It's really a no-brainer. What's poured in is what pours out.
Luke 6:45 (CSB) says, A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.
Our mouths speak from the overflow of our hearts.
It's been impressed on my mind and heart in 2018 to not only read and study 1 Peter, but to memorize it.
Yep. Memorize it.
The whole book.
One chapter at a time.
I know it sounds crazy, but I'm truly drawn to do this, so I will with the help of the Holy Spirit.
All Believers are all held accountable for how we handle the Truth of God's Word. As a writer, speaker and musician, words are always flowing in and out. The responsibility can be overwhelming at times, but it's also humbling and such a great privilege.
We must store up God's Word whether we're regular teachers of the Word or not. Our words invoke fires. Fires can be harmful or helpful to the landscape of a heart. Depending on the words we store, the words we speak or write can either drain the life out of a heart, or move it to beat with passion and compassion.
Branding God's love letters deep into our minds and souls not only refreshes our spirits, but it brings the One worthy of our worship into His rightful place in our hearts. When Christ is seated on the throne of our hearts, there's no room for idol worship or idle words.
There may come a day when our memory of the Word will save our life. Who knows? The time may come when we won't have a plethora of Bibles lying around on every shelf, right at our fingertips just begging to be read, or a host of church buildings on every street corner to run to when we feel life is forging out of "our" control.
Our nation as a whole is withdrawing from the Truth of Jesus Christ. It's our responsibility as Believers to hold one another accountable with the Truth of the Word. If we're not looking to Christ and His Word for wisdom, guidance and direction, then how can we expect non-believers to. When we're looking for Truth in all the wrong places, we are leading others to do the same. The way things are shaping up, we could easily find ourselves in a stark place where the Bible is not allowed, or we could be imprisoned for being a Believer.
In a documentary about Christians being persecuted, one story took my breath away. An imprisoned man remained alive and sane by scribbling down words from Scripture he could write for memory. Though he was beaten time and time again for proclaiming God's Word aloud, or when a guard would find the scribbled words on minute pieces of paper in his prison cell, God continued to give him clarity of mind to cling to those life-giving words, and gave him the strength to endure his inhumane suffering. Eventually, he was released because of the very words he spilled out on paper and by mouth every single day. Our survival could depend on the portions of the Word we've committed to memory one day.
Speaking God's own words back to Him brings Him pleasure, and me too. Repeating the portion of Scripture I'm memorizing is something I look forward to. As I move through each day, quoting what I've learned helps to set my mind on things above (Colossians 3:2); focusing on things that will last, and not so much on the things that won't. Even the mundane becomes more purpose-filled with the words of God on my tongue.
God's Word heals.
God's Word refreshes.
God's Word is life!
So, instead of wasting our breath on things that won't matter days, weeks or years from now, let's join together in filling our minds and souls with the beauty and breath of the One who is the Source of life and has created us to bring Him praise, honor and glory.
Won't you join me?