Holes in Soles

I love to exercise.  My mind (as you can probably tell right away when viewing the Videos page) and also my body – the temple He has handed out to house His Holy Spirit within me for now.

I look forward to those benefit-packed sweat sessions – especially the every-two-or-three-days extended, multi-hour ones – with great anticipation and enthusiasm.  With two exceptions.

I’ll elaborate on the second soon in a separate post but the first such exception is when my shoes have developed holes in their soles.

Having sold my only vehicle a year or two ago mainly to finish building this website, that happens a lot.  Since I walk so much now.  Literally everywhere I go, it’s either by foot or bike, and I usually opt for the former so my shoes develop holes much more quickly than most people’s pair of a pedestrian’s best friend.

And that happens so quickly, those holes appear seemingly out of nowhere and without notice – i.e., the bottom of the shoes look just fine and then, wham, next thing I know, I feel a spike of pain when my foot lands squarely on a rock in the road or path and I look at the bottom of my shoes and surely enough, there’s suddenly a hole newly staring back at me.

Due to how much walking and jogging I do, this happens every few months, and when it does, I can honestly say that I definitely don’t look forward to the next walk to the store since I know it’ll likely involve some pain.

And that’s exactly how it is in the Christian life!  In one’s walk  with the Lord as it were:  it’s much better when one doesn’t have holes in their souls.

One automatic, guaranteed result of Bible memory on a regular, systematic basis is that it opens one’s eyes to a lot of things (“enlightening the eyes”, Psalm 19:7-8) but perhaps none more so than just how righteous and holy God is… and humanity isn’t.  Perhaps none more so than just how “prone to wander” into sin we are as the hymnist famously put it in that wonderful and much-beloved song, just how easily and naturally our flesh still sins – our fallen flesh which (unfortunately) still envelops our “new man” within, our new spirit, our new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17) such that even the most spiritually-mature person in non-deitic  human history (i.e., not including Jesus), the Apostle Paul himself, concluded and confirmed that “nothing good dwells in” any of us humans, “that is, in [our fallen] flesh” and that “the good that [we] wish, [we far too often] do not do; but [we] practice the very evil that [we] do not wish” because of the “sin which [still] dwells in [us]”, because “of the law of sin which is [still] in [our] members”, in our bodies, “waging war” against our minds (Romans 7:14-25), all of which is why Hebrews 12:1 specifically and explicitly mentions “sin which so easily  entangles us.”

“Prone to wander”, indeed.

But I have good news!  God has graciously given us a (spiritual) “pill” as it were, a most-effective, miraculous “medicine” which is so powerful (but without any negative side effects!) that it can and does rid one even of something so dastardly and indeed default-status as sin!  And that “pill”, that mighty “medicine” is, yep, the Bible.  The Bible in general and Bible memory  in specific.

What a wonderful weapon in our spiritual arsenal!  And all we have to do is pick up that “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” – the Bible! (Ephesians 6:17)

One does so by ingesting  it, by putting the Bible into one’s mind, “[from which] flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Yes, my friend, it’s foolish for a frequent walker or jogger to have holes in their soles.

It’s infinitely worse for people to have holes in their souls.

Memorizing and reciting Scripture is like buying a new pair of shoes.

Quick Thought:  May It Never Be!

We take air for granted.  Or at least before the current pandemic occurred, a bit less so now but still in large part, e.g., when you’re in your home you don’t even think about air, about breathing, you just do it automatically so even now we continue to take air for granted.  Why?  Because it’s so common, so abundant, so aplenty.

We take water for granted.  Why?  Because it’s so common, so abundant, so aplenty.

And nothing pains my heart more than the fact that we take the Bible for granted.  Because it’s so common, so abundant, so aplenty, so ubiquitous, so accessible like no book in the history of humanity.

Taking the Bible for granted… may it never be!

Rather, may we go forward from this day on with the active realization that the Bible is literally God’s Word, the very words of God Almighty Himself to us, the objects of His eternal, undying love and compassion and mercy and grace.

But let us purpose to not just maintain that day-to-day realization but to go a step further, to the next level.

It is horrific and egregious to take God’s Word, the Bible, for granted as far too many of us have done for far too long.

It is far better to maintain an active appreciation and indeed affection for God’s Word, the Bible.

It is best of all to respect it so utterly that our regular response to it is to tremble.

  • “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.” (Isaiah 66:2b)

My heart’s prayer when it comes to the Bible:  that we would increasingly and unrelentingly love it, learn it, live it.

Along with giving back to the Lord perhaps the most unique love/thank-You gift in human history for who He is and all He does – not only from me but from and on behalf of everyone who supports this effort in whatever ways they’re comfortably able – that’s the whole point and reason for BibleMemory.ORG and indeed my own life:  to “Educate, Encourage, Empower” people all around the globe to realize and come to more and more fully understand the immeasurable treasure that is  the Bible.

.

If you’d like to follow along and automatically be notified when a new post or video is published, simply click on the “Follow Bible Memory” button in item “3.” at the very bottom of this page or in the Side Panel near the top!

And if you already have a Gmail, Google, YouTube, or Google+ account or email address (and if not, you can get one on the next screen), please also subscribe for FREE to the Bible Memory YouTube Channel – it’s super quick and easy, and you’ll automatically be notified whenever I post a new video on YouTube, too!  And beyond that, what a statement it would make to the world if we Bible-loving believers were to make this THE MOST subscribed-to YouTube Channel, so after clicking the link below then the red YouTube “SUBSCRIBE” button on that Channel page (which opens in a new tab for your convenience so you won’t lose your place on this page), please encourage your friends and family to do likewise!
.

YouTube.com/BibleMemory

.
And if you think this would be a blessing to others, you can SHARE IT via your social media platforms by clicking on the corresponding icons:

You can do this by word-of-mouth and/or by sharing on your Social Media platforms with just a click!
(Please use these buttons since the ones at the very bottom and top-right of this particular page are not pre-populated)

.
.
.
And if you’d like to add YOUR name to my Prayer Request List, simply enter and confirm your email address in those two boxes below then click the red “Sign up for FREE” button!

.
.
And if you’d like to MAKE HISTORY together and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me as I seek to memorize the ENTIRE BIBLE and then use that as a platform for several outflowing ministries and become a true PARTNER with me in this endeavor in every sense of that word, simply click this Donate button and you’ll be taken to PayPal’s secure page – probably THE MOST trusted and secure processor on the planet.  And IF AND ONLY IF you’re comfortably able and feel led by the Lord to do so and want to become a MONTHLY PARTNER and thus provide even far better visibility for this burgeoning ministry, simply click the small “Make this a monthly donation” check-box on that PayPal page.  Thank you so much for your support and prayers, may God bless you richly!

.
.

.
.
.

Quick Thought:  “Continue”

It’s not how one starts, it’s how one finishes  that counts.

Just ask ancient Israel, of whom Hebrews 8:9 testifies, “for they did not CONTINUE in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says the Lord.”

GREAT start.  Leaving behind the bitter, brutal bonds of slavery in Egypt.  Being rescued by literally watching the Red Sea part before them and passing through it as though on dry land (Hebrews 11:29; the entire account is found in Exodus 14-15).  Literally being “fed and led” DIRECTLY BY GOD HIMSELF via manna from heaven, a water-providing rock to help wash it down, and a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night.

Great finish?  NOT SO MUCH.  As in tens of thousands being struck dead by God at one time (1 Corinthians 10:8).  As in FORTY YEARS of wayward wandering in the wilderness.

Just ask Demas, who was among one of the Apostle Paul’s closest “fellow workers” and friends and confidants, in his inner circle (Philemon 1:24 and Colossians 4:14) but ended up desiring the world and deserting Paul (2 Timothy 4:10) (or as I often call that too-common phenomenon, “flirting then deserting”).  From “hero” to “zero”… great start, bad finish (with an end result to match).

That’s why Colossians 1:22-23 says in such simple and straightforward, can’t-miss-it fashion, “yet He has now reconciled you in His [i.e., Jesus’s] fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach – if indeed you CONTINUE in the faith firmly established and steadfast…”

And the Lord Jesus Himself was every bit as blunt about the matter in Matthew 24:13 – “But he who endures [i.e., CONTINUES] to the end shall be saved.”

