Jesus. Christ. Jesus Christ. The Lord. Jesus Christ the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ. The hymnist was right: there’s just something about that name!
But lest you think this is merely a continuation of the previous post, let me assure you that, well, it kinda is.
Because it’s impossible to separate the Word from the Lord or the Lord from the Word. It’s impossible to separate the Word of the Lord and the Lord of the Word. Can’t be done. So while this post is an ode to the Bible, by definition it will largely and at least indirectly be another ode to the Lord Himself. Here’s what I mean.
Have you ever realized just how closely, no, how inextricably linked the Bible is to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself?
It would probably be heretical to go so far as to say that the Bible is an actual physical, tangible “manifestation” of Christ Himself – but it IS very, very, very CLOSE to being just that! Don’t believe me? Check this out…
The Bible COULDN’T BE MORE CLEAR that:
- Jesus Christ created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16) … AND (well, well, well, what do we have here?!) the Word of God created everything (Hebrews 11:3; 2 Peter 3:5)
- Jesus Christ defines truth (John 14:6) … AND (well, well, well, what do we have here?!) the Word of God defines truth (John 17:17)
- Jesus Christ remains the same forever (Hebrews 13:8) … AND (well, well, well, what do we have here?!) the Word of God remains the same forever (1 Peter 1:23,25; Psalm 19:9; Proverbs 30:5; Matthew 5:18; John 10:35)
- Jesus Christ resides/works IN believers (2 Corinthians 13:5) … AND (well, well, well, what do we have here?!) the Word of God resides/works IN believers (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
But wait, there’s more!
It’s true that the first Chapter of the Gospel of John is abundantly clear on this subject. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. … And the Word BECAME FLESH, and dwelt AMONG US [humans, mankind], and we beheld His glory, glory as of the ONLY BEGOTTEN from the Father, full of grace and truth. JOHN [the Baptist] BORE WITNESS of Him…” (John 1:1,3,14-15a)
When that passage starts out, I suppose one could ascribe that to the Holy Spirit, too – though when combined with Colossians 1:16 I don’t think there’s any question of Whom it’s speaking, virtually verbatim. But after the first few verses, certainly by verse 14 the Bible leaves NO doubt or wiggle room: it’s absolutely referring to Jesus Christ (“became flesh”, something neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit have ever done). And it calls Him “the Word”.
I’d say that’s a pretty strong connection and link with the Bible, right? But years ago I came across a little-known verse that does so to an even greater, more explicit extent. Wanna know just HOW inextricably linked the Lord Jesus Christ is to the Bible? I give you Revelation 19:13.
The end of verse 10 makes it crystal clear (or should I say, crystal-sea clear =) that it’s speaking about Jesus: “… the testimony of JESUS; worship God. For the testimony of JESUS is the spirit of prophecy.” And verses 11-12 describe His horse and appearance and activities and nature and then verse 13 says it all: “… and His name is called THE WORD OF GOD.” Hmm, so is the BIBLE!
Ergo, any ode to the Bible will, by extension if not definition, in effect be an ode to the Lord Jesus Christ, too, so… BONUS!
