karate kid

hi ya'll!  oops, sorry, the effects of that trip to nashville still linger....

anyway, i was going through some things over at our office the other day and i came across this book that i wrote a devotional for a while back called 'behind the music'.  it's a book that is a compilation of short devotionals written by various christian musicians and artists.  i thought i would share mine with you since, as i re-read it, i was convicted/inspired by what i wrote.  convicted because i haven't done the best job of memorizing scripture lately and inspired to do better:

as a kid, i remember being rewarded for memorizing scripture verses.  we got 'Bible Bucks'.  we got points toward a camp scholarship.  we got applause when we recited them in front of the congregation on sunday night.  yes, you could easily consider this bribery. what we, the kids, didn't realize was that we were being doubly rewarded.  we received our bucks, points and applause, yes, but we also received valuable knowledge and the beginnings of wisdom with each memorized verse.  the act of committing a verse or passage of the Bible to memory means becoming so well acquainted with a thought , a value, a concept, an idea, a command, that it becomes cemented in your mind.  so much so, that when the time comes for that idea or command to be put into action, it's immediately accessible.  okay, by way of example...and i realize i'm totally dating myself here... but have you seen the movie 'Karate Kid'??  well, in the movie Daniel is taught a number of karate skills without his knowing it, through the teaching of washing and waxing the cars, sanding the floor and painting the fence.  he is so irritated by the fact that he's been doing chores instead of learning karate, that he loses his temper and explodes at Mr. Miyagi, his wise and knowledgeable teacher.  Mr. Miyagi responds with a series of punches and blocks that Daniel is able to defend, and is pleasantly surprised at his ability to do so.  turns out, he's been training all along.  memorizing scripture can have this effect as well.  we learn them, memorize them, and when the time comes (ie; when we are faced with temptation, weakness, sadness, fear), we are able to combat those things with the Word of God as our strength.

the Bible says in Psalm 119:11(NIV)  "i have hidden your word in my heart that i might not sin against you".   God speaks to us through his word.  if we don't know his word how can we know what to do and what not to do?  the Bible is a source of strength and power.  in Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) it says "... the Word of God is living and active.  sharper than a two-edged sword..."  in Ephesians 6 (NIV) the word is referred to as "the sword of the Spirit", part of an armor that must be put on.  i think these references to weapons and armor signify the fact that we are in a battle!  we are pursued by an enemy that wants nothing more than our destruction.  John 10:10 says "...the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy."   we must fight!!  and the way we fight is by the spirit, with the WORD.

the first step is to get out your Bible and begin to read it. as you come across verses that speak to you, inspire you, motivate you or convict you, write them down.  i like to write things more than once, in different places.  for instance i might write the verses down in my journal, and then transfer them one by one onto small cards that i can tuck into my purse or pocket.  one idea is to choose one verse to learn and memorize each week.  just keep reading it until you can recite it by memory.  repeat it to yourself as often as you think of it.  before long you'll have a collection (an arsenal, if you will) of verses, both written on paper and on your heart, that you can draw from whenever you need them.

be encouraged that God knows exactly what you need to hear and when you need to hear it.  he will faithfully speak to you through his Word as you faithfully seek him.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9, James 1:22, Colossians 3:16