Tuesday, February 11, 2020

What can your Bible’s pages help you remember?

Which verses in your Bible have you underlined or highlighted? Look over a few and ask yourself why those are special to you.

Try to remember: Why and how did they speak to your heart? During which event or era were those verses your delight? Or your instruction? Or your only hope?

God longs for us to remember the amazing things He has done (Psalm 105:5), but too often we forget.

Mike Metzger writes,
“Many churches have forgotten the premium
that the historic Judeo-Christian tradition placed on remembrance . . .
and recalling the right things.
The ‘great sin’ of the Old Testament
was forgetfulness
(at least it’s the most recurrent offense).
Remember’ is the most frequent command
in the Old Testament.”
(Mike Metzger, Clapham Memo, 
January 19, 2007, “Back and Forth”)

Look through your Bible and notice the Bible verses you cherished in the past, and remember those verses that changed your life, passages you held onto in dark times, verses that made you fall down in worship—and those that buoyed you in your everyday happenings.

Stories that go with those verses could provide good material for your memoir.

One day I spent half an hour looking through an old Bible, one I used from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s. Reading underlined passages sent me back to the ministries I had during those years, and to specific locales, and they reminded me of people and issues and heartbreaks and joys.

Reading them again also reminded me God was always there in the midst, working out His best, even if I didn’t know it at the time.

Below are a few of the verses highlighted in my old Bible. Perhaps in reading them, you, too, will discover story ideas of your own.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

Above all else, guard your heart. . . . (Proverbs 4:23)

All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. . . . I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God. (Psalm 38:9, 15)

Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind. (Psalm 25:2)

God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering. (Genesis 41:52)

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done. . . . (Genesis 50:20)

You are the light of the world. . . . Let your light shine . . . . (Matthew 5:14, 16)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

I have seen the misery of my people. . . .  I have heard them crying. . . . I am concerned about their suffering. . . . I have come down to rescue them. (Exodus 3:7-8)

When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshipped. (Exodus 4:31)

Now you will see what I will do. . . . Then you will know that I am the Lord your God. (Exodus 6:1-7)

The Lord kept vigil that night. . . . (Exodus 12:42)

I will sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted. . . .
The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him. 
(Exodus 15:1-2)

I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. (Exodus 19:4)

In all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)

Therefore, I urge you . . . in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:1-2)

Denise Beck writes that when she takes her Bible’s crinkled pages and spends quiet time alone with God, “He meets me in a new way. He teaches me and transforms me, and those places and spaces are heavy with the stories He showed me. Stories of who He is. Stories of who I am.  Stories of who I am in Him.”

Take a few days to go through your Bible
and find passages you cherish,
verses that changed you,
verses that helped you make decisions,
passages you held onto in dark times,
verses that made you bow down in worship.

Include verses that nurtured you
through your everyday routines
and those that delighted you with joy.

Then write your stories—
stories of who He is, who you are,
and who you are in Him.

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