And indeed, it is that very link to, that inextricable association with the Lord Jesus that gives the Bible its power. If it had emanated, if it had flown forth from ANYONE else but God, from ANY other person, it wouldn’t have such infinite power. But even then it would still contain a TON of great advice and wisdom – e.g., wouldn’t we gobble up (Jeremiah 15:16; Job 23:12) and heed every word of ANY AND ALL of Paul’s writings, even the non-canonical ones which weren’t Spirit-breathed? Of course. Why? Because the more exposure one can have to someone who is so wise and spiritually mature and such a great imitator of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1) and so utterly exhibits the fruit of the Spirit, the BETTER! In fact, while I am not and shall NEVER (in this life, on this side of heaven) be even a MILLIONTH of the person the Apostle Paul was, what I have found is that simply storing large amounts, ENTIRE BOOKS of the Bible INSIDE OF ME (Bible memory) and then meditating on those (a-u-t-o-m-a-t-i-c – more on that in a future post) and obeying those, the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and being controlled by (filled with) the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-21) and the Word (Colossians 3:16-17 … hmm, those two lists of characteristics are virtually the SAME! More on this too in a future post… if you want to automatically be notified whenever a new post is published, simply click on the grey “Follow Bible Memory” button in item “3.” below or at the top-right of this page) have skyrocketed in my life. Yes, still a VERY long way to go, methinks I’ve just begun to scratch the surface, but the Bible ingested (memorized), the “rich indwelling” of the Bible in a person’s – any person’s – mind ergo soul/spirit and body is so powerful that it WILL affect and benefit other people even just by PROXIMITY. As I always say, there are no shortcuts per se – the ONLY way to MAXIMIZE the benefits of the Bible is to INGEST (memorize and recite and thus be most fully able to meditate on and obey) it – BUT my firm and strong assertion is that even just putting yourself in PROXIMITY to someone who HAS done that and IS doing that – like by regularly reading and even re-reading and heeding these posts, supporting this historic effort and resultant ministries in whatever ways you’re able, etc. – will still produce a lot of fruit and rewards in YOUR life. It has nothing to do with the vessel; it has EVERYTHING to do with the Bible.
And make no mistake about it: the Bible is unlike any other book in the universe. It and it alone is “living and abiding” (1 Peter 1:23); it is “living and active” and “sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit [what other book could ever do that?!], of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart [ditto].” (Hebrews 4:12) (just as a very timely aside, note that verse 13 immediate flows into speaking of the Lord Jesus… like I said, inextricably linked!); it is “inspired by God and PROFITABLE for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness [WOW!]; that the man of God may be adequate, EQUIPPED for EVERY GOOD work. [double-WOW!]” (2 Timothy 3:16-17); it is “perfect, RESTORING THE SOUL” [triple-WOW! What other book could even DREAM of being able to do THAT?!], it is “sure, MAKING WISE the simple” [ditto!], it is “right, REJOICING THE HEART” [Amen! I can definitely testify to that firsthand… and so will you! Just watch!], it is “pure, enlightening the eyes”, it is “clean, enduring forever”, it is “true” and “righteous altogether”, and it is “more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb”, and in heeding/obeying it “there is GREAT REWARD”! (Psalm 19:7-11); and I could go on forever (literally! quite literally!) but will finish (for now) by adding that when “hidden/treasured in [one’s] heart” he or she “may NOT SIN” (Psalm 119:11; cf, verse 9). I can honestly say that, because of just how sweet indeed the Bible is, like the Psalmist I “DELIGHT in” it and “shall not forget it” (Psalm 119:16,47), that my “delight is in” it and “in [it I] meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2), and like the Apostle Paul “I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man” (Romans 7:22). Amen.
One of the things I love most about the Bible is that all I have to do is INGEST (memorize) it! Because IT will do the rest: it will produce/grow faith in my life (Romans 10:17) and it WILL “perform its work in” me (1 Thessalonians 2:13). ZERO self-effort needed. ZERO “leaning on one’s own understanding” needed. THE BIBLE DOES IT ALL! Except for that initial ingesting. It won’t do that. This first step is wholly, fully, and solely up to YOU!
With such TANGIBLE and POWERFUL benefits and “GREAT REWARD” as those listed above, why would anyone NOT ingest as much of the Bible as possible? Two main reasons.
First, “I don’t have the time.” This one is very easy to dispel, because, come on, seriously, EVERYONE can set aside even just 15 minutes to memorize a verse or two a day, even if just the first or last 15 minutes of the day, right? Just wake up or go to bed a mere 15 minutes earlier and there’s your ample time. Easy-peasy. Anyone can do it.
Second, “I’m just no good at memorizing, I’m just not skilled at memorization, I just can’t memorize a whole lot.”
