I read a story recently about a former missionary to India named Charles Hayward who died a little over a year ago at the age of 87. After retiring from ministry at the age of 73, he determined to select and memorize more of God’s word. His goal was to “finish well” with his mind full of God’s truth.
He called his project, “The Whole Bible Memorization Plan.” His children call it, “Charlie’s List.” Charles chose at least one verse from each Old Testament book, at least one from each New Testament narrative book, and a verse or verses from each chapter of the New Testament Epistles. He began with Genesis 15:6, “He believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” and ended with Revelation 22:17, “Let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
All in all, Charles committed 239 verses to memory. He reminds me of the psalmist who wrote: “Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (119:11). Like Charles, the psalmist mediated and delighted in God’s Word (vv. 15-16). What better goal could any of us have than to fill our minds with God’s truth.
Charlie’s story has inspired me to work on my own Bible memorization plan. Though not quite as ambitious, my plan is to memorize one verse a week. In my first attempt I wrote Matthew 6: 33 on an index card and stuck it in my pocket as I went for a 3 mile run. I had to use large print because I run without my glasses. It worked pretty well for the first mile, but then my oxygen deprived brain quit working. Amazingly, when my heart rate returned to normal, I could still quote the verse. So far, so good! Ask me on Sunday to see if I can still remember it.
What is your plan to “hide God’s Word” in your heart? Have a great week!
Have a great week!
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Tuesday Morning on the Run
Inspirational thoughts from Pastor Barry Lawson