Take Time to Remember

Today’s reading: Proverbs 3:1-8

Today’s focal verse: Proverbs 3:1

Today’s focus: Remembering what we’ve learned

This week’s memory verse: 
Proverbs2memoryverse

This morning, as I was thinking over my spiritual goals and what I’ve learned through Proverbs 1-3, I was tempted to add more to my goal list. After all, if I’m developing a habit for Scripture memorization, why not also develop goals and habits for cleaning, and exercise, and diet, and … 😉

They say most people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after three weeks. I suspect one of the reasons for this is people set unrealistic expectations and overload themselves with too much change without giving themselves time to really develop new habits. This is why I am purposefully going quite slow through my Proverbs reading. I know if I attempt to make too many changes too quickly, if I focus on too many things without giving myself time to really absorb what I’ve already learned, I’ll likely fail. So today, I’m going to really pray about and meditate on what God has already shown me. As you read the following devotional, written by Beth Farley, I suggest you do the same. 🙂

GE DIGITAL CAMERABeth Ann Farley is a dear friend of mine and one of our Yahoo Bible Study group members. She is married with three grown children. She lives in Kansas City, MO where she serves as librarian. She loves to read, write, decorate and spend as much time as possible outside with her Peek-A-Poo. Beth is a lover of the Lord. “He is my-everything and I can’t start a day without visiting with Him.” Beth came to know the Lord when she was 30 years old and has served Him on committee’s such as Missions Outreach, Local Missions, Diaconate Committee, Youth Committee, and was a church secretary for several years. Beth loves Women’s Bible Studies, has hosted several in each one of her homes that she has lived in and has led a few as well. Beth is now taking time in life to move forward with her writing in whatever way God directs her.

Visit her online at: http://firsthalfday1.wordpress.com/

Proverbs 3:1 NLT
My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart, for they will give a long and satisfying life.
My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep from my commands (HCSB).

Many years ago I was called to home-school my children. I had no idea what I was doing other than being obedient to God’s calling.

I began each day with reading, writing and memorizing scripture with my kids and then giving them some time to reflect in their journals. That was the most rewarding time of my life, not only being with my children, teaching them my values but knowing I was being totally obedient to God.

The above verse is one that I remember so well because in teaching my kids the Ten Commandments, I also tied in Proverbs 3:1. I explained to my kids that you can’t have the Ten Commandments without remembering what God has taught you. You can’t have the Ten Commandments without storing them in your heart. We can memorize scripture all we want but if we don’t store them in our hearts with God’s commands then it’s just a scripture memory challenge.

What do you think? Can you memorize scripture without storing God’s commands in your heart?

How do you encourage the believer who appears to be keeping the commands that might be very ill or has lost a job or loved one about living a long and satisfying life?

In joining this group, I am really challenging myself to really take the scriptures and not only memorize but meditate and applying them to my daily life.

***

What about you? What has God shown you this week? Are you applying what you’ve learned? How might He want you to do just that *today.* Find some time today to prayerfully consider this, then write down a few thoughts.

Here are some questions to ponder as you write:
1) How has your relationship with God grown this week?
2) Have you noticed a difference in your attitude? Do you feel more at peace? More joyful?
3) Do you find yourself thinking of God and the things of God more throughout the day?

On January first, we talked about discipline and creating routines. (You can read Jan. 1st’s devo here.) What new routine have you created in an effort to become more disciplined? I’m working on memorizing Scripture, and in my effort to do so, have begun reciting my week’s memory verse as I cook dinner.

One of our Yahoo group members mentioned time was a big limiting factor for her, and she suggested multi-tasking as a way to solve this. I think this is true for most of us. Thinking of the benefits of establishing a routine, I’d like to propose a few suggestions. I suggest you choose *one* to try. By choosing one new activity rather than many, there’s a higher probability this will stick and become habit.

1. Make your shower time your prayer time. If you need help remembering to do this, attach a sticky note to the outside of your shower door with the reminder to pray. Or, if Scripture memorization is your goal, use packing tape to attach a notecard with your verse either in your shower or bathroom mirror. (where it won’t get wet. 🙂 Or you could perhaps use dry erase marker, lipstick, or something else that will easily come off to write the verse directly on the shower glass or wall. As you shower or get ready, recite the verse aloud a few times.

2. This suggestion is similar to the first. Is there a mundane/mindless task you complete each day? Make that your prayer or verse memorization time.

3. Program alerts in your phone, perhaps to go off over your lunch break or every three hours. If your goal is to be more consistent with prayer, pause to pray for five or ten minutes (whatever is manageable for you), whenever the alert goes off. If your goal is verse memorization, pause to recite the verse three times when the alarm goes off.