Hmm, that’s funny, because I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that you could recite the lyrics of HUNDREDS of songs right now. Am I right or am I really right? Did I just hit a home run or a grand slam? Of course you can memorize. Even CHILDREN can memorize and recite the lyrics of countless songs (hopefully not just those they see on TV), the pledge of allegiance, school plays, etc., right? Right.
So why on earth would EVERYONE not voraciously devour (Jeremiah 15:16; Job 23:12) something that is SO sweet and delicious and beneficial – not just in this life but also in the life to come, even extending to all eternity?
I’ll tell you exactly why. Because, as quoted from Psalm 19:8 above, it will “enlighten the eyes.” It will quite literally OPEN YOUR EYES. To a lot of things but probably first on that list chronologically-speaking, if you ingest (memorize and recite and meditate on and obey) the Bible, it will open your eyes to how righteous God is … and how righteous we aren’t. It will bring one’s sinfulness right to the fore. Front and center. Inescapable. Even for those most highly-skilled at denial and self-deception. Because, as also quoted above, from Hebrews 4:12, it truly is “sharper than any two-edged sword” and truly does “pierce as far as the division of soul and spirit” (think about that for a second, amazing) and truly does “judge/discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” You know, that “heart” which is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked/sick” (Jeremiah 17:9), or as Solomon would say (and did! – in Ecclesiastes 9:3), “The hearts of the sons of men are FULL of evil, and INSANITY is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead.” (The first thought that hits me is that I don’t think I’d ever want to invite “Ecclesiastes” Solomon to a dinner party. Yikes! “Proverbs” Solomon? Absolutely. Every day of the week and twice on Sunday. But he clearly lost his way, lost his fastball as they say. He went from being at the peak to simply becoming very bleak.)
But hand-in-hand with that is the fact that 99.9% of people hate even the thought of giving up control of their mind. In any and every OTHER way this is a good and healthy hesitance. After all, Jesus Himself demonstrated this in John 2:24-25 – “But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men (human nature), and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for He Himself knew what was in man.” But when it comes to God and the Bible, one should desperately WANT to cede control – why? Because (a) God and the living Word are infinitely WISER than we are and KNOW us yet LOVE us infinitely more than we love ourselves and ALWAYS have OUR best interest in mind, and – even just from a purely human standpoint – (b) that’s the way to GAIN self-control, to GIVE it to God! Ephesians 5:18 says to “be controlled by (usually translated ‘filled with’) the [Holy] Spirit” and Galatians 5:23 makes clear that the result (fruit) is (drum roll, please) SELF-CONTROL. Is that amazing or what?! The vast majority of people yearn for a greater and greater sense of self-control in their lives, and rightly so, but they go about it the entirely wrong way: they seek to hoard it versus giving it to God, which is the ONLY path to a maximum and ever-increasing sense of self-control. When the object of ceding control is God via the Bible, control GIVEN turns into control GAINED! The world – and sadly even many professing Christians – have this TOTALLY BACKWARDS.
And THAT is why 99.9% of people won’t ingest the “miracle pill” that IS the Bible. Because it’s very uncomfortable to human nature in general to give up control, and deep down they know that the Bible is infinitely effective at revealing the truth not just about God but about ourselves. About yourself. About myself. So most people keep depriving themselves of infinite benefit because they don’t get past that very difficult first phase, they don’t get past the initial discomfort.
But everything above only dealt with the spiritual and emotional and relational and mental aspects of life, the intangibles. What if I told you that Bible memory also produces amazing tangible effects? What if I told you that it even produces phenomenal PHYSICAL HEALTH? Don’t believe me? My oh my, we do have much to discuss.
