August 08, 2014

Memorizing God's Word

Psalm 119: 9-16

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
—Psalm 119:11


Some years ago I preached through the book of Ephesians. My congregation embraced the essential truths of God’s salvation and how it changes lives. During that time I also vowed to memorize all of Ephesians. I had not memorized a whole book of the Bible before.

The benefits of this spiritual exercise were amazing to me. It added a new dimension to my understanding. First, I perceived much better the whole purpose of the book and its key themes of redemption, reconciliation, and renewal for God’s church. Also it showed me how much its author, Paul, was in love with the Lord Jesus Christ. In the first three chapters Paul mentions the name of Jesus twenty-six times and richly describes his wonderful works. I grew to love Jesus more—with all my heart, mind, and soul.

Memorizing God’s Word also helped to protect me “that I might not sin.” Being aware of spiritual warfare and having God’s commands for holy living so clear and so close in my mind kept me from falling into pride, greed, and lust.

I still recite Ephesians to myself every week. Its precious and challenging words keep me praising the glory of God’s grace and being obedient.

What part of God’s Word, hidden in your heart, would increase your holiness? Perhaps you could memorize a section of Psalm 119 this month.

Lord, without your Word we lose sight of your love for us and the love you want from us. Lodge your words of life in our minds and hearts. Amen.

About the author — David Zandstra

David Zandstra is a retired pastor living in Marietta, Georgia, having served five churches from New Jersey to California. Along with other ministries, he counsels clients of a pregnancy resource center. He acknowledges his indebtedness to the training and resources of Peacemaker Ministries. David and his wife, Margie, have three children and six grandchildren.

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