I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free! Psalm 119:32, NIV1984

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Very Best New Year's Resolution

The best resolution for a new year?  The best new habit to form?

It's the only New Year's resolution I've ever kept.

But I succeeded in keeping it only after failing first... after standing in front of the class I was teaching and challenging them to join me in memorizing the entire book of Colossians... and then making it through only seven verses of the first chapter.

And that nagging sense of failure haunted me for years.

But in January of 2010, when Ann issued that same challenge... to memorize the entire book of Colossians... she did it in a way that we all could manage:  Memorize Colossians in a year, just two verses a week.

Just two verses a week?!  I could do that!

There was a clear plan.  There was a start, a finish, a goal.  There were deadlines to keep me on track. And I could prepare the whole project in advance so I wouldn't scramble and flounder in the middle when days became busy and life got crazy.

So I printed the verses, pasted them in a little book of blank pages... sent off an email to a friend I knew would join me in the challenge... and memorized my way through the entire book of Colossians that year.

And then I just kept going... kept memorizing...


Well... for the same reason the psalmist recorded in Psalm 119:11.
"I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

And because, if I'm going to be faithful to do as the Lord instructs us through Paul in his letter to the Colossians, to "set (my) mind on things above and not on earthly things..." then I'm going to have to have "things above" already tucked into the corners of my mind and hidden in the caverns of my heart.

In this dark and broken and hurting world, I'll only succeed in thinking about "what is true, what is noble, what is right, what is pure, what is lovely... " if I am making a habit of rehearsing, reciting, and remembering those true and noble things in the midst of the mess, the mundane, and the menial.

And when I face a mountain in the path before me?
I'll not say to it, "Be moved!" unless I have faith.
And what is recorded in the letter to the Romans?
"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God!" (emphasis mine)

So I'm resolving this year, like last year and the year before that, to hide God's Word in my heart.  It's the surest way to succeed in my goal to remain.

Want to join me in this challenge, this resolve to hide God's Word in my heart?  Do it!  You won't regret it!  God has promised us that His Word will not go out and return void.  If you sow the seed of His Word in your life, you can trust Him to make it grow.  He will make it bear fruit!

Not sure how to get started?
Here are a couple of links that may help:

Ann Voskamp is memorizing chapters 1, 8, and 11 of Romans this year.  She has provided printable Scripture memory pages and lots of links to help you along.  There's also a link to last year's "Memorize the Mount" plan, as well as to the "Colossians in a Year" plan.  Click here for details.

Beth Moore has a fabulous plan for memorizing two verses each month.  Choose the verse and the version you prefer and log your verses on her blog twice a month for accountability, encouragement, and fun.  Click here for details.

And what am I memorizing this year?  I'm starting with John 15, as I strive to remain firmly rooted in Him.  Then I'll memorize Romans 8.  And, Lord willing, I'll finish the year with 2 Corinthians 4.

Want to join me?  Jump in!  Whether you do the Romans Project with Ann, two verses a month with Beth, or a plan of your own... just do this thing!  Hide God's Word in your heart that it might bear fruit in your life!

It's a New Year's Resolution worth making... and you just might find yourself keeping it every year!

Remain in me, and I will remain in you...
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
you may ask for anything...
John 15:4, 7 NLT

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