So don’t worry about or get emotionally “bogged down” by your past, by things you may have done at a previous point in time; rather, focus on the present and future.

Because… it’s not how you START your walk with Christ, it’s how (whether) you FINISH!

Quick Thought:  100%

God is 100% deserving for 100% of the population to be 100% focused on Him 100% of the time.

He literally deserves no less.

Yet He doesn’t demand that.  In His grace and omniscience He is fully aware that such is impossible in the finite, fallen-flesh “suits” we wear throughout our entire life.

The sad part is that undoubtedly not even 10% of the population is even 10% focused on Him even 10% of the time.

Maybe not even 1%.

Let’s commit to actively focus on Him far more than we do.  Not just every day but every hour.  We won’t ever reach 100% on this side of eternity but we can certainly do much better than we currently are, we have so much room for improvement in this area.

I know I do.

He is worthy.  100%.

I find that just being reminded, just being aware  of this is 90% of the battle.

Until the next time I forget, until the next time it slips my mind again.

Then when I come to realize it anew, I can only contritely cower in confession and cry out, “Wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:24)

And yet He persists in His grace and understanding and patience and kindness and love, and gladly receives even the crumbs  of focus and worship and gratitude we give Him.  To Him who gives us not just grace but “grace upon  grace.” (John 1:16)

“Thanks be to God” indeed. (Romans 7:25)

I don’t know why He puts up with the mere morsels meagerly meted out to Him by man, but am so glad He does, am so glad He’s truly pleased with anything  we give back to Him.

Yes, we can certainly do so much better in that regard.  May it be so.

Starting with me.

Quick Thought:  My Perpetual Three-Pronged Prayer Request

Lord Jesus, give me the dependence and trustfulness and humility of a child, the wisdom of a serpent, and the innocence of a dove.

  • “And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, ‘Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'” (Matthew 18:2-4)
  • “… be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
  • “… be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil.” (Romans 16:19)

How to KNOW You’re Truly Saved and going to Heaven:  It’s all about “PRACTICE”

When it comes to stocks and bonds, the market continually makes the trader/investor an offer.

If you say no, it just comes right back with another  offer.

If you say no again, it just comes right back with yet another one, and so on, and so on, ad infinitum.

And that’s EXACTLY how it is with temptation/trials for a Christian.

Our flesh (James 1:14) “offers” us a temptation, an opportunity to sin (i.e., to choose SIN and the Devil OVER Christ and the cross in that moment).

If we say no, it just comes back with another offer.

If we say no again, it just comes back with yet another one, and so on, and so on, ad infinitum – UNTIL we leave this world and are in heaven with Christ, “where neither moth nor rust destroys” (Matthew 6:19-20).

The key is to KEEP RESISTING (1 Peter 5:9), knowing – and being motivated by the fact – that “the one who ENDURES TO THE END, he shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)

To end where we began with an analogy to the stock market… that’s why an overall “chart” of DECREASING sin, INCREASING righteousness is indeed one of the biblical PROOFS of genuine salvation, that someone is truly saved and not only “knows” the Lord but (infinitely more importantly) IS KNOWN BY the Lord.

  • “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to BE KNOWN BY God…” (Galatians 4:9)
  • “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice [the key word here; note that He DOESN’T use the word “commit”] lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:22-23)
  • “And by THIS we KNOW that we have come to know Him [i.e., be known by Him], if we KEEP [i.e., practice!] HIS COMMANDMENTS.  The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does NOT keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is NOT in him; BUT WHOEVER keeps [i.e., practices!] His word, in him the love of God has TRULY been perfected.  By this we KNOW that we are in Him:  the one who says he abides in Him out himself to walk [practice!] in the same manner as He walked.” (1 John 2:3-6)
  • “EVERYONE who PRACTICES [there’s that word/concept again!] sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.  And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.  No one who abides in Him sins [i.e., PRACTICES sin]; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him  Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices [there’s that word yet again!] righteousness IS righteous, JUST AS He is righteous [more on this in a minute]; the one who practices [there’s that word yet again!] sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.  The Son of God [i.e., Jesus] appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.  NO ONE who is born of God PRACTICES sin [there’s that word yet again!  He couldn’t have been and the Bible couldn’t be ANY CLEARER in the matter!], BECAUSE His seed abides in him; and he CANNOT [practice] sin, BECAUSE he is born of God.  By this the children of God [i.e., saved] and the children of the devil [i.e., unsaved] are OBVIOUS:  anyone who does not practice [told ya that’s the key word =] righteousness is not of God…” (1 John 3:4-10)

Yes, the KEY word is “practice”, but in “second place” would be “because” and praise the Lord He included that word, too.  You see, it totally takes away any “pressure” to perform in the Christian life because THAT is and can ONLY be accomplished BY CHRIST, as clearly explained in one of my “life verse” couplets which I’ll leave you with for now:  “Therefore, if ANY man [i.e., person] IS in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things [i.e., practices, habits, affections, perspectives] have come.  He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, THAT we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:17,21)  And THAT, my friends, perfectly explains 1 John 3:5-10.

What a blessing and help and comfort and confidence that God graciously gave us in the Bible, which serves as a MIRROR for us to look into and see our TRUE spiritual state (James 1:22-27) so that we needn’t go through life with ANY DOUBT about whether or not we are truly saved.  We DON’T have to wait until the next life (eternity) to find out (good thing, because then it’s TOO LATE) – no, we can KNOW with TOTAL AND COMPLETE CONFIDENCE in THIS life exactly where we’ll be spending the next, where we’ll be spending all eternity.  This is THE MOST IMPORTANT MATTER IN ALL OF LIFE, nothing else EVEN COMES CLOSE.  Which is why the Bible urges us to REGULARLY LOOK into that mirror, to MAKE SURE.

  • “TEST YOURSELVES to SEE if you are in the faith; EXAMINE YOURSELVES!” (2 Corinthians 13:5)
  • “Therefore, brethren, be ALL THE MORE DILIGENT to MAKE CERTAIN about His calling and choosing you [i.e., your salvation]; for as long as you practice [there’s that word YET AGAIN, amazing!] these things, you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:10)

God, via the Bible – and by extension, I – DON’T say that to cause anyone to doubt but JUST THE OPPOSITE, to REMOVE any and all doubt about it.

Eternity demands nothing less.

I have ZERO power or ability to save anyone (including myself).  None.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  Because that’s ENTIRELY the work of the Holy Spirit through the Bible, the Gospel, the “message concerning Christ” as Romans 10:17 puts it.  But you know what I CAN do?  I can make as many people as possible AWARE of this pressing, most-crucial-of-them-all-by-far matter.  While I’d personally LOVE for as many people as possible to join me and Christians throughout the ages in Heaven some day, to spend all eternity there with our precious and victorious Lord, the aforementioned Matthew 7:13-23 makes it crystal clear that the majority of people won’t, but I at least don’t want them to leave this life and slip into eternity without opening their eyes widely about this matter, and if they reject the truth then sobeit, that’s between them and God, that’s not just “above my pay grade” it’s out of my realm altogether, but making them AWARE of this truth is not, and indeed I’ve committed the rest of my earthly life to that very thing, under the umbrella and rubric of the work and ministry of the Bible in general and Bible memory in specific.

In other words, I’d prefer that every person accepted the truth and thus received all of the related and indescribable benefits and reward, but I at least want – and have the ability – to make them AWARE of that option.  Because the saddest and scariest thought of them all is how many millions and indeed billions of people have indeed NOT REALIZED these things until it was too late, until they had already entered a fiery and tortuous eternity which will know no end or respite or reversal.

No, THIS LIFE is the time to resolve one’s eternal destiny.  Or as 2 Corinthians 6:2 puts is, “NOW is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, NOW is ‘the day of salvation.'”

May it be so.

It’s very true that I can’t save anyone, but I CAN and would be thrilled to provide whatever information you might seek in this matter, simply use the form below but instead of entering “not spam” in the filter box, please enter “salvation” and any questions or comments you might have then click that red button and it’ll be my honor to respond just as quickly as possible.

Because NOTHING in this  life is so important as resolving one’s destiny vis-a-vis the life to come.  And my goal is to help as many people as possible remove all doubt.  For the rest of their lives.

