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391 pages, ebook
First published September 1, 2010
In memorizing John 1:14, take time to study the entire passage, using this outline as a guide. 1. Jesus is the God who made us (1:1–3). He is God, existing from the beginning and through whom all things were made. 2. He is the life who sustains us (v. 4a). In Him was life! 3. He is the light who illumines us (vv. 4b–5). His life is our light. It shines in the darkness, and the darkness can’t overcome it. 4. He is the message who excites us (vv. 6–9). John the Baptist testified about Him, and so can we. 5. He is the Savior who redeems us (vv. 10–13). All who receive Him and who believe in His name are given the right to become children of God. 6. He is the friend who dwells among us (v. 14). He pitched His tent here and tabernacles among us. 7. He is the Lord who surpasses us (v. 15). John the Baptist said of Him, “The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.” 8. He is the Son who blesses us (vv. 16–18). No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son has revealed Him, and from the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another (v. 16 NIV).
Scripture memory is our most powerful tool in changing our habits of thought, and the internalized truths of God’s Word keep us mentally healthy. It’s the greatest secret I know to personal resiliency. It molds our thoughts, and our thoughts shape our lives; for as we think in our hearts, so we are.
Bible verses, committed to memory and applied by the Holy Spirit, are the most powerful medications in the whole world. They’re a balm for sore hearts, an elixir for low spirits, an immunization for bad habits, a booster shot of high spirits, a pick-me-up for dreary days, and a stimulant for positive nerves.
When you’ve memorized Genesis 1:1; John 1:1; 1:14; and 3:16, you have the entire Bible in the palm of your hand. These verses are the four corners of God’s Word.
Only three people in the history of the world have been perfect and sinless, and the first two didn’t stay that way—Adam and Eve. That leaves only Jesus Himself. No one else can ever gain access into God’s presence or eternal life on the basis of one’s own perfections or righteous efforts. We have all sinned and have fallen short of the requirements of God’s glory. We can never be reconciled to God by trying to live a good life, for we are intrinsically, internally sinful; and nothing sinful can exist in the blazing holiness of God’s presence and perfections. Only when we realize this can we fully appreciate what Christ has done for us.
With the possible exception of John 3:16, no other text in Scripture better sums up all sixty-six books and thirty-one thousand verses of the Bible. [Romans 6:23] This is the ultimate Reader’s Digest version of God’s Word. Notice the way the verse is balanced between its two clauses: The wages of sin is death. The gift of God is eternal life.
Beware of getting alone with your own thoughts. Get alone with God’s thoughts. There is danger in rummaging through waste and barren desert-thoughts that can be labeled—daydreaming or worse. Don’t meditate upon yourself but dwell upon God. . . . Make this a built-in habit of daily living.
Little verses, little truths, little insights, shared spontaneously, memorized in the family circle—this is the most powerful technique we have in raising our children in the fear and nurture of the Lord.
If you were a sentence, what mark of punctuation would follow you? Is your life a question mark because you’re without answers? A comma because you’re in transition? A period for everything’s at a standstill? Or a dash because you’re in a continual rush? This verse can put an exclamation point to our lives. [1 Peter 1:3]