Let’s start with the far less important, far less weighty but not insignificant firsthand testimony/experience: I started memorizing Bible verses when I was young (BMA, AWANA, etc.) and into my teenage years and I almost NEVER got sick that entire time growing up. (Though I did ”fake sick” a lot so I could stay home from school and play video games, I have to admit that. =) And I kept right on going as I became a man and guess what, I haven’t had to go to the doctor’s or the hospital EVEN A SINGLE TIME in my ENTIRE ADULT LIFE. Not even once. Talk about a GREAT healthcare plan! The best! Fact: I have NEVER even THOUGHT about getting health insurance my ENTIRE ADULT LIFE. (The only time I did so was when the government passed a law that required it, and it was cheaper to go ahead and get the insurance than pay the fine for not doing so, widely known as the “individual mandate”). Every single day I feel like I’m going to live past 100 if I die at all! No joke. Not sure that’s what’ll actually happen (the 100+ part) but that’s absolutely how I feel all the time so I’ll take it! Humbly but gladly.
So there’s that, very strong firsthand experience. But like I said, that and a dollar will get ya a cup of coffee (at most fast-food restaurants anyway). I mean, my lifelong physical health could just be the result of good genes and not have anything to do with the Bible, right? WRONG! Here’s why.
The Bible is crystal-sea clear that “godliness actually is a means of GREAT GAIN” (1 Timothy 6:6). Yeah but, you might be thinking, yeah but couldn’t that just mean that it yields great gain in eternity, in heaven, in the life to come, regarding just spiritual things? And my reply is likewise yeah but what about 1 Timothy 4:8 which clearly doth state that “godliness is PROFITABLE for ALL things, since it holds promise for the PRESENT LIFE [what?! for the PRESENT LIFE] [okay, that’s what I thought] and also for the life to come.” So, yes, of course it produces tremendous benefit for the next life, for all eternity… but it DOESN’T STOP THERE, it ALSO produces tremendous benefit in THIS life, this present life, this earthly, human life in which we all find ourselves as we speak.
“Yeah but,” I can almost hear you thinking, “but that doesn’t specifically mean that PHYSICAL HEALTH will necessarily be included in those “present life” benefits and promise, right DJ Bible?” To which I have another “yeah but” of my own: yeah, but is not sickness and disease and indeed death itself – the extension and ultimate conclusion of those things – not produced by sin, are not those things the RESULT of sin? Of course, as stated perhaps most clearly in Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is DEATH” – and James 1:15 says, “when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” … doesn’t get any clearer than that! Although Romans 5:12 comes in with a solid tie, confirming that “just as through one man sin entered into the world, and DEATH THROUGH SIN, and so DEATH spread to all men, BECAUSE all SINNED.”
So if there were something that prevents sin, wouldn’t it also, by definition, prevent the results of sin, too? Like disease and sickness and illness?
Doesn’t even nature itself make this abundantly clear? If we destroy the root does the dandelion remain? If we destroy the root, can a plant or flower or tree remain alive? Clearly not. So if there were something, anything in the universe that actually prevents sin, would you not agree that it would also prevent disease and sickness?
I’m here to tell you that I have found such a thing. Take a wild guess what that is. Yep, the Bible. Psalm 119:11 – “Thy word I have treasured/hidden in my heart [mind, not the physical heart, with atria and ventricles] that I may NOT SIN” – is that amazing or what?! The Bible is the only tangible thing that can actually PREVENT SIN! And therefore the results of sin like illness and disease.
Prevention is very key here in my view. Because, while I personally believe it to be so, I can’t be dogmatic that memorizing the Bible will CURE a disease or illness already in a person (but see below why I think this is so, for the main verse which suggests if not asserts this, which connotes if not denotes such). I firmly believe it would and intend to initiate multiple clinical trials to PROVE that, but that’ll take some time, so in the meanwhile please do yourself and your children or nieces or nephews the biggest favor and start ingesting the Bible through Bible memory on a regular, systematic basis. It will change your life, GUARANTEED.
I think the point has already been made, even without using the sharpest tool in that particular shed. But I would and could not end this conversation without sharing this final verse with you about the Bible and physical health. Let’s call it the clincher. The skepticism-crusher. The cleanup hitter. You get the point.