.

If you’d like to follow along and automatically be notified when a new post or video is published, simply click on the “Follow Bible Memory” button in item “3.” at the very bottom of this page or in the Side Panel near the top!

And if you already have a Gmail, Google, YouTube, or Google+ account or email address (and if not, you can get one on the next screen), please also subscribe for FREE to the Bible Memory YouTube Channel – it’s super quick and easy, and you’ll automatically be notified whenever I post a new video on YouTube, too!  And beyond that, what a statement it would make to the world if we Bible-loving believers were to make this THE MOST subscribed-to YouTube Channel, so after clicking the link below then the red YouTube “SUBSCRIBE” button on that Channel page (which opens in a new tab for your convenience so you won’t lose your place on this page), please encourage your friends and family to do likewise!
.

YouTube.com/BibleMemory

.
And if you think this would be a blessing to others, you can SHARE IT via your social media platforms by clicking on the corresponding icons:

You can do this by word-of-mouth and/or by sharing on your Social Media platforms with just a click!
(Please use these buttons since the ones at the very bottom and top-right of this particular page are not pre-populated)

.
.
.
And if you’d like to add YOUR name to my Prayer Request List, simply enter and confirm your email address in those two boxes below then click the red “Sign up for FREE” button!

.
.
And if you’d like to MAKE HISTORY together and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me as I seek to memorize the ENTIRE BIBLE and then use that as a platform for several outflowing ministries and become a true PARTNER with me in this endeavor in every sense of that word, simply click this Donate button and you’ll be taken to PayPal’s secure page – probably THE MOST trusted and secure processor on the planet.  And IF AND ONLY IF you’re comfortably able and feel led by the Lord to do so and want to become a MONTHLY PARTNER and thus provide even far better visibility for this burgeoning ministry, simply click the small “Make this a monthly donation” check-box on that PayPal page.  Thank you so much for your support and prayers, may God bless you richly!

.
.

.
.
.

Quick Thought:  To Honk or Not to Honk?

I live in the city.  And thoroughly enjoy it.  Not that I wouldn’t also enjoy living by the ocean (beach!) or in a suburb or near mountains, but for now, the Lord has placed me in the city.

And I live right by a major highway and hear the hum of vehicles driving by all the time.  (Only when I open a window but that’s pretty much all the time since I love fresh air and the outdoors and, yes, that constant hum of vehicles, because I know that they’re being driven by people and I love people.  All people.  Men and women, old and young, rich and poor, red and yellow, black and white, I love them all.  Along with my memory, many people say that a love for people and a joy for life are my most defining qualities.)

Literally just seconds  after publishing the previous post and enjoying that hum of traffic just outside my window, one of those drivers felt the need to lay and stay  on his or her horn, for what seemed like a minute but was probably more like twenty seconds but that’s a long time to be blowing one’s horn.

Maybe the driver in front of them did something really – to use a word very fresh in my mind thanks to that previous post – galling.  But even then  how much better it would’ve been for that driver NOT to have honked the horn for so long.  It was obviously out of anger – justified anger perhaps, but why not “let it go”?  Why not show mercy, knowing that you and I make mistakes regularly, too, and would appreciate not being called out or “punished” for every one of them, every time, so why not extend that courtesy to others?

No, far better than laying on our horn when someone wrongs us on the road – or any other part of life – is to show mercy.

Much easier said than done… but I find that this verse is a huge help in providing the perspective and patience and self-control essential to do just that:

  • “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13)

“That is so GALLING!”

I have to admit that 99.9% of Bible passages make me happy.  No, thrilled.  They literally breathe new life  into me.

But there is a stark exception:  Luke 17:11-19

Jesus healed ten lepers.

Leprosy is like no other disease.  It was so bad that those stricken by it were forced to dwell outside  of the city, on the outskirts of town, and had to depend on the merciful, pity-filled alms of others just to survive.

I won’t go into the medical specifics of that disease because, well, frankly, I just ate and don’t want to, um, exhume my dinner but trust me, it was a gross, hideous disease, and those who suffered from it had perhaps the worst  ”quality of life” except for death itself… and I’m not sure even THAT was a step down, I think many lepers would deem death itself as a step up, as an improvement, and one of the few types of people who probably greeted “the Grim Reaper” with a hug and kiss.

Now imagine for a minute that you were born with no arms, no legs, no eyes, and no ears.  And one day a doctor discovered a cure and freely gave it to you and, bam, you suddenly had all of your limbs and eyes and ears and were as good as new, what would you say to that doctor, how would you react?

Well, in Luke 17:11-19 the Bible tells us that Jesus came across ten lepers and healed them.

Good as new!

After living their entire life – which was really no life at all, no quality of life whatsoever – in such a horrific condition, you and I would think, would just assume that those ten lepers couldn’t thank Jesus enough  for healing them and totally transforming their lives, right?

Yeah, but we’d be wrong.  Can you believe that just ONE of those lepers took the time to THANK Jesus?

Man, that is so GALLING!  It’s vexing even just thinking  about those other nine lepers.  Infuriating, really, that anyone ‭ could be THAT ungrateful!  Grrrrr.

But no sooner did that thought hit me a few minutes ago that a second, quite different thought immediately followed:

How often do I  thank the Lord for my spiritual salvation that permitted and produced the greatest transformation of all, one of literally infinite, eternal proportions?

How often do YOU?

Color me embarrassed.  Color me convicted.  Because even though I do thank Him for that every day or two, it’s not nearly, nearly, nearly, nearly, nearly, nearly enough.  You better believe that if a human doctor cured me of leprosy or cancer or any other life-altering disease, I’d be showing up at his or her office at least three times a day for the first month or two and thereafter would do so via email for the rest of my life.

How much more, then, does God, the great Healer and Miracle-doer, deserve our constant gratitude for curing us of an eternal disease?

Let’s commit and strive to be like that one leper, not  the nine.

How fitting that these two thoughts hit me on Thanksgiving Eve.

Happy Thanksgiving indeed!

But every  day should be Thanksgiving for those of us who’ve been healed by the Lord every bit as tangibly and infinitely more consequentially than those lepers.

May it be so.

Quick Thought:  Predictive Indeed

I went for a walk yesterday.  After a stretch of glorious autumn weather, the forecast was calling for the remnants of another hurricane from the Gulf Coast to make its way up to my neck of the woods, but I was hoping to get my errand in before that happened.

As I was walking, the (heinous) humidity here was as high as I’ve ever felt it.  (The word “sauna” sprang squarely to mind.)  And I was reminded of what many of us learned in grade school:

Humidity is predictive.

And a truth I learned in Sunday  school also immediately hit me:

Humility is predictive.

  • “For everyone [i.e., NO exceptions!] who exalts himself shall [not ‘might’] be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 14:11; virtually identical to Matthew 23:12)

But unlike the weather, this second truth entails 100% odds.  Bank on it.  Whichever path we choose, the Scripturally-stated subsequence is absolutely guaranteed to follow.  Definitely eventually, usually immediately.  While the unbreakable, never-veering verity averred in this verse serves as a warning, it is also a massive blessing:  the determinative difference lies only in which  path one walks along while in this world.

May we choose wisely.  May we walk wisely.  May we opt for humility in our daily lives.  Like that Porsche TV ad tagline of yesteryear puts it:  there is no substitute.  It’s a no-brainer.  Not necessarily easy  for our fallen flesh to fathom much less fulfill, but let us find firsthand that the Bible unleashes the Holy Spirit to produce and grow this guaranteed-golden trait within us, such that it eventually becomes automatic, one’s default setting in life.  And remains such as long as we don’t touch, as long as we keep our grubby hands off of the wheel and let the Bible and Holy Spirit drive us and do their thing, to perform the work as promised (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Quick Thought:  If I ever write a hymn, this would be the title.

I love the hymns of old in particular.  So many are chock full of theological truths straight out of Scripture, both simple and profound.

I have far too many favorites to list them here but one of them is How Great Thou Art, made famous and a household humming fave by its pervasive use in the Billy Graham crusades.

But I often think that if I were to ever write a hymn I’d likely title it How Good  Thou Art.

