WARNING: SHARPER THAN ANY DOUBLE EDGE SWORD
John 5 verse 39
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life”
Over the last year many changes have happened in the lives of the Mullaney Pilgrims. (Makes me think that it is time for an update perhaps) For today I want to just stick with one of the changes in my own pilgrimage in a return to scripture memory. There are many scriptures that encourage us to hide the Word in our heart (Psalm 119;11), sharpen our Sword (Ephesians 6;17) understand that these words of the Lord are alive, active and sharper than any two edged sword (Heb 4;12), meditate on the Law day and night(Josh 1;8 Ps 1;2) and then the oral tradition that was more common in the days when the New Testament was being written. Even in John 5 Jesus himself is saying that the Scriptures bear witness about me and to grow in our knowledge of Him urges me on even more to have the Words written on my heart and my mind because I want to know this dear Savior and Lord of mine more fully. Growing in knowledge is deepening my love for Him and for those around me.
But I also take John 5;39 as a warning: the Scriptures themselves will not give me eternal life. Jesus is the One who gives Eternal Life and even so it is through the Word spoken, the preaching of the Good News (Romans 10) that we come to believe in the One whom God has sent. When I alluded to growing in the knowledge of Him (Jesus Christ), I was not talking about head knowledge and the ability to quote chapter and verse, but getting to know the LORD through His Word by the power of the Holy Spirit. His WORDS are the very words of eternal life said Peter. John the beloved described Jesus as the WORD who became flesh. The Holy Bible is not an ordinary book, nor a book of magic but The Testimony of God concerning His Son, testifying about this world, life, death and truth. Jesus is the Truth and these Words are the Truth but we must not fall into the way of the Pharisees.
It is a dangerous pursuit to memorize the Scripture. We must not use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters in Christ who are not students of the Scriptures or take pride in our knowledge of the Word or to alienate those who need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. We must handle it with care and through prayer. There is great responsibility in owning something as deadly and life giving as the very WORDS of God. The One who has the power of life and death in His grasp will guide us, if we will humble ourselves before Him and be discerning about how we will deliver the Words He will use the Words and us for His purposes.
Once we start making progress and start owning the Word the way some own lines from a movie or youtube clip one cannot help but let it roll off your tongue. How terrifying and delightful it is to be the possessor of such an instrument!! James warns us about our tongues, that with them we praise God and curse our fellow man! Is there any hope for us? Yes! When our motivation is driven by LOVE and guided by the Holy Spirit, there is hope for us who are in Christ! To not only walk in the Spirit but to talk in the Spirit. Personally, my goal for memorizing Scripture is two-fold, first to grow in my knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ and second that the Lord may use it in the lives of those I touch.
Memorize with great enthusiasm and use with tremendous discernment.