If you’ve already watched the “Overview” video on the home page (and I strongly encourage you to do so) then you already know the answer but here it is again and for anyone who hasn’t: Proverbs 4:22 – “For they” [pointing back to the “my words” of verse 20, referring to His words and collectively His Word, the Bible] “For they are LIFE to those who find them…” That’s quite a statement, no? Indeed. But believe it or not, this verse doesn’t stop there but becomes even more explicit in the matter: “For they are LIFE to those who find them, and HEALTH to ALL their WHOLE BODY.” What a verse! What an amazing verse! What an amazing truth!
Let’s hone in even further on a few of these words and that’ll do it for this post.
“life” (Hebrew, hay-yim) – life but also carries the sense of active, reviving, flowing, fresh, green (like vegetation), sustenance, maintenance, appetite, and renewal … sounds good to me!
“find” (Hebrew, la-mo-sa-e-hem) – find, secure, ACQUIRE, attain to, get, meet, encounter, discover, detect, recognize, TO BE IN THE POSSESSION OF
- While reading the Bible is good, and studying it is even better (2 Timothy 2:15, the “key verse” for the AWANA program, of which I have countless childhood memories – and the hundreds of Bible verses memorized then still live with me today, just amazing, what a great ministry!), there is NO better way to “be in possession of” it and “acquire” and “discover” and “find” it then to memorize it, to ingest it, to get it in of you, to swallow it up! Think about it: who can best meditate on the Bible than one who has memorized it and thus can “call it up” and “call upon it” and recall it literally at ANY time? At a stop light, in a traffic jam, during the 7th inning stretch or halftime of a sporting event, while showering… the possibilities are virtually endless! And who can best obey the Bible than one who has memorized it? Exactly. Nobody. That’s the best and easiest way for a person to obey; automatic it doth be when God’s own words do dwell in thee! Like the famous tagline for Porsche cars, when it comes to Bible memory, there is no substitute. And the benefits are as endless as the possibilities.
“health” (Hebrew, mar-pe) – health, healing, PROFIT, soundness of MIND, CURE
- The healing aspect in general was to be expected, but I find it very interesting that this word also was used to include a FINANCIAL term (“profit”) and PSYCHOLOGICAL/EMOTIONAL term (“soundness of mind”)
- The reason I say I wouldn’t put it past the Bible for a minute to have the full capacity not just to prevent sickness and disease but even to CURE them is that this word was also used and often translated as “cure”
- However, as we’ll discuss further in a moment, the word “body” does seem to emphasize physical health as the primary point here – but the financial and psychological/emotional aspects/benefits should absolutely not be overlooked much less discarded here… why? Because:
- Psalm 1:1 starts by saying “HAPPY” (also translated “blessed”) is the one who “delights in and meditates on” the Bible! I’d say that covers the psychological/emotional realm, but how about the financial? Yep, there’s a verse for that. Actually THREE which speak to that directly:
- Psalm 1:3 says of that one who “delights in and meditates on the Bible”, that he or she “will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither, and in WHATEVER he does, he PROSPERS.” What? PROSPERS. Come again? PROSPERS. Did I hear that correctly? Yes, PROSPERS.
- Hebrew, yas-li-ah: to PROSPER, SUCCEED, advance, BE PROFITABLE
- Joshua 1:8 – And lest you think that maybe David was just having an extra nice time in the fields that day when he may have written Psalm 1 (he wrote Psalms 3-9 and half [49%] of the 150 total so there’s a very good chance he did indeed write the first one, too), this verse says the very same thing: “This book of the law [i.e., the Bible] shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall MEDITATE [see note just below, very interesting!] on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for THEN you will make your way PROSPEROUS, and THEN you will have SUCCESS.”
- Note that this verse not only uses the exact same word “prosper” as Psalm 1:3 but ADDS another: “success”. Couldn’t. Be. Even. A. Smidgen. Clearer.
- I love that word “then” here. There’s a chronology to this. Ever heard someone say, “If only God made me prosperous, I’d read the Bible every day”? It’s the other way around: if you absorb the Bible, THEN you’ll be prosperous and have success.
- I also love that word WILL. It’s definitive, not wishy-washy or uncertain. It’s a GUARANTEE (result) from God HIMSELF, right in His flawless Word!