Was and is and will He forevermore be great?  Ab-so-LUTE-ly!

Christ created everything.  “Both in the heavens and on earth.  visible and invisible [I’d say that covers it! =] … all things have been created by Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)

Christ clearly and convincingly and completely conquered  sin and death.  Think about that for a second:  He conquered death.

In His death, burial and resurrection, He made Satan like that famous fish which went after a worm on a hook and thought he was about to eat dinner when in fact he was about to be  dinner.  As Jesus bled and bled and bellowed out asking why the Father had forsaken Him and breathed His last breath before becoming sin  for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) (think about THAT for a second… mind-blowing), Satan saw such and started to celebrate – a bit prematurely as it turns out.  He put on a private party in Perdition but before it could barely begin, Jesus rained on his parade (Ephesians 4:8-9) and “disarmed” the devil and his demons but went even further and turned that private party into a “public display” of degrading defeat and definitive deliverance (Colossians 2:15).  (Talk about crashing a party!  Talk about making an entrance!)

Greatness doesn’t get any greater than that!

How great Thou art, indeed.

But just as often each day I find myself being overwhelmed with how wonderfully warm and loving and generous and giving and good  He is to me, and to all of His children, and even to those who not only don’t yet know Him but who hate  Him! (Matthew 5:45; Romans 5:8,10)

He clothes us and feeds us and shelters us.  But He not only takes care of the physical and emotional needs of our human hearts and bodies but also our spiritual needs.  Salvation.  Eternal life.  Forgiveness of our (unfortunately) ongoing but (fortunately) ever-decreasing sins.  The ability to love and be loved by Him.  To know and be known by and walk with Him every day, every hour, every minute.

Goodness doesn’t get any “gooder” than that!

So, yeah, I think that would be the title if I ever write a hymn to Him:  How Good Thou Art.

Because both  are absolutely essential for us.  And essential to  Him.  His greatness and His goodness.  His goodness and His greatness.  For without the former, the latter wouldn’t do us any good as He’d be a tyrant, gushing with greatness and power and muscle but no heart.  Yet without the latter, the former would give us a god who wants  to grant us “every good thing” and “every perfect gift” (James 1:17) but lacks the power to actually do so.  No, beloved, it’s the combination  of His goodness and greatness which makes Him not “a god” but God.

So on second thought, I’d title that future hymn How Great and Good Thou Art!

Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness and  greatness.  For being so great but also being so good, and so good to us.

Indeed, that dual fact is exactly why I’m in the process of memorizing the entire Bible – every word of His Word, of His love letter to us – so I can demonstrate  through this very unique love/thank-You gift the gratitude and affection I and countless others hold for all He does and who He is!  For the fact that He not only defines greatness but goodness, too.

Yes, how great – and  good – Thou art, indeed.

How to Handle Seeing Sin Surround Us

More and more with each passing week it seems, there are countless videos which have gone viral showing people in the act of not just committing crimes but indeed unthinkable, unimaginable atrocities against their fellow citizens, including kicking them in their heads, knocking them unconscious, beating them to the point of death and a recent shooting and murder of a man.  I won’t post any of those here because this is absolutely and completely a family website, safe for the entire family, and I intend to keep it that way until I die or the Lord returns, but suffice it to say that such viral videos reveal how low human nature will go when left to its own devices and are causing much righteous anger throughout the country.  Not just the crimes themselves but also the fact that a small percentage of people are actually recording those acts and uploading them to YouTube.  But it’s not even just that:  they’re also laughing  while recording those horrific crimes against humanity.

I absolutely understand why this “boils the blood” of sane, rational, kind-hearted people all across the nation and globe and political spectrum.  That’s not only a natural human reaction, it’s biblical:  in His humanity, did not Jesus’s own blood boil when he saw that a group of merchants and moneychangers had made God His Father’s “house a house of merchandise” (John 2:13-17), to the extent that He “made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and overturned their tables” (verse 15)?  If that  isn’t a picture of righteous anger and “one’s blood boiling” I don’t know what is!

The religious leaders of the time saw this and weren’t very pleased and indeed dedicated their lives to removing Jesus.  As in permanently.  (D’oh!  Talk about an unmitigated FAILURE! =)

But it’s very interesting and important to note that just six chapters later, in John 8:44, Jesus said to them, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father” whom He said (sans stumbling or stuttering, i.e., very bluntly) was a “murderer” and “liar” by nature, to the hilt.

But also note that, while poignantly pointing out that fact, Jesus did not excuse them or look past their evil deeds and conduct.

And that’s EXACTLY the perspective I think we should have in regard to those vicious viral videos:  we shouldn’t excuse or overlook the wrongdoing, the horrific crimes (almost always against the defenseless, the helpless, the very vulnerable and/or very outnumbered) regardless of the political views or ethnicity or religious beliefs (or lack thereof) of the doers… but we should  remain crystal clear about the fact that they’re merely doing the will of their father, the devil, to whom they are utterly enslaved.  You needn’t take my  word for it, take GOD’S WORD for it:  “with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:25-26)

Isn’t that amazing?!  And so totally practical and applicable to the current torrent of abhorrent, heartbreaking videos of victims being injured or worse at no fault of their own.  (The Bible always is practical and applicable, we just need to come to see how  it applies to any given situation.)

It’s hard – very hard – to see so much sin surrounding us (2 Peter 2:8; also in many of David’s Psalms and elsewhere).  Everywhere we look these days it seems.  And we are indeed to hate  those vile crimes seen in those viral videos… but to love  the criminals.  Not to just let them off the hook; indeed, the Bible is equally clear that they should be held accountable for their actions in this life and that we all will in the next one in any case (Romans 14:12).  But also not to hate them.  To hate the sin but love the sinner.  Understanding – thanks to John 8:44 and especially 2 Timothy 2:25-26 – that they’re simply slaves of Satan himself, literally “held captive by him to do his will.”  Therefore, our hatred and righteous anger should be directed there, at the devil; but to the people who are merely carrying out his will because their eyes are yet darkened, we should direct sympathy and compassion and prayers for eye-opening and salvation and spiritual transformation.

Because we know firsthand  of the predicament and position they’re in.  Because we were once just like they are – and would still be but for the beautiful and boundless and utterly undeserved and amazing grace and goodness of God in rescuing and releasing us from that very same snare:  “to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.  For we also once were foolish [paralleling the “come to their senses’ of 2 Timothy 2:25-26] ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.” (Titus 3:2-3)  And a whole list of vile conduct right after which the Bible reminds us “AND SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU[before being saved] (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).  Ergo, our attitude toward the sin  and the originator of sin, the devil, should be righteous anger and hate (Ephesians 4:26; Romans 12:9) but our attitude toward the sinner – as outrageous and blood-boiling as those vicious viral videos conveying criminal conduct are – should be love and sympathy and compassion and humility.  Because “there but by the grace of God  go I.”

.

If you’d like to follow along and automatically be notified when a new post or video is published, simply click on the “Follow Bible Memory” button in item “3.” at the very bottom of this page or in the Side Panel near the top!

And if you already have a Gmail, Google, YouTube, or Google+ account or email address (and if not, you can get one on the next screen), please also subscribe for FREE to the Bible Memory YouTube Channel – it’s super quick and easy, and you’ll automatically be notified whenever I post a new video on YouTube, too!  And beyond that, what a statement it would make to the world if we Bible-loving believers were to make this THE MOST subscribed-to YouTube Channel, so after clicking the link below then the red YouTube “SUBSCRIBE” button on that Channel page (which opens in a new tab for your convenience so you won’t lose your place on this page), please encourage your friends and family to do likewise!
.

YouTube.com/BibleMemory

.
And if you think this would be a blessing to others, you can SHARE IT via your social media platforms by clicking on the corresponding icons:

You can do this by word-of-mouth and/or by sharing on your Social Media platforms with just a click!
(Please use these buttons since the ones at the very bottom and top-right of this particular page are not pre-populated)

.
.
.
And if you’d like to add YOUR name to my Prayer Request List, simply enter and confirm your email address in those two boxes below then click the red “Sign up for FREE” button!

