Spiritual Development

Give An Unexpected Gift This Year

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“Do you think God had been preparing you, through scripture memory, for our encounter months before it happened?”

At the end of last year, God had laid on my heart to memorize the entire book of 1 Peter.  Using the Extended Approach to Scripture Memory and some prayer warriors praying for me, I was able to memorize the book in about five months.  It was in the middle of saying 1 Peter for 180 days straight when the encounter my friend was asking me about occurred.  I shared with my friend that God is always preparing us for encounters to share the gospel and pray with people, and because I was in the middle of scripture memory, I did not think it was disconnected at all.  However, this particular experience was like no other, and my friend’s question had me thinking.

As I thought through the encounter in light of scripture memory, God brought to my mind another experience this year when I was in Uganda.  It too was like no other I had experienced the past four times I have been.  God had placed in my heart months before to memorize Romans 5-12.  Tremendous resistance occurred when I tried to memorize those chapters, and I only succeeded in getting halfway through chapter 6 when we left.  One day when I was out on the trail with my translator, the unforgettable event occurred.  In a few short words, shrine, witchcraft, stoning, and God’s Word, burn the experience in my mind forever.  Without going into the whole story, what struck me about the encounter was that God had been preparing me through scripture memory to face what I didn’t even know I was going to be facing.

These two experiences were dramatic in the sense that they were what some might consider fanatical or only happening in the Bible.  One of the correlations is that I had been or was in the process of memorizing large chunks of scripture.  While God does use us and prepares us as we read and study His word and spend time in prayer with Him, I am wondering how much more “dramatic,” if you will, God could use us if we were more diligent to hide His Word in our hearts?

Buying the perfect gift for that special someone is often the focus this time of year.  But could it be that scripture memory might be part of the most significant gift we give this season?  Could it be God desires for us to spend greater time hiding His Word in our hearts so that we are ready for Him to use us dramatically to affect someone’s life for eternity instead of shopping in the malls?  My friend’s life was changed for eternity earlier this year and the gospel went into an extremely dark area in Uganda this summer because of scripture memory.  How will the gift you give this year affect those you encounter?

 

 

P.S.  I too am challenged once again to begin memorizing scripture.  Will you be joining me?  Let me know in the comments, and you can be sure I will be praying for you!!

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