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  • Candice Watters

Memorize for Renewal and Faith (Joshua 1:9)


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

This first verse of 2023 offers mighty comfort on the eve of a new year full of uncertainties and unknowns. God knows what lies ahead. And His presence with us, whatever may come, is what gives us hope.


In order to live with the comfort of God’s presence, we must know His promises. That begins with reading them. Early January is a good time to renew your commitment to reading the Bible regularly, daily. As you set goals for the new year–eat better, invest in relationships, develop a skill–consider the inestimable worth of memorizing Scripture. God’s Word is the way to spiritual strength.


The Word of God is powerful; it generates new life: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). And God, in His kindness, instructs us to let His Word dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16). We do that by memorizing.


When verses are in your head you can mull over them when you’re not in your prayer chair or in front of your Bible. For me, that’s when I’m chopping vegetables and making dinner. Wherever you practice your verses–in the car, in line at the store, while brushing your teeth–the Word moves from mind to heart where God uses it to keep you from sin, guide your steps (Psalm 32:8), protect you from harm (Psalm 18:30), and confirm His promises to you.


This year, Hebrews 12:1-2 will exhort us to lay aside the sin that clings so closely by looking to Jesus. One way we do that is by reading, knowing, and loving His Word. As you take up the challenge of memorizing the Set 3 passages this year, or reviewing them for a second or third time, embrace the comfort of knowing that the One who is with us always made the heavens (Psalm 96:9-10) and forgives our sins (Isaiah 43:25). Receive the instructions for growing in Christian character and bearing the family resemblance as one adopted by God (Romans 12:14-16). And commit afresh to walking in love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).


What better activity to commit to in 2023 than memorizing this mighty Word?


Without it, we are in danger. In a day when few if any moments are calm or quiet, when smartphones, tablets, and personal devices buzz and notify without end, it's treacherous to not have God's Word at the ready. This year’s verses will remind us that the cross is folly to the world (1 Corinthians 1:18), that suffering loss is as nothing compared to gaining Christ (Philippians 3:7-8), that God gives strong help to those who are blameless (2 Chronicles 16:9), that He is good and forgiving (Psalm 86:5), and that He is trustworthy (Psalm 37:5-8).


Whatever lies ahead in the coming months, we will surely benefit from these faith-building promises. As we make plans for spiritual diligence and growth in the year ahead, may the Lord make us worthy of His calling and fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in us, and we in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).

 

For Reflection

  1. What are you most looking forward to, and what are you least excited about, in 2023? How does God's promise to be with you wherever you go comfort and encourage you as you embark on a new year?

  2. Do you have plans for reading through the Bible in 2023? If not, consider following one of these helpful guides from Ligonier Ministries or the Discipleship Journal plan that John Piper recommends.

 

Candice Watters serves Truth78 by editing the FighterVerses blog, and most recently, overseeing the creation of the new Fighter Verses Churchwide Kit. She is married to Steve Watters, Truth78's director of marketing and resource development. She is mom to Harrison, Zoe, Churchill, and Teddy and co-author with Steve of Start Your Family: Inspiration for Having Babies. The Watterses love helping parents learn how to disciple their children.


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