.
.
And if you’d like to MAKE HISTORY together and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me as I seek to memorize the ENTIRE BIBLE and then use that as a platform for several outflowing ministries and become a true PARTNER with me in this endeavor in every sense of that word, simply click this Donate button and you’ll be taken to PayPal’s secure page – probably THE MOST trusted and secure processor on the planet.  And IF AND ONLY IF you’re comfortably able and feel led by the Lord to do so and want to become a MONTHLY PARTNER and thus provide even far better visibility for this burgeoning ministry, simply click the small “Make this a monthly donation” check-box on that PayPal page.  Thank you so much for your support and prayers, may God bless you richly!

.
.

.
.
.

Quick Thought:  How Powerful Is Christ?

It rained in my city all last night and all this morning.  The lingering vestige of what was a hurricane when it hit land on the Gulf Coast a few days ago.  Drenched.

But as is always the case, eventually, around noon today, the Sun shone down its powerful beams on the ground and guess what, yep, in just an hour or two it was totally dry.

That’s the power of the Sun.

Now multiply that by INFINITY and you’ll have the answer to this post’s title.

You see, not only did Jesus Christ perform actual and literal miracles and demonstrate Deity-derived dominance over nature and life itself (instantly calming a storm and raising Lazarus from the dead, just to name two of many), not only did He prove that He had power over the natural realm, but even greater than that is the fact that He has power over the spiritual realm!  He not only can raise people from the dead, He can save their souls forever (Hebrews 7:25).  I’m living proof.  He saw and felt compassion for and personally pursued the biggest sinner I know, the biggest sinner I’ve ever known, and the biggest sinner you’ve probably ever known – ME! – and instantly transformed him from a spiritually dead and depraved and dirty-as-filthy-rags do-no-gooder into “the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Just think about that for ten seconds (or hours).  He is able and willing and ready to turn total sinners into the very RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD HIMSELF and give them eternal life in His presence in heaven decked out with its streets of gold and crystal-like sea, to dwell and reside and live with Him and all other believers forever and ever and ever.

That’s the power of the Son.

I pray that you come to know Him if you haven’t already.  Through this website and historic undertaking and outflowing ministries would be the biggest thrill and honor and privilege of my life here on earth but that’s very, very secondary – at the end of the day, I’ll be thrilled with whomever  God might use to accomplish that, i.e., that blessed result  is what’s paramount, the vessel  God may choose to use will merely be a cherry on that simply-so-sweet spiritual sundae.

Quick Thought:  Immune

Amid the ongoing pandemic, there’s constant chatter about and hope abounds for a cure or vaccine.  People are at the point that even so-called “herd immunity” would be welcome.

But the thought that just occurred to me is that what I’d really really really like to be IMMUNE from is DISPLEASING GOD.  A spiritual vaccine which would prevent me from ever sinning again.

It’s still very much up in the air as to whether a physical vaccine for COVID-19 will actually materialize.  But unfortunately, a spiritual vaccine against ever sinning again is not going to happen.  Not in this lifetime.  Not in this world.  Not on this side of eternity.

No, the Bible makes (crystal) clear that “ALL have sinned” (Romans 3:23) and “ALL we like sheep have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6) and that “we are ALL like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags [Lit., “used tampons”]” (Isaiah 64:6) and that even post-salvation “we all stumble in MANY ways” (James 3:2).  Like I said, the Bible couldn’t be any clearer  in the matter.  Such that even “Mr. black-and-white, cut-and-dry” himself, the Apostle John, concedes that even as Christians we will indeed sin from time to time (1 John 2:1).  Ergo, in this life, until we get to the blessed shores of heaven, there is NO IMMUNITY from sin.

But there IS a “therapeutic” from the spiritual pandemic which has plagued the entire human race since that first, fierce, fearsome fall in the garden of Eden.

The Bible.

Let us be wise enough to treasure it.  To read it.  To study it.  To memorize/ingest/consume it (as I like to tell people:  “Consume the Bible.  And the Bible will consume you.“).  I.e., to truly find  it.

And as discussed in-depth in one of the very first posts on this blog and in the Overview video, one of my favorite verses brings us full circle back to the pandemic and physical health.  It’s Proverbs 4:22.

  • “For they [the “my words” of verse 20, i.e., the Bible] are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body.”

That’s the main reason I haven’t experienced even a nanosecond of fear throughout this entire and very deadly pandemic:  because I have many of His words and much of His Word “richly dwelling” in me (Colossians 3:16), I have found them and therefore can and have and do depend on and rest in this promise of Proverbs 4:22.  Best. Healthcare. Plan. EVER!  Indeed.

Yes, unfortunately nothing in this life will make us entirely immune from sinning thanks to our fiercest foe:  fallen flesh.  But there is  a “spiritual therapeutic” that comes very close EVEN IN THIS LIFE, even on THIS side of heaven, and that’s the Bible.

  • “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)
  • “like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word [i.e., the Bible], that BY it you may grow in respect to salvation,” (1 Peter 2:2)

Thank You, Lord, for so graciously giving us Your Word, the Bible.  It is indeed a treasure.  So may we treasure it.

I’m so jealous! (Part 1)

I’m starting a new series  of posts, since there are multiple (two) subjects for this Part 1 and will undoubtedly be many more as I progress in my life goal of memorizing the ENTIRE Bible so a series seems seriously fitting.

Per the previous post from earlier today, this morning I was reciting the third of the six New Testament books I’ve memorized so far en route to all sixty-six, 1 Peter, and how I generally do that is to recite one of those “stored” books each day, its first chapter or few FIRST THING when I awake each morning, before doing ANYTHING else, then additional chapters throughout the day, and then its last chapter or few LAST THING when I go to sleep each night.  I find that this has the maximum effect/benefits and also is MOST in line with Scripture…

  • “Oh, how I love Your law! [i.e., the Bible]  It is my meditation ALL THE DAY.” (Psalm 119:97)

… and therefore MOST pleasing to God so that’s plenty good enough for me to plan my days around!

But sometimes I get so “into” and enthralled by reciting the Bible that I can’t “pace myself” and just finish that day’s book sometime in the afternoon or evening (in which case I’ll just start on the next day’s book’s first chapter when I go to bed that night or re-recite the final chapter or two from that day’s book) and that’s what happened just now (around 5:00 p.m.) and what prompted this post was 1 Peter 5:12 – “Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God.  Stand firm in it!”

I know, I know, it’s not the type of verse which most preachers are likely to cover on a Sunday but here’s what hit me about it and made me say, “I’m so JEALOUS!”  Of that fellow Silvanus.  Because he not only had the unparalleled privilege of knowing and serving very closely with Peter but also Paul! ()  You see, that fellow also went by the name Silas – probably much as many people named William also go by Bill these days.  Or James and Jim.  Silvanus and Silas.  Paul referenced him by both names:  the former in 1 Thessalonians 1:1 and 2 Thessalonians 1:1, and the latter in Acts 16:25-40 which is probably how most people know of him, the amazing account of when he and Paul (Paul!  I’m SO JEALOUS!) were in prison (okay, a LITTLE LESS jealous about that part… but it’s the APOSTLE PAUL we’re talking about so overall STILL JEALOUS of Silas =) and around midnight were praying and singing hymns (aren’t you glad that WE get to do that in CHURCH, versus prison?  Me too =) and there was a big earthquake (something readers in near-and-dear-to-my-heart California can definitely relate to) and the prison’s doors opened and the jailer was about to kill himself via a sword but Paul shouted to him that there was no need since neither they nor the other prisoners had escaped and that jailer was immediately led to a saving knowledge of Christ.  And Silas not only got to witness and be centrally involved in that firsthand but also had the eternal privilege of having his name etched into the Bible, into Scripture for all eternity (I’M SO JEALOUS!).

[As a side note, I’m certain that Silvanus was his given name and Silas the nickname, per my William/Will example, because it would be far more likely that Paul would use his official/birth/legal name at the start of those two epistles to the Thessalonians, and his more familiar nickname in day-to-day life as in Acts.]

Knowing and workly so closely, so intimately, not just with Peter – God’s main vessel to the Jews – but ALSO the beloved Apostle Paul – God’s main vessel to the Gentiles.

I’M SO JEALOUS!

