are you meditating? Are you memorizing? Is God using it to change your life? I have not once a peer said you need to memorize X, Y or Z by the end of 2022. And I’m not going to but I want us to start memorizing. I want us to start meditating if we’re not already doing that. So I mentioned before, just it is true that some people memorization is just easy. It doesn’t mean they’re good at meditating, though. Okay, so meditation and memorization together, they go hand in hand, you really can’t do one without the other. Right? Unless you’re coming in with bad motives, of course. But God will help us memorize his word, the amount of useless baseball trivia and stats I have in my head. I can never use the excuse. I can’t memorize. I can’t
find someone to partner with you. So an attorney groups this is built in. So we do remember versus when we come together every single week, but find somebody to do the same thing with you. So you can encourage one another, to walk through this together, memorize meditate together. Meditate, memorize out loud, okay? One reason why a lot of people do this in the car. It’s why I do it in the car. The first book of the Bible I memorize I picked it, honestly was very practical. If I have to say the whole thing, what can I say from my house to church? That was how I pick pick Colossians because I could do that. And so maybe for you, you know, your drive to work. You know how many verses you can say maybe that’s how you pick it the first time. For me, it was just very practical to do that. But you’re probably already sitting in the car and people think you’re crazy. So start memorizing Scripture. Say it out loud, and be loud about it. It’s better for us, we we hear it, we say it muscle memory, we will get it down. Use music, especially if you have kids seeds, family worship, there’s some of those resources out in the back as well. They put scripture to song because we all memorize lyrics a lot easier than we do just words on a page. Now if you try and sing it to someone when you need to use it, I don’t know maybe that’ll go over well, but it will help us memorize it. Families I would encourage you to memorize together. Our families. I was terrible at this by the way. We all memorize different things, but we don’t really memorize anything together. And so I want us to memorize together, boys have a wanna and I have journey and Jackie’s journey and we have all these different things that we do. But we’re not memorizing together. So I would encourage us to do that. We need to model this for our kids. Some possible goals for 2022, then, especially this is a new practice for you. If you’ve never done meditation or memorization in this way, read the Bible less, memorize or meditate, memorize more. Okay? And you’re like, what? Yes, read the Bible less meditate and memorize more. There’s nothing in this book that says, Read me in a year. It’s great, it’s good. And many of you will continue to do that. But if it’s between sitting in God’s word, and meditating and memorizing it, or just getting through it in a year, I would encourage you this year to just meditate and memorize, okay, I think you’ll see the benefits of that. Listen to the Bible more, you can use the dwell app, you can have somebody else read to you whatever it might be, but listen to it as well. It just sticks differently when we’re able to read it and listen to it. On the dwell app, you can do that you can actually follow the text as you’re listening to it. So I encourage you to listen more, and then double dip. I already mentioned this before. But if you are going to start adding silence and solitude into your day, make sure meditation memorization are part of that. Don’t try and schedule different things. If this is all new, put it all together. Because then the silence and the solitude you can memorize, you can meditate. And so I just encourage you to do that for me this year. What this says is I’m memorizing at the start of the year, the Sermon on the Mountain, Matthew five through seven. Okay, Jesus, most well known teaching, very concise, lots of topics hit I’ve never memorized it before. And so I’m I want to memorize five, six, and seven. And so I want to memorize two verses a day. And so that will take me a roughly till the end of February. And that’s my goal. But for you, it might be I need to just get up and memorize tomorrow, one verse. And then one verse The next day, or maybe it’s one a week, whatever it might be for you. And so can I invite you on this journey of meditation and memorization? Andrew Davis is the pastor who’s memorized 43 books of the Bible, memorized 43. So one time he could sit there and go word for word from beginning to the end of the book, 43 books started off in Africa, and he was waiting for a bus. And somebody said, and he just kind of said, all started memorizing Ephesians. And the guy next to me is like, when’s the bus come? He’s like, today. It’s like, what do you mean today? It’ll come today, to say, well, it’s sir memorizing until it comes. hours and hours and hours later, I think he had the first two or three chapters of Ephesians memorized, because you’re just sitting there all day waiting for this bus. And that was started his journey into 43 books of the Bible. As of 2017, he’s probably memorize more. But he does say you don’t really remember everything. Once you say goodbye to that book. Right? He reviews for a while, but there’s some books that he just always has Ephesians he has down. But the point is, it’s a discipline. It’s something he’s in constantly, and it’s constantly changing him. So this is his challenge. And I want to use it as an invite to us this morning to close. He says this effort will challenge you to the depths of your being. Many of us are done right there. Like, don’t tell me it’s gonna challenge me to the depths of my being. But it will not simply because memorizing is hard work it is. But because the verses themselves will search your souls the light of God’s perfect word. Some days memorizing are harder than others. And it gets harder as you get older and busier. But the rewards of knowledge of God’s word of growing intimacy with Christ will make all your labor in the face of these challenges
worthwhile. So in summary, it’s supposed to be hard. And it’s the heart of that makes it great. And we’re gonna see the benefits. So let’s warm ourselves by the fire of meditation. And let’s hide God’s Word in our hearts. Let’s pray. Lord, Your Word is good. Your Word is true. It is right. And there’s so much more to say about your word, so much more. And so I pray. I guess my prayer this morning, is just that we would delight in your word, that we would want this to be true of our lives that we meditate and memorize your word. Because you have made it available to us you did not have to speak. You did not have to write things down for us. But you chose through these men to give us this book, with your words to show us who you are, to show us who we are and to show us how you have made a way for us to be saved and a way to pursue a Christ like life. So Lord, we’re inviting you to speak to us. Speak to us whenever we open Your Word. Speak to us as we meditate as we memorize
and we are thankful for the gifts we have of your word Jesus we love you We pray this in Your name


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