If you do this enough times, they should become habit, with your heart reminding you to do the action.

On January 2nd, we talked about seeking and waiting for God’s wisdom. You can read the post here. In our Yahoo Bible study group, we also talked about “doing life” with God, or, in other words, of being conscious of His presence, talking to Him throughout the day, and asking Him to align our thoughts, hearts, and will with His.

And today, we are remembering all we’ve learned as we seek to live out God’s truths. We will be camping out in Proverbs 3 for a while–through Jan. 10th, to be exact. I encourage you to read this chapter each morning over the next couple of days, allowing it to really sink in. I also encourage you, when you have time, to go back and review chapters 1-2. Keep a notebook at hand and jot down thoughts that arise as you read.

Let’s talk about this! You can share your thoughts in the comments below or in our Yahoo Bible Study group. We can continue this discussion in the comments below or at our Yahoo Bible study/verse memorization group:
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Strolling Through Proverbs ~ Day One

StrollingThroughProverbsToday’s Reading: Proverbs 1

Today’s focal verse/passage:
These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair (NLT).

This week’s memory verse: Proverbs 2:7-8 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him (NLT).
Proverbs2memoryverse

Today’s focus: Discipline

If you read my last post, you know I plan to read through Proverbs, focusing on one application each day. I know I won’t do this perfectly, and I’m sure come March, I’ll have forgotten quite a bit of my well-intentioned efforts. And yet, even so, I believe I’ll experience growth and hopefully, the habit of daily seeking to align my will, my thoughts, and my actions with God.

The Bible tells us, if we’re believers, we have been given the mind of Christ. Stop and think about that for a moment. We have been given the mind of the Creator, with access to His wisdom and guidance. Whatever problem we’ll face, He already knows the answer. And more than anything, He longs to guide us into peaceful, joyful, and wise thinking.

But to get there, I believe we’ll need to develop a bit of discipline, and, according to Proverbs 1:1-3, studying Proverbs will help us in that regard.

These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair (NLT).

Do you wish you had more discipline? That you could make a goal, determine steps for reaching that goal, and actually carry out those steps. Consistently?

I hope this passage provides encouragement, then, because it implies that discipline can be taught. And if it can be taught, it can be learned.

They say it takes 30 days of consistency to develop a habit. What spiritual habit would you like to develop this month and what steps are you going to take to make that happen?

My goal is to memorize one verse or passage each week. This week I’m working on Proverbs 2:7-8 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him (NLT).

In order to memorize this verse, I will:

*Repeat it out loud five times a day
*Pray it, asking God to help me memorize it and to live it out.
*Write it at least once a day

Would you like to join me? If not with this passage, perhaps another one God has laid on your heart?

I’ve found I do better when I enlist others to help me–to hold me accountable. Because of this, I’ve started a yahoo Bible study and verse memorization group where we can discuss passages we’ve read, encourage each other to consistently work towards Scripture memorization, and talk about how God is using the verse or passage in our lives.

We’d love to have you join us!


Click to join ProverbsStudy

Click to join ProverbsStudy

A few questions to ponder and discuss:

1. Often, our mindset determines our success. Meaning, if we continually tell ourselves we hate exercise, we likely will struggle sticking with a work-out program. To grow spiritually, I believe we need discipline. When you think of the word discipline, what normally comes to mind? Does the thought of developing spiritual discipline excite or intimidate you? If it intimidates you, how might you start to change your way of thinking?

2. I find it interesting “disciplined” and “successful lives” are linked together in verse 3. In what ways does living a disciplined life increase a person’s chance for success? When have you found this to be true? Meaning, when have you been disciplined in something and what was the result?

3. I believe routines increase a person’s chance for goal-reaching success. For example, often, I’ll recite Scripture while walking on the treadmill. Because this has become a regular activity, (when I walk, that is. 😉 ), now, my mind associates the walking with Scripture reading, so, when I begin to walk, it is almost automatic for me to begin to think of the things of God. (I also keep verses and my prayer list on a note card on the treadmill.) Another routine I established when my daughter was young was to read my Bible first thing, while she was still asleep. (There were many times this required setting my alarm. 🙂 ) Now, I’ve come to associate my morning coffee with my morning Bible reading time. What routine can you establish today in order to reach a spiritual goal?

4. What verse/verses stuck out to you as you read through Proverbs 1? How do you plan to live that out today?

5. As a mom, I’m always conscious of how my actions affect my daughter. I’m painfully aware that everything I do creates habits–for her–either positive or negative. How can we, as parents, help our children develop disciplined lives?

Happy New Year, and may you grow ever closer to the God of all wisdom today as you seek to live a life that pleases Him.

Come back tomorrow for another passage, devo, and application.