“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” – Joshua 1:8
In October 1998, Scott Hagwood of Fayetteville, North Carolina was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. A few months later, the 40-year-old chemical engineer had his thyroid removed. Scott soon learned that losing his thyroid might cause him to lose some cognitive abilities.
“I always felt I wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer anyway,” he said. So he picked up some books on memorization techniques, hoping it would also help him commit scripture passages to memory. Soon he became quite proficient at memorization. A lay reader in his church, he was able to memorize a scripture passage quickly and not read it in front of the congregation.
Then it occurred to him that his motivation might be misdirected. “I had to ask, ‘Am I reciting this for God’s glory or for me?'” he said. When he hesitated with his answer, Hagwood quickly decided to start reading the scripture. That attitude has characterized Hagwood’s faith journey over the past two years.
Scott has won the national memory championship for the past two years. He believes his memory feats have helped strengthen his faith. He plans to teach a seminar at church this winter to help people learn how to memorize scripture. “Basically, what you’re doing is personalizing it,” he said.
God’s Word is useful for strengthening, comforting, and guiding us. When we memorize it and meditate upon it, it can change us to become more like Christ. Today in prayer, choose a verse and memorize it and then meditate upon it so Christ may receive the glory.
“Like Joseph storing up grain during the years of plenty to be used during the years of famine that lay ahead, may we store up the truths of God’s Word in our hearts as much as possible, so that we are prepared for whatever suffering we are called upon to endure.” – Billy Graham
God’s Word: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.” – Deuteronomy 6:6
By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2003, Devotional E-Mail DEVOTIONS IN JOSHUA, JUDGES AND RUTH [email protected]