May all who fear You find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in Your word. – Psalm 119:74 (NLT)
At the very beginning of this year I was in a meeting with John Piper, who was speaking to a group of leaders and had so much insight to offer. Probably the advice that impacted me the most was to concentrate as a leader on these three things: to Analyze Scripture, to Memorize Scripture and to Believe Scripture. Piper said that if you model these things to the people you’re leading, the ripple effect of your ministry will be immeasurably more. I enjoy analyzing scripture and along with that I wholeheartedly believe scripture, but I have really dropped the ball with memorizing scripture. This revelation led me to Beth Moore’s blog. At the beginning of the year she rallies together thousands of women from around the world online and they all make a commitment together to memorize a new verse of scripture every two weeks. Two weeks is a great amount of time for the words to sink into your memory and your soul. What I like about her idea so much is that each woman is able to choose her own scripture, something that is relevant to her life at that moment. This really helps me to memorize the verse and live out what I’m repeating. HERE is the link to her memory verse ‘program’ – I recommend that everyone give it a try (if you’re a guy, totally do it – just not on her blog)!
I have decided that since I am going to be memorizing all these verses I need to know what they’re about, what context they’re in and how I can apply their meaning to my life in a practical way. I chose Psalm 119:74 for Jan 1 – 15, 2013 because I want people to find joy in me – not because I’m amazing but because God’s love shines through me and His word is alive in me, so that they can’t help but have fresh revelations about who He is when conversing with me (that’s the goal!).
When I read this verse, it’s very clear to me that God comes first, then me. I am only present in this verse because of God and His word. I think that whenever you are actively in His word, you’re drawing near to Him. Relationship with God is reciprocal. James 4:8 says draw near to God and He will draw near to you – it works both ways and has to come from both parties. So first of all, we have a choice to make about drawing near to Him and a great way to do that is through His word. When you’re doing that, it can’t help but radiate off of you so that others are encouraged too, though they may not always know why. John Piper also said that every time a leader opens his (or her) mouth, something about the scriptures/life should be clarified. May it be so with me, Lord! The only way to make this a reality in my life is to live out this verse and to analyze, memorize and believe scripture. I can’t wait to start memorizing my next verse tomorrow!