- But the one I’d like to focus on most is that word which most versions of the Bible have translated as “meditate” but wanna take a wild guess what that word REALLY is in the original, in Hebrew? It’s we-ha-gi-ta and is best translated as RECITE. Interesting, eh? And not just anything but specifically the BIBLE. Ding ding ding! It’s not saying that it’s necessarily WRONG to recite other things, but this promise, this God-given guarantee only pertains to ONE thing, and that’s the Bible.
- James 1:25 – And lest you think maybe this is just some quaint notion from the Old Testament, this verse conveys the exact same message: “But one who looks at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it [i.e., the Bible], not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man SHALL be BLESSED in WHAT he does.”
- Just like the two verses above, this one leaves no room for doubt or uncertainty: “SHALL”!
- The “WHAT” here echoes the “WHATEVER” of Psalm 1:3
- But the one I’d like to focus on most for this verse is that word “BLESSED”: Hebrew, makarios (not macaroni, nor macarena – though I wouldn’t be surprised a bit if those two sprang from the same root word) which is best translated as “HAPPY”. It also means to be blessed, to be envied, to be fortunate, to be well off
- So while here in Proverbs 4:22 the primary emphasis seems to be on the physical realm due to that word “body”, the Bible clearly testifies of its powerful benefit in the spiritual, emotional, psychological, and even financial realms
“all the whole” (Hebrew, u-le-kal) – all, the whole, the whole of, each and every, totality, everything
- In modern-day English we might say “the whole shebang” or “the whole ball of wax” or “from A to Z”
- I love the emphasized sense of “totality”, NOTHING LACKING OR EXCLUDED, i.e., there’s not a single part of the body which is immune to the power of the ingested Word, of Bible memory, and also the fact that it’s not just capable of bringing partial healing or prevention or physical benefit but COMPLETE AND TOTAL
“body” (Hebrew, be-sa-row) – the body, of the body, mankind, all living things, kindred, blood-relations
- As referenced above, the presence of this word leaves no doubt or wiggle room that the Bible is making utterly clear that the power and effect and efficacy and work of the Bible is not limited to the spiritual or emotional or relational but also and even to the PHYSICAL realm, to one’s PHYSICAL health
- I am absolutely certain, ZERO doubt, that when I do organize some clinical trials they will reveal across the board that Bible memory, ingesting the Word of God into one’s body by way of one’s mind, is THE BEST HEALTHCARE PLAN IN THE UNIVERSE! I’m living proof, now I seek to prove that this is a universal truth and not just specific to me or that my experience was merely due to inheriting “good genes” or enjoying exercise (those certainly don’t hurt but aren’t the cause)
- Which would you say is the more difficult task, to heal/restore a body or a soul? I think virtually everyone would agree that the latter is infinitely more difficult (and indeed, outside of the Bible and things pertaining to God, downright impossible). So since the Bible can and does and will “restore the soul” (Psalm 19:7), who could rationally argue that it can’t restore a body? This verse leaves NO DOUBT about that, NO WIGGLE ROOM in this matter. And aren’t you glad for this? I know I am! Tangible, day-after-day and hour-after-hour ongoing benefit which makes such a difference in one’s quality of life, not to mention the eternal benefits!
As I began this post, so I’ll end it: the Bible is like no other book. It was involved in the very creation of the universe, it never fails, never changes, never hedges, never wavers but DOES gladden, make WISE, and open the eyes! (Psalm 19:7-8) Or the acronym I like to use: Wise Intelligent/insightful Spiritual Happy … every parent’s – and every person’s – W.I.S.H.!
