Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Word

Last night at youth I was challenged by the WORD. The service started out with the youth pastor asking us to turn in our Bibles to Ephesians 1. I did. Then this guy named John Michael walked up and while holding his Bible, started reading Ephesians 1 to us. So I followed along in my version. A few minutes later I looked up and saw that he was no longer holding his Bible, but was still reciting Ephesians 1. Then he continued on into chapter 2, then 3 and so on until he had passionately quoted the entire book of Ephesians to us. It was incredible. It was as if Paul was standing before us, making the points of his letter to Ephesus loud and clear for us to hear, understand and know well for ourselves. He wasnt boring, he wasnt monotone, he was God's mouthpeice the entire time. Everyone in the room was captivated, not by his talent, but by the power that came from the Word. Afterward he just walked off the stage and everyone started clapping. I have never seen anything like that. Then for a few minutes the youth pastor spoke about our devotion to learning scripture and how important it is to have God's Word in our hearts. John Micheal came back up and we were able to ask him how he memorized the entire passage and he shared that the process took about 2 1/2 years of meditating on it in different ways. Then he made a perfect anology between learning Scripture and making tea. Allow me to share that with you:

When you make tea you have two seperate ingredients: water and a tea bag. After the water is heated you add the tea bag. If you just dip the bag in once it doesnt do much to the water. You may have a few granuals in there but not much flavor. When you want to make tea you have to let the bag steep for awhile. It has to be dunked in several times, left to sit over time, and maybe even smashed up against the side of the cup with a spoon. You know the tea is ready when the water has changed.

When we read Scripture and just "dip" into it once in awhile, very little happens. We have to emerse ourselves in it. We need to read it often, sit with it, and mull it over and press into it. It must infiltrate our hearts. The difference will be seen in how our life changes.

He went on to say that the Word is a sword : an offensive weapon (Ephesians 6:13-18). This is a weapon that is meant to be used not against someone else but on our own sinful hearts.

After the service I was compelled to memorize Scripture. I am fortunate to have been able to read it everyday but for some reason have not made the effort to retain large portions of it. I can't imagine how much stronger I would feel when combatting the sinfulness of my heart if I had the Bible so ingrained in me that I could quote it against Satan like Jesus did in the wilderness. I am challenged by this task but out of a true devotion to His Word I must committ to applying myself to its wisdom. I hope some others will do the same.


Iz said...

Beautiful analogy. Thanks for sharing it, Bethany!

Cherie <> said...

John Michael is awesome! He and his older brother Glenn have both memorized entire books of Scripture. It's people like them that inspire others to dig deep into the Word and truly hide it in our hearts!

MOM said...

I've heard it said that we should have in memory important verses and books of the Bible that could soothe us if we could not read our Bible. What if we were thrown in prison or in a foreign country and they take away our Bible? I would be in bad shape because my memory leaks more than it retains !! I am VERY much in awe of someone who has that kind of heart. Amazing.

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