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Once in a while, often by chance, we record a moment of creative genius. Someone says something unique or comes up with a life-changing idea, and we instinctively grab for a pen or a cell phone. “Hold that thought!” we say. “Someone write that down!” We describe such moments as capturing “lightning in a bottle.”

Have you ever thought that in the Bible, we have God’s lightning in a book? The Bible is alive with the life of God. When you read it, don’t you have the rather unnerving sense that Someone else is reading you? The psalmist states: “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Ps. 119:11). Can you imagine anything more powerful, more life-changing than capturing such a book in your heart? Think of what happens when we do.

The power of God enters our hearts. The book of God begins with a display of effortless, verbal omnipotence. God’s word obliterates the status quo. When He speaks, nothing remains the same; everything changes. With a word, God brings forth the dimensions of space, the beginning of time, the hummingbird’s blurring wings, the heart of the blue whale—which, by the way, is the size of a small car and pumps nearly sixty gallons of blood with every stroke. With His words, God also made the stars. What might happen if you hid such power in your heart?

The life of God enters our hearts. By nature, we are beyond sick; we are dead in sin. Salvation brings new life, a new birth into the soul. This comes, Peter says, through the living and abiding Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). James affirms the same: “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth” (James 1:18, emphasis added). The verb that James uses denotes the birthing of new life. If you want to nourish the life of God in your soul, memorize Scripture.

The Son of God enters our hearts. Referencing God’s first creative act (Gen. 1:3), Paul declares, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6, emphasis added). In other words, if the generation of the first creation comes through the spoken word of God, the regeneration of the new creation in the hearts of God’s people comes through the living Word of God as well (John 1:1–14). If you want Jesus in your heart, hide His Word there (Col. 3:16).

When we pray Scripture back to God, we derive the double benefit of hearing God speak to us in the very moment that we speak to Him.

The mind of God enters our hearts. I sometimes say to my congregation that if you want to live in a way that you have never lived before, you must come to think in a way that you have never thought before. Simply put: a renewed mind transforms your life (Rom. 12:2). Imagine that your mind is like a pair of gloves, and your thoughts are the hands that fill them. If it’s cold in the sanctuary and your pianist wears a pair of gloves, what beautiful music she will make through them. But if a baboon sits down at the piano wearing the same pair of gloves, what a dreadful cacophony there will be. So it is with your mind. Fill your brain with the mind of God (1 Cor. 2:16), with thoughts that lead to godliness (Phil. 4:8).

The holiness of God enters our hearts. As Jesus said in His great High Priestly Prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). God’s Word has the power to change a person from the inside out. “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul [literally, causing the soul to repent]; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Ps. 19:7). What rules the mind rules the life (see Josh. 1:8).

When we pray, we speak to God. So far, so good. But when we pray Scripture back to God, we derive the double benefit of hearing God speak to us in the very moment that we speak to Him. This can serve only to deepen the faith of all who hear, including ours (Rom. 10:17). Furthermore, when our prayers are filled with God’s Word, they are most likely to be in line with His will.

Some practical advice. Spend fifteen minutes each day memorizing Scripture and you will revolutionize your spiritual life. This spiritual habit holds great promise. Where to start? Begin by memorizing one new section of Scripture each week. One to four verses is a feasible portion. Recite this every day for seven weeks. At the end of seven weeks, recite these verses once a week for seven months. Then after seven months, recite them once a month for seven years. At the end of seven years, you can stop reviewing this passage; it will be imprinted on your mind forever. At the end of seven weeks, while you will continue adding a new passage each week to your daily list, one old passage will cycle off onto the weekly list. Thus you will never have more than seven short sections of Scripture to review every day. Once a week, you will have a busier day when you do your weekly review. The same will be true once a month when it comes to your monthly review. I like to do my weekly and monthly reviews on a Saturday when I have more time.

I leave you with a gem from Charles H. Spurgeon: “Here is the best thing,—‘Thy word;’ hidden in the best place,—‘in my heart;’ for the best of purposes,—‘that I might not sin against Thee.’”

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