Unfortunately there’s nothing I can do to shield you from the fact that if you decide to heed my call, this blaring trumpet, for BIBLE MEMORY on a regular, systematic basis, it will reveal not only God but also your true nature to yourself. Inescapable. And wonderful. AFTER you get over the initial hump. Believe me, at the VERY beginning, the VERY FIRST step you take down this road, on this journey, it’ll be the MOST SPIRITUALLY-DIFFICULT thing you’ve ever done. And the most rewarding. Difficult in that the ingested Bible will absolutely and immediately go to work in your mind and reveal a lot of things about yourself to yourself – to your mind, your mind’s eye – that 99.9% of people would rather not see about themselves. But if YOU don’t stop there, NEITHER WILL IT! Because along with revealing those things to you, it will simultaneously start KNOCKING THEM OUT more thoroughly and consistently than a heavyweight boxing world champ could even dream. It will “perform its work IN you” just like 1 Thessalonians 2:13 says. (That’s not a promise so much as a STATEMENT OF FACT. Accomplishing its work is just WHAT IT DOES!) And will result in all the other benefits discussed above.
You might’ve noticed that I just said it would be the most spiritually-difficult thing you’ve ever done. That’s because it destroys the flesh and sin in your life (Psalm 119:9,11) and the LAST thing the flesh and sin want is to be eradicated and destroyed! They (the flesh and sin and the devil) want to stick around and control you (2 Timothy 2:26 speaks of unbelievers coming “to their senses and escape from the SNARE of the DEVIL, having been HELD CAPTIVE by him TO DO HIS WILL” … nuff said). Body, mind, and soul. That’s just what THEY do. (To the extent that one lets them, that one doesn’t put up the proper defense – Ephesians 6:10-18) and especially verse 17‘s “the SWORD of the Spirit, which is the word of God” and OUT OF WHICH all the other weapons of spiritual warfare flow, more on this in a future post.) So they will battle most vigorously to KEEP you from ingesting the Bible, that divine “medicine”. They’ll pull out all the stops. But they don’t stand a chance against the Bible. If you “abide” and KEEP going along the wonderful, unparalleled path of Bible memory. It’s nothing less than an all-out battle for your mind, for your soul, for your body, for your very life. The only question is which one you’re going to let WIN. It’s either “A” or “B” in this case, no in between. If one doesn’t choose the Bible as the winner then the flesh/sin/devil WILL be. It’s like my parents used to tell me as a child: either the Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible. Don’t believe me? Just look BACK on your life to this point, to this very minute. Which side have you allowed to win that war?
I encourage every parent to get their children (or nieces or nephews or neighborhood kids, etc.) to start memorizing the Bible as soon as possible. ASAP. In medical jargon, STAT! Because it’s every bit as critical as a patient who’s bleeding to death from a gunshot wound on a hospital operating table. And because it’s never too early to start memorizing the Bible on a regular, systematic basis but you know what? It’s never too late to start, either. And the prayer of my life is that you will heed this call and do yourself the biggest favor ever. Both in terms of this life and the one to come, eternity. And that you’ll then spread the word and encourage others (and if you have children, MAKE and even PAY them) to do likewise.
For years I’ve been pleading with the Lord to bring about revival in this nation and planet once again, as He has done from time to time in the past. And I believe He will do so for yet another time BUT that such will ONLY happen if and to the extent that you and I ingest and infuse ourselves, our minds, our bodies, our souls, our very beings with the Bible – the living and active and abiding and eternal Word of the living God – and then spread that to others. Hand the flesh and sin and the devil himself a crushing blow, a devastating uppercut, by getting into your mind the very thing – the ONLY thing – that can defeat them and end their hold on your life. That can and will overcome and vanquish any addiction known to man, no doubt about it. “Because greater is He who is IN you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) and so is His Word, the Bible.
