Bob Tamasy: ’Hiding The Word’ In Your Heart

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Do you know your home address? How about your phone number? What about your Social Security number? If you’re a football fan, do you know the star players on your favorite team? Can you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, or sing the words to the Star-Spangled Banner?

I ask those questions because I’ve often heard people say, “Oh, I can’t memorize.” That’s the excuse they use for not trying to memorize passages from the Bible. But the truth is, if something is important enough to us, we can memorize it. A more critical question is, “Does the Word of God mean enough to you to want to try committing some of it to memory?”

More than 30 years ago, I would have counted myself among the “can’t memorize” crowd. The idea of memorizing a verse from the Scriptures seemed daunting. Until I attended a conference at our church and the speaker offered a shortcut.

He asked who in attendance had tried memorizing anything from the Bible, and some hands went up. Then he responded, “Okay, for those of you who didn’t raise your hands, I’m going to show you that you can memorize Scripture.” He proceeded to take us to 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and said, “Here’s your verse: ‘Pray without ceasing.’”

I thought, “That’s it? Three words?” That was it, although the speaker suggested we also commit to memory the “address” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17. That way, if we ever needed to refer to the verse, we could find it in the Bible.

But the speaker wasn’t finished. “Now that you’ve learned that verse – three words – look at the verse preceding it: ‘Rejoice always.’” That was 1 Thessalonians 5:16. So in about a minute’s time, we had two verses in our memory bank, five words in all. Finally, he pointed us to one other verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, which says, “In everything give thanks.” Much tougher to learn – four words!

That wasn’t so bad. Three consecutive verses, “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks.” My adventure in committing passages of Scripture to heart had begun.

But why even bother memorizing Bible verses? The goal isn’t to show how “holy” or religious we are. This isn’t about spiritual one-upmanship, showing off for a fellow believer. It’s about doing as King David wrote in Psalm 119:9,11 – “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word…. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Remember the ‘WWJD” fad of years ago, “What Would Jesus Do?” Not a bad question to ask in principle, but I often wondered, how can we know what Jesus would do if we’ve not read and memorized from the Bible what Jesus did?

Of course, most of the passages in the Bible are more than two, three or four words long. It takes effort and practice to memorize them, but I’ve found doing so much more rewarding than I could have imagined when I started. About that time I joined a small group Bible study that required memorizing a number of verses. We had built-in accountability, since every week we had to recite to one another the verses we had learned over the past week.

I can’t tell you how many times this practice has come in handy, whether sharing some truths from the Scriptures with a friend, talking with a non-believer about my faith, or trying to get God’s perspective about an important decision I needed to make.

For instance, a longer passage I learned became my “life verse,” one I reflect on often: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Recently a friend who is dealing with an advanced stage of cancer shared this verse, explaining how it comforts her as she faces an uncertain future.

A similar passage, Isaiah 26:3, affirms the confidence we can have as followers of Jesus: “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.” Like a handyman being able to turn and instantly grab the right tool from the toolbox, having verses like this safely stored in our memory bank is a great source of comfort and assurance.

Even if there’s not a Bible readily available – as is often the case – we can have the Word of God accessible for our use in the proverbial “blink of an eye.” So the next time you come across a verse or passage that seems particularly meaningful to you, why not try memorizing it? You might need it again sometime.

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


"Ramp It Up" Is Sermon Topic At Metro Tab Church On Sunday

Dr. Steve Ball, senior pastor, will discuss the topic "Ramp It Up" at Metropolitan Tabernacle Church on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. The Music Ministry is led by Rob Alley and Metro Praise. The Children's Pastor Olivia Aziz and staff will host kids in the Metro Kidz Church. The church is at 2101 West Shepherd Road. You can also view live on Facebook or at  www.metrotab.net ... (click for more)

Mitch McClure To Speak On "Go: We've Got To Get Out Of This Place" On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God at 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "Go: We've Got To Get Out Of This Place" in the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday.  Pastor Mitch McClure will lead the congregation in a time of worship, and prayer on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Sunday school classes are available for all ... (click for more)

Charles Pipkens, Lajeromeney Brown Arrested In Series Of Violent Home Invasions In Which Robbers Posed As Police

Chattanooga Police have arrested Charles Dijon Pipkens and Lajeromeney Brown in connection with a series of violent home invasions in which the suspects told their victims they were Chattanooga Police officers.. Pipkens, 27, was charged in an Aug. 11 case and Brown, 40, in an incident on Sept. 19. Pipkens, of 434 N. Hickory St., is charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, ... (click for more)

Fairyland PTO Says It Can't Get Help From Walker County Schools And Board For Cafeteria Woes

Officials of the Fairyland Elementary School PTO said in recent months, the Fairyland Elementary School cafeteria "has effectively been shut down due to equipment (which broke in June) and consequent staffing issues." The group said, "As it stands now, all food is 'satellited' in from Ridgeland High School to Fairyland Elementary School for all meals including breakfast, lunch ... (click for more)

Drink Up, Chattanooga

I attended the meeting to discuss the placement of the sewage treatment plant at the Cambridge Center in Ooltewah today. My problem with the meeting (aka) dog and pony show, is that the meeting started out with the agenda of the Ooltewah Community Council.  After living in this area for 45+ years I have never heard of this group.  I would like for someone to answer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

The reviews are good after we initiated “The Funny Video of the Week” but today let me take the liberty of sharing an oldie that I consider the funniest of all time. Please be aware the principals are speaking Polish, which you also need to know makes not a bit of difference. I have watched “The Polish Spoon Trick” at least 50 times because every time I watch the video it makes ... (click for more)