But I can’t end this post without mentioning someone else.  Someone of whom I’ve been jealous since I was a child and first heard the story (in Sunday School I’m pretty sure) of Cleopas and ever since, nearly my entire life, I’ve been utterly and completely jealous of him!

Because he was walking with one other (unnamed) person (many think it was his wife, possibly another believer/disciple) to a village named Emmaus (right near Jerusalem, around seven miles away) on that very first “Easter Sunday”, the very day of Jesus’s resurrection, and while they were walking and talking about all that had just occurred that most pivotal and consequential of weekends – indeed, the most in human history – and they were joined by someone they didn’t recognize until much later, that night, but it was Jesus Himself – the risen Lord of all creation, the “blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords” as 1 Timothy 6:15 puts it – HIM, THAT Person, who proceeded to impart to them a sermon, a message, a lesson, an education which even a HUNDRED years of Bible college or seminary even under the GREATEST of teachers couldn’t compare, couldn’t even hold a candle.  Luke 24:27 says this:  “And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in ALL the Scriptures.”

I’M SO JEALOUS!!!

Times ten.

[As a side note, when they finally realized that it was Jesus that evening, while sharing a meal, He disappeared and Luke 24:32 tells us what they said:  “Were not our hearts burning within uson the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”  The only instance in known human history of GOOD heartburn!]

Don’t get me wrong, I’m infinitely and eternally grateful that you and I have the Holy Spirit to teach us (1 John 2:27).  But to have the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ do so IN PERSON… well, enough said.  I’m sure you fully understand why I’m so jealous!  (Probably the ONLY situation in which that’s actually a GOOD thing. =)

Have you ever thought about just HOW long eternity is?  Forever.  And ever and ever and ever, so as to be incomprehensible to the finite human mind, such that time as we know it  doesn’t exist, will cease existing in eternity.  So we’ll have UNLIMITED time to fill, and throughout my life I’ve kinda constructed a list of ways I’d like to FILL that time.  At the very top is to talk with and hug and bow down to the Lord Jesus when He greets me into His direct and physical presence (though with resurrected bodies all – 1 Corinthians 15) and to thank God the Father for His unfathomable grace and mercy and forgiveness and patience and goodness and generosity and kindness, then after standing back up, to ask the Lord to repeat exactly what He shared with Cleopas and his fellow traveler on the road to Emmaus.  Second on the list would be to speak with (listen to =) the beloved Apostle Paul, my lifelong “human hero” – then David and Abraham and others.  Third on the list would be to see if all of my family – immediate and extended – and closest friends are there, that they were indeed genuine versus merely professing believers.  Then back to more Bible characters.  Then the people whom God has most used these past 2,000 years.  The preachers and teachers and theologians and missionaries and evangelists and pastors who have been so used by God in teaching and preaching and practicing/living  the Bible.  And that would be plenty satiating for me and just spend the rest of eternity worshiping and thanking and praising God.  Holy, holy, holy!  Worthy is the Lamb!  Oh man, I can hardly wait!  But in the meantime, I’m so thankful for the opportunity and hopefully many years ahead of encouraging as many fellow Christians and telling all the rest of humanity about how to become  one, how to know and experience in an ongoing way the “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness [Literally (Greek), faith], gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23) which only God the Holy Spirit can give and grow (they are, after all, the “fruit” of the Spirit =) within a sinner like me.

Hey, after just thinking about all of that and what awaits us, all of a sudden I’m not quite so jealous anymore. =)

.

If you’d like to follow along and automatically be notified when a new post or video is published, simply click on the “Follow Bible Memory” button in item “3.” at the very bottom of this page or in the Side Panel near the top!

And if you already have a Gmail, Google, YouTube, or Google+ account or email address (and if not, you can get one on the next screen), please also subscribe for FREE to the Bible Memory YouTube Channel – it’s super quick and easy, and you’ll automatically be notified whenever I post a new video on YouTube, too!  And beyond that, what a statement it would make to the world if we Bible-loving believers were to make this THE MOST subscribed-to YouTube Channel, so after clicking the link below then the red YouTube “SUBSCRIBE” button on that Channel page (which opens in a new tab for your convenience so you won’t lose your place on this page), please encourage your friends and family to do likewise!
.

YouTube.com/BibleMemory

.
And if you think this would be a blessing to others, you can SHARE IT via your social media platforms by clicking on the corresponding icons:

You can do this by word-of-mouth and/or by sharing on your Social Media platforms with just a click!
(Please use these buttons since the ones at the very bottom and top-right of this particular page are not pre-populated)

.
.
.
And if you’d like to add YOUR name to my Prayer Request List, simply enter and confirm your email address in those two boxes below then click the red “Sign up for FREE” button!

.
.
And if you’d like to MAKE HISTORY together and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me as I seek to memorize the ENTIRE BIBLE and then use that as a platform for several outflowing ministries and become a true PARTNER with me in this endeavor in every sense of that word, simply click this Donate button and you’ll be taken to PayPal’s secure page – probably THE MOST trusted and secure processor on the planet.  And IF AND ONLY IF you’re comfortably able and feel led by the Lord to do so and want to become a MONTHLY PARTNER and thus provide even far better visibility for this burgeoning ministry, simply click the small “Make this a monthly donation” check-box on that PayPal page.  Thank you so much for your support and prayers, may God bless you richly!

.
.

.
.
.

Never Gonna Let You Go

Back in the 80’s when I was just a kid, I remember a really annoying song of that title but this post ISN’T about that.

Because while that (very overplayed) pop song was indeed annoying, the way I’m using the title is EXTREMELY POSITIVE, a HUGE BLESSING!  Here’s why.

As discussed at length in this website’s About page, for years I kept trying to think of a way, a unique  way to demonstrate how grateful I am to the Lord for all He has done and who He is and one day not too long ago it hit me:  He answered that question in a big way by placing in my heart a not just strong but inescapable desire and indeed compulsion to memorize the ENTIRE Bible and then recite it, His “love letter” to humanity, to recite HIS OWN words BACK TO HIM.

And as described in prior posts, on the home page and in the Overview video, as I memorized my very first whole book (the book of James) the Bible itself started revealing to my mind’s eye a very specific memory method which has continued to unfold with each of the first six books I’ve memorized such that the more I memorize, the MORE ROOM there is in my mind to memorize even more, and so on, it’s amazing and when that process is completed (I’d estimate it’s around 75% right now) I can hardly wait to SHARE it with you, with everyone, with the worldwide masses as the Lord leads and enables and empowers.

But in order to fulfill His FULL calling – not just to memorize the entire Bible but then to recite  it back to Him – and oh yeah because it’s commanded in Scripture (Colossians 3:16) my daily routine includes RECITING the books of the Bible He has graciously allowed my to have memorized.  You know, so I don’t give up gained ground… or as 2 John 8 puts it, so I don’t “lose what has been accomplished.”  So two great reasons for me to not just memorize but RECITE Scripture each and every and throughout the day.  Either  provides infinitely sufficient motivation.  BOTH produce the aforementioned compulsion.

That was a (periodic) recap of what this history-making undertaking is all about, but the point and purpose for this post is to say that while I was reciting the book of 1 Peter this morning (#3 of my 6 so far, en route to all 66) one of the verses which really stood out to me (they seem to take turns =) was 2:25 which says, “For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”

We often hear and talk about “guardian angels” but did you ever realize that the Lord Jesus Christ HIMSELF is “guarding” YOUR soul?

Wow, talk about amazing!

But Peter wasn’t alone in literally witnessing the transforming and protective power of Christ.  No, John did, too, so it’s no surprise that 1 John 5:18 says this:  “We know that NO ONE who is born of God sins [Literally (Greek), ‘does not keep on sinning’, i.e., as a pattern, such that it characterizes one’s life; James 3:2 makes crystal clear that even believers will still sin:  “For we ALL stumble in MANY ways” (can I get an ‘Amen’ to that? =)]; but He who was born of God [i.e., Jesus] KEEPS [Literally, ‘guards‘, i.e., Guardian, just like 1 Peter 2:25!] him [i.e., His children, EVERY Christian] and the evil one does not touch him.”

Wow, talk about JAW-DROPPING!

