The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil; for you are with me;
your rod and your staff – they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Growing up in the church, I can recall countless Vacation Bible School experiences and Sunday School classes where we, as students, were tasked with memorizing a piece of scripture. Usually, we were provided with the memory verse. On that rare occasion when we got to pick our own verse, I always tried to be clever and pick John 11:35 (“Jesus wept.”) since it was the shortest verse in the Bible.
As an adult, my favorite passage that I have committed to memory is Psalm 23. It has a special place in my heart as it has been an important passage in a number of life’s meaningful moments. Loli and I have taught our girls this passage and I’m pretty sure they have it memorized by now as well. It is a verse that captures images of God as a shepherd as One who watches over me, who protects and provides, who guides me at all times of life, and who is always with me.
Today, I invite you to memorize a piece of scripture. Consider a passage that is meaningful to you and your faith journey. It doesn’t have to be a long narrative. It can be something short, like a part of a Psalm. You’d be surprised how many lyrics from praise songs and hymns (that you likely already know by heart) are right out of the Bible.
If you already have a passage that you have committed to memory, think about why it is important to you. Why have you remembered it all these years? Do you recall why you memorized it in the first place?
It is good for us to keep God’s word close to our hearts, so that we may be guided by the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
Holy God, thank You for the gift of Your Word. We thank You for providing us with an incredible tool to guide us in our daily lives. Help us to remember Your words to us and to be led by Your Spirit. In Your name we pray, Amen.