And while Bible memory on a regular, systematic basis AT FIRST will (not might) be the most spiritually-difficult thing you’ve ever done or will ever do, I am thrilled to tell you that as I have memorized entire books of the Bible, as I have gone through that process and progressed along that wonderful path, the Bible has been fulfilling its “enlightening the eyes” work (Psalm 19:8) in a very TANGIBLE way such that it is literally revealing to me and unfolding in my mind piece by piece a specific METHOD which believe it or not makes this not just EASY but a ton of FUN! And believe me, when I first started, when I took the first step on this path, it was ANYTHING BUT “fun”! It was downright daunting. But I believe the Lord and the Bible itself have shown me that, have revealed that method to me, not only so I can successfully complete His calling in my life to be the first person in known human history to memorize and recite the entire Bible but also and equally so I can share it with others so the only obstacle will be mustering the courage to have the truth about yourself, your inner person, revealed to you, everything after that first phase will be easy and fun and indescribably rewarding. As stated on the home page, I expect that method to be finalized, to come together in full or at least fully enough (95+%) in my own mind that I can then share it with others so stay tuned, it’ll change your life and those around you, just watch and see! I guarantee. Not only has it produced massive and constant joy in my day-to-day life but it has also turned my brain into the proverbial “sponge” – it literally soaks in everything and forgets nothing. Not even more minor things like meetings or schedules or to-do lists. This will be one of your favorite things about Bible memory, how it turns the human brain into a super-brain as it were, downright amazing, and impossible to fully describe with mere words but I think you get the gist. And this is just one of countless benefits!
- Bible memory is the single MOST IMPORTANT thing in the Christian life. Why? Because while worship is crucial, it is informed by the Bible. While praying is vital, it too is informed by the Bible. Same with fellowship. And while sharing the Gospel of Christ with others is undoubtedly THE MAIN function of our continued presence in this earthly life. Because it’s the ONLY godly thing we won’t be ABLE to do in heaven, i.e., we’ll worship 100% better in heaven, we’ll pray 100% better in heaven, we’ll definitely fellowship 100% better in heaven – but we’ll evangelize 0% better in heaven, won’t even be ABLE to do THAT one. Which is the main reason God doesn’t take us straight to heaven the instant we’re saved, because I guarantee you He’ll be much (much, much, much, much, i.e,. infinitely) more pleased by our worship and praise and prayers there than how we do those things here! And yet…
- Bible memory is the most IGNORED action in the Christian life. Hands down, bar none.
- Bible memory should be viewed less as an activity, more as a LIFESTYLE. It’s not so much something one does but who one is and becomes (and becomes and becomes, i.e., a consistent, ever-increasing transformation to become more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ – just as 2 Corinthians 3:18 says!)
The Lord Jesus Christ and our heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ are my first love. And that order is because but for the Lord, I could never have peace with God or be indwelt much less filled with the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:1; 8:9), it all starts and ends with Jesus. (Just like that list.) But without a doubt, my second love is the Bible. Third place is so far behind so as practically not to even exist. This post began with several ways in which the Bible is inextricably linked to and inseparable from the Lord, so it seems a very fitting end that just as He is the bridge between us and the Father and Holy Spirit, so also the Bible is the bridge between us and the Lord. It leads us and guides us to a saving knowledge of Him (2 Timothy 3:15). It is indeed “a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). It is indeed “better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces” (Psalm 119:72) and “more desirable than gold, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10) so how on earth could I come to any other conclusion than to affirm with a whole heart that “I SHALL NOT FORGET THY WORD” (Psalm 119:46).
If you sense that the Lord might be leading YOU to support the historic event unfolding in real-time here at BibleMemory.ORG and thus become my fellow worker and thus share in all of the fruit and blessings (3 John 8) and literally MAKE HISTORY together, here are the best ways to do so:
1. Become a one-time or monthly partner by making a donation via PayPal’s fully-secure Bible Memory page!
2. Encourage as many people as you can to support this historic event by having them go to BibleMemory.ORG/support (please make sure they understand that it’s .org, not .com) – doing so by word-of-mouth is great, and to do so with a single click on your social media simply click here then scroll down a few inches to the green box and select your platforms, it’s that quick and easy!
4. Encourage as many of our fellow Christians as you can to pray for this historic event by having them go to BibleMemory.ORG/pray (please make sure they understand that it’s .org, not .com) – doing so by word-of-mouth is great, and to do so with a single click on your social media simply click here then scroll down a few inches and select your platforms, it’s that quick and easy!
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