Do you know what that means?  It means that you and I can go through life with TOTAL CONFIDENCE, KNOWING that not just one or more angels (the “ministering spirits” noted in Hebrews 1:13-14) but the Lord Jesus Christ HIMSELF is literally “guarding” us… just like those Roman soldiers guarded His earthly tomb after His crucifixion but multiplied by infinity.

With that perspective, net-net, factoring in the necessary and indeed joy-inducing and endurance-producing testings and trials (James 1:2-4; Hebrews 12:11), life is EASY, a veritable CAKEWALK!

  • “For My yoke is EASY” (Matthew 11:30)

Thank You, Lord, for watching over each and every one of Your children.  We need it.  Our flesh is not only weak but utterly sinful, totally incapable of anything good (Romans 7:18) so thank You so much for literally GUARDING us all day every day of our post-salvation lives such that even the devil himself cannot, will not, “DOES NOT touch” us!

.

If you’d like to follow along and automatically be notified when a new post or video is published, simply click on the “Follow Bible Memory” button in item “3.” at the very bottom of this page or in the Side Panel near the top!

And if you already have a Gmail, Google, YouTube, or Google+ account or email address (and if not, you can get one on the next screen), please also subscribe for FREE to the Bible Memory YouTube Channel – it’s super quick and easy, and you’ll automatically be notified whenever I post a new video on YouTube, too!  And beyond that, what a statement it would make to the world if we Bible-loving believers were to make this THE MOST subscribed-to YouTube Channel, so after clicking the link below then the red YouTube “SUBSCRIBE” button on that Channel page (which opens in a new tab for your convenience so you won’t lose your place on this page), please encourage your friends and family to do likewise!
.

YouTube.com/BibleMemory

.
And if you think this would be a blessing to others, you can SHARE IT via your social media platforms by clicking on the corresponding icons:

You can do this by word-of-mouth and/or by sharing on your Social Media platforms with just a click!
(Please use these buttons since the ones at the very bottom and top-right of this particular page are not pre-populated)

.
.
.
And if you’d like to add YOUR name to my Prayer Request List, simply enter and confirm your email address in those two boxes below then click the red “Sign up for FREE” button!

.
.
And if you’d like to MAKE HISTORY together and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me as I seek to memorize the ENTIRE BIBLE and then use that as a platform for several outflowing ministries and become a true PARTNER with me in this endeavor in every sense of that word, simply click this Donate button and you’ll be taken to PayPal’s secure page – probably THE MOST trusted and secure processor on the planet.  And IF AND ONLY IF you’re comfortably able and feel led by the Lord to do so and want to become a MONTHLY PARTNER and thus provide even far better visibility for this burgeoning ministry, simply click the small “Make this a monthly donation” check-box on that PayPal page.  Thank you so much for your support and prayers, may God bless you richly!

.
.

.
.
.

Quick Thought:  Not What It Seems

For reasons which are probably obvious given this history-making undertaking the Lord has laid on and in my heart (i.e., my schedule is pretty much booked for the next several years since I’d like to finish memorizing the ENTIRE Bible before, you know, rigor mortis sets in =) I don’t have much time at all to play games but I find that some of them are actually a big POSITIVE in terms not only of fun but time management, i.e., some of them can help keep the human mind sharp and therefore result in increased  productivity, i.e., five minutes of playing that type of game and 55 minutes of work usually results in getting MORE done than just working for all 60 minutes.  I don’t apply that principle to every  hour of the day, but I try to do so every three or four anyway and find that works really well.

I just spent the past few minutes playing one of my favorite such games:  FreeCell.  I don’t know if it’s still the case (haven’t bought a new laptop in nearly two decades) but that game used to come preloaded on virtually all computers so you’re probably very familiar with it but basically you have eight columns of cards (or one can just use numbers of four different colors) and to win you have to move the cards/numbers around so as to “free” up the lowest and up to the highest until there are no more on the board.  The key – and main benefit, main mind-sharpening aspect – is to THINK AHEAD and indeed several  moves ahead, making it very much like Chess in that regard except you’re only playing the board/yourself, not an actual opponent.

Here’s the thing:  it can often LOOK LIKE a move is good but when someone goes to actually make it they unfortunately learn that the move instead ended in getting stuck and thus losing the game.

And that’s EXACTLY how it is in life!

A situation presents itself that seems like a home run.  So you gladly and gleefully swing.

But unfortunately, it often results in a strikeout instead.

I’ve found that this is one reason that the Bible is so important in our day-to-day lives.  It literally “makes wise” and “enlightens the eyes” (Psalm 19:7-8) and thus lights the way and reveals those opportunities which truly are home runs and which ones are strikeouts, pitfalls, just waiting for us to fall in headfirst.

Like my mom used to always say when I was growing up, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  So true (and/because it’s straight from the Bible, more on this in a future post).  And the Bible does BOTH, prevents and cures as a given situation calls for.  Like the Bible testifies of itself in Psalm 119:105, it is indeed “a lamp to [our] feet and a light to [our] path.”

Thank You, Lord, for being so gracious and generous in giving us such an amazing and effective tool in successfully navigating life:  Your Word, the Bible.  Thank you that, like you – indeed, because it’s from You and by You and of You – it is absolutely perfect and flawless and infallible, so just by “reading and heeding” it we can know in advance which opportunities in life will be strikeouts and which ones will be home runs – a help we desperately need since so often a path which presents itself SEEMS right but is actually wrong, SEEMS good but is actually bad, SEEMS beneficial but is actually detrimental.

  • “There is a way which SEEMS right to a man, but its end [i.e., result] is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25)

May we AVAIL OURSELVES of that tremendous tool, the Bible, every day, every hour, every minute, every second.

“Just as”

While that phrase does kick off one of my (and clearly Billy Graham’s) favorite hymns, that’s not what this  post is about.  Rather, as I continue the rest-of-my-life calling to memorize the ENTIRE Bible (and then recite it back to Him as a very unique love/thank-You gift and then help others do likewise in a way that’s actually easy and FUN) I find myself coming across it more than once.  I’m sure there will be others in the future as I work my way through this historic goal but will highlight two for now since I came across both just this morning.

Just as David is “the man after God’s own heart”, I view the beloved Apostle Paul as “the man after Jesus’s own heart” in that I can’t think of anyone in the A.D./post-Christ’s-earthly-life era who more fully resembles Him, so much so that the Holy Spirit superintended his commanding the early Christians and all since to “imitate ME”!  WOW!  And he could say that because of the fact that he imitated the Lord:  “Be imitators of me, JUST AS I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

The second location of that phrase I came across this morning is far more immediately attainable but just as (no pun intended =) mind-blowing.

Because “just as” Paul imitated the Lord Jesus in general, we are to do so in a very specific way, in the matter of FORGIVING OTHERS.

I think that perhaps the two most difficult things for human nature to swallow are submitting (voluntarily giving up control) and forgiving.  Forgiving those who wrong or mistreat us.  No, human nature’s default position is revenge.  Yet, as ever, the Christian is called to do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what comes naturally to us, the exact opposite of the flesh (faith’s filthy but ultimately feckless foe).  But praise the Lord, He gives us very clear MOTIVATION in the Bible to help us do that, to forgive others.

He often motivates us via carrot but particularly when a matter is SO crucial, indeed grave, He seems to also and even primarily use a “stick”.  And that’s certainly the case when it comes to forgiving others.  Just look at what He says in Matthew 18:21-35 about a certain slave whose master forgave him an unpayable debt but who then went out and demanded that a fellow slave repay him a far lesser sum and had the guy thrown in prison for nonpayment.  And when the master heard of it, he had these choice and very pertinent-to-us words:  “Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, JUST AS I had mercy on you?”  Then the master restored his (unpayable) debt and had him tortured then said this (here’s that “stick”!):  “So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

“From your heart” is a very high bar, but the Bible goes EVEN FURTHER than that!  We are to forgive others to the same EXTENT that the Lord has forgiven US.  I.e., not just sincerely but completely, without reserve.

  • “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever [a great parallel to the “each one of you” just mentioned above] has a complaint against anyone [no exceptions!]; JUST AS the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” (Colossians 3:13)
  • “And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, JUST AS God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Talk about a HIGH BAR!  The highest.  The absolutely highest.  And yet that isn’t a suggestion, it’s a command.  A very clear command with very clear consequences.

