Friday, July 22, 2011

Striving Towards Humility

Philippians 2:3 (NASB)

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.

Beginning the discussion:

“Congratulations, Peggy, on your sales today.” I had to force myself to say those words, and it was even harder to be sincere with my intentions. But I went back to my office knowing I had taken a step toward obeying God. For weeks during my quiet times, I’ve been begging God to help me regard others more important than myself—and do it with humility, no less.

Having been extremely performance based during that season of my life, I could barely function when my name didn’t appear first on the sales board at the radio station I worked for. That kind of attitude was destructive to my soul, and at the office.

I’m no longer in sales, so today when I read Philippians 2:3 I thought “what if I treated my husband with this scripture in mind?” How would that change my attitude about my husband? In what other areas of my life would hiding this verse in my heart change me?

I don’t know about you, but this is one of those scriptures that really zings me. Read it in the Amplified Bible (below) for a real zingy affect:
Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves].
What about you? Does this verse challenge you? I would love you to join in the discussion by leaving a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.

Discussions points for Philippians 2:3:
  • In what ways have you acted selfishly or in empty conceit this past week?
  • What does it mean to have “humility of mind” and how does one achieve it?
__________

To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the Biblegate.com link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The “Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Interview with Pastor Mark Wilbanks

Interview with Mark Wilbanks, Pastor of Bradfordville First Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida July 11, 2011

Do you memorize Scripture on a regular basis?

I try to. I tend to meditate to let the scripture soak in. God seems to always pull out the scriptures I need when I’m trying to make decisions or when I’m preparing teachings, etc.

As a child, I saw memorizing Scripture practiced in my family. My grandmother did it while suffering with cancer. She would rest her head on the back of the chair and quote Psalm 23. This had a big impact on me as a small boy. I could tell she was really in pain, but Scripture seemed to ease her suffering a bit.

When my mother underwent a medical procedure, the nurse was surprised to hear her quoting Scripture while she was coming out of anesthesia. The Word was obviously ingrained in her.

You know, I would rather have God’s Word dwelling in me than somebody else’s words.

What is your favorite verse or verses?

Philippians 4:19 has been my life verse ever since I was twelve years old when my dad gave me my first Bible. Before he gave me the Bible, he wrote Philippians 4:19 in it.

Psalm 119 also has a lot of meaning for me.

What method do you use when memorizing Scripture?

First, I read the passage over and over again. I take a phrase or a sentence at a time to try to get the full meaning of the Scripture.

This isn’t about being tested—it’s about what God is saying to me. You have to find a rhythm that works for you.

How has memorizing God’s Word changed you?

I have seen it get people through tough times. You can’t help but be changed when you witness God’s power change lives and hearts through His Word.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Return to Memorizing Scripture

Psalm 119:11 (Amplified)
11Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

Beginning the discussion:

My husband, Bert, and I went to bed last New Year’s Eve around 10:00. Fifteen minutes before midnight, I got up to watch Fox News. As the Times Square Ball dropped, Bill Hemmer, Megyn Kelly, and the crowds cheered welcoming another year.

In previous years, I was among those clapping and smiling (even alone on my couch) with prospects of new beginnings. However, I met this past New Year’s Eve with a real sense of regret and sadness.

That unusual response triggered many questions: Why did I feel so disheartened when 2011 reigned in? Was it mostly because I had not made the most of the previous year? How can I make the new one different? Will I allow God to use me this year? Candidly, I wasn’t optimistic and knew I had to make some changes.

One way I know how to have a different end-of-year-experience is to return to the habit of memorizing scriptures (see “About” tab). And finally(!) I’m going to do just that. I’m going to start committing God’s Word to memory one verse at a time, and begin to journal the difference it makes in my life. This practice at least presents the possibility that I’ll see growth in me during the coming months. And that gives me much encouragement.

Can you relate to my story? How would memorizing this verse help you? I would love to hear from you.

Discussion points for Psalm 119:11
  • In what ways do you want to change as you hide God’s Word in your heart?
Or, for those already memorizing scripture:
  • How has hiding God’s Word in your heart changed you?
__________

To help you memorize this verse, you can write the scripture out by hand on an index card. Or click on the Biblegate.com link to copy and paste the verse in any Bible translation you choose. The “Preparing Scripture Memory Cards” tab may also be helpful.
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