Can you think of  anyone in your life whom you haven’t  forgiven?  Fully and completely, without reserve or reservation or holding back?  Any hidden grudges beneath the surface in your life?  I strongly urge us all to take a very close – and frequent/regular – look at that, just to be sure, since the consequences of failing to do so could not be any bigger or graver.  Perhaps it’s a sibling or parent.  Maybe a co-worker or boss who is making or in the past made your life miserable.  Maybe an ex.  Maybe someone at church.

Remember when I said that God not only gives us that command but also the motivation?  Here’s what I mean.  If you can’t bring yourself to do it for them, for that person(s) who wronged you, and if you won’t do it for the Lord, DO IT FOR YOURSELF!  In other words, the perspective I’m about to tell you will make this MUCH EASIER and thus provide ample motivation:  forgiving others benefits YOU infinitely  more than it benefits them.

Give that perspective a try and I know that you, like me, will find freely forgiving anyone and everyone to be a ton of FUN!  You literally won’t be able to “get (give) enough of it.”  You’ll become ADDICTED to fully and immediately forgiving others, such that it will become your new “default position”, your “knee-jerk” reaction whenever some “jerk” wrongs you.  As long as you don’t forget who’s the biggest beneficiary by far:  YOU!

.

If you’d like to follow along and automatically be notified when a new post or video is published, simply click on the “Follow Bible Memory” button in item “3.” at the very bottom of this page or in the Side Panel near the top!

And if you already have a Gmail, Google, YouTube, or Google+ account or email address (and if not, you can get one on the next screen), please also subscribe for FREE to the Bible Memory YouTube Channel – it’s super quick and easy, and you’ll automatically be notified whenever I post a new video on YouTube, too!  And beyond that, what a statement it would make to the world if we Bible-loving believers were to make this THE MOST subscribed-to YouTube Channel, so after clicking the link below then the red YouTube “SUBSCRIBE” button on that Channel page (which opens in a new tab for your convenience so you won’t lose your place on this page), please encourage your friends and family to do likewise!
.

YouTube.com/BibleMemory

.
And if you think this would be a blessing to others, you can SHARE IT via your social media platforms by clicking on the corresponding icons:

You can do this by word-of-mouth and/or by sharing on your Social Media platforms with just a click!
(Please use these buttons since the ones at the very bottom and top-right of this particular page are not pre-populated)

.
.
.
And if you’d like to add YOUR name to my Prayer Request List, simply enter and confirm your email address in those two boxes below then click the red “Sign up for FREE” button!

.
.
And if you’d like to MAKE HISTORY together and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me as I seek to memorize the ENTIRE BIBLE and then use that as a platform for several outflowing ministries and become a true PARTNER with me in this endeavor in every sense of that word, simply click this Donate button and you’ll be taken to PayPal’s secure page – probably THE MOST trusted and secure processor on the planet.  And IF AND ONLY IF you’re comfortably able and feel led by the Lord to do so and want to become a MONTHLY PARTNER and thus provide even far better visibility for this burgeoning ministry, simply click the small “Make this a monthly donation” check-box on that PayPal page.  Thank you so much for your support and prayers, may God bless you richly!

.
.

.
.
.

Quick Thought:  The BEST Medicine

They say that “laughter is the best medicine.”

WRONG!

It’s very high on the list, probably number three in my view (with love/hugs/unity being number two), but there’s no contest  as to what is number one.

It’s the Bible.

The Bible in general and BIBLE MEMORY in specific.

I discussed this at length in one of this blog’s very first posts so this is just a reminder, a “memo to self” – and a very timely one given the ongoing pandemic.

  • “For they [i.e., the “my words” of verse 20, i.e., the Bible] are LIFE to those who FIND them, and HEALTH to ALL their WHOLE BODY.” (Proverbs 4:23, emphasis obviously mine)

Nuff said!  (But if desired you can click on the link above and get far more detail about this via that past post.)

Thank You, Lord, for the countless benefits and endless benefit of Your Word, the Bible.  Not just spiritually and emotionally and relationally but that its power extends even to the physical realm.  How great Thou art indeed.

Quick Thought:  Homeward Bound

My parents used to love that song by Simon & Garfunkel.  Not really my musical cup of tea but I’m borrowing that as this post’s title because of something downright powerful which occurs around once a week in my life.

As discussed in past posts, not too long ago the Lord laid the calling on and in my heart to memorize the entire Bible and then (a) recite it, His “love letter” to us, back  to Him as a unique and indeed historic love/thank-You gift for all He does and who He is, and (b) educate, encourage, and empower others to do likewise after the Bible completes its current, unfolding work of revealing to my mind’s eye a specific memory method to make all of that a reality.  When He did that, I committed the rest of my life and my life savings to that end.  And midway through this website’s being built, I sold my car – my only means of transportation – so this site could be finished so people all around the globe would be able to track each step of the way in this historic undertaking.

As a result, I’ve done a lot more walking and bicycling in the months since, and as also mentioned in past posts, it has been during the subsequent bike rides and walks which many of the thoughts that became posts arose.  It has been a real blessing, those usually 3-to-4-hour treks and time spent just walking and talking with the Lord and reciting His Word… I LOVE it!

But that’s not to say that by the end of those three or four hours of nonstop exercise my body doesn’t start to feel it.  It does.  And you know the almost singular thought which occupies my mind in those final 15 or 30 minutes?  I just want to get back home so I can shower and rest.  (Preferably, though not always, in that order. =)

The pain produced by several straight hours of exercise makes me yearn for home.  And that’s exactly how it is in the Christian life!  Simply going through life will, by definition, entail pain, trials, tribulations, testings.

  • “… man is born for trouble.  As sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:7)
  • “… In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33)
  • “… the sufferings of this present time…” (Romans 8:18)
  • “… momentary, light affliction…” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

That last verse goes on to say that such “affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory, far beyond all comparison” and that the purpose of such pain is to point our mind, our focus, away from the horizontal and onto the vertical, away from the temporal and onto the eternal, away from the earthly and onto the heavenly.  In other words, to remind us that we’re homeward bound.  To remind us that this is NOT our home, but rather, as stated so clearly in Philippians 3:20, “our citizenship is in heaven”… heaven is our true  home.

Back to those frequent walks I’ve become so fond of taking, I have three preferred routes.  If I need to run an errand during my walk I’ll take the route most conducive to that but otherwise it really just depends on whether I’m hankering for a city, water, or park setting.  (If I lived near a beach that would definitely be a fourth regular in the rotation. =)  The park setting usually takes the longest – four or five hours on average – and when I get back to within a mile of my humble abode I make this one left-hand 45-degree turn and, wah-lah, I can see my home for that final 20 minutes or so of my roughly 4-hour walk.  And it’s the most amazing thing:  just seeing home – less the brick structure itself but rather the forthcoming rest and cleanliness (shower) it promises – literally makes me forget about the physical pain or discomfort I had been feeling just ten seconds earlier.

Such is the power of home.  It not only makes me forget about that present pain but actually goes to the other end of the spectrum and imbues me with motivation and excitement and joy.

As I said, I take this particular walking route around once a week on average yet it never, ever gets old or boring.  Indeed, that fact, that process, that instant transformation of sorts amazes me anew each and every time.  The immense benefit and benefits when a Christian is reminded that he or she is homeward bound.

 

Quick Thought:  Just Life

For genuine believers, there’s really no such thing as “the Christian life”, there’s just life.

It’s not what one DOES but what one IS, which dictates and determines  what one does.

What one is, i.e., who one is, i.e., whose  one is.

In other words, there should be no thin line, no distinction  between “the Christian life” and a Christian’s life.  His or her day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year life.  Since a genuine believer’s life will indeed be “taken over”, will be consumed with and by Christ.

  • “…Christ, who IS OUR LIFE…” (Colossians 3:4)
  • “…Christ LIVES IN ME…” (Galatians 2:20)

As those of you who’ve read many of my posts know, I use this phrase often since it’s so conducive to concise communication of that concept, but the purpose of this post is to make clear that there shouldn’t be any separation, any difference or distinction between “the Christian life” and the day-to-day life of a Christian.  As with the biblical picture of marriage, so in this case the two should be one.