This is crazy, I know. But I need it. I need to be drawn (and at times even dragged back) to the Word of God, especially when my mind and heart want to go wild. The busiest season of the year is coming; Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, family, friends, planning, traveling, food, feasting, all of that is right at the door (and I am pretty happy and excited about it, don't take me wrong!), but in the midst of all that, I don't want to be like Martha, caught up in the many distractions that surround this season and then forget what really matters, that one thing: taking time to sit at the feet of Jesus to listen to His Word.
So I contacted my friend Elizabeth Hankins (whom I met while memorizing Philippians in 2011, and with whom I have been memorizing several passages -and books- of the Scriptures since then), and we decided that it was time for us to work on The Sermon on the Mount. So here we are, two moms with kids, crazy schedules, books to read, meals to cook, brownies to bake, papers to grade, tired feet, and Facebook accounts, ready to memorize, by God's amazing grace, 111 verses by the end of January 2013, which means that we will have to cover about 8-9 verses per week.
The thing is that we would love for you (yes, you!) to join us in this crazy endeavor. It will take some extra effort and discipline, but I am sure we can do it if we ask the Lord to help us choose wisely how we spend our time during this coming season. We must learn to make wise and simple choices, for example, limit the time we spend on all social networks, don't read all the many blogs out there (even this one, forget about it!) choose only two, maybe? Avoid Pinterest (once you know what crafts you are making and what are you cooking, stop looking for more ideas to pin). We should ask ourselves, What if instead of checking my mobile every 10 mins. I'd review my Bible verses with the same urgency? This is not an impossible thing to do, you can carry the Bible verses you are memorizing with you at all times (I always have them in a Moleskine that fits in my pockets), you can repeat them in the shower, while doing your hair, while driving. You can pray over them while cooking breakfast and cleaning after dinner. You can mutter them in the car, or on your bed at night. Be intentional. Don't forget about it. Don't set it aside. Don't leave it for later. You will be so blessed after persevering day after day.
We are about to enter a season of feasting, why not make it a time for feasting on the Word of God. Let's be filled with it, let Him fill our cups until they overflow!
I always encourage my friends who memorize a large passage of the Scriptures to study it in depth while doing so. It helps enormously to know what the passage means when you recite it. It also helps us not to memorize a book -or passage- for the sake of just memorizing it, it helps us meditate on it and be convicted and challenged by it.
I recommend these resources to help you study The Sermon on the Mount (read only the commentary on the verses you are working in a particular week. You don't want to be overwhelmed).
An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mountain by Pink.
The Sermon on the Mount: The Character of a Disciple by Daniel M. Doriani
The Sermon on the Mount: Expositional Commentary by James Montgomery Boice
You can also read Thomas Watson's exposition of The Beautitudes at Grace Gems.
Or if you prefer to listen 30 mins. sermons (that is what I am doing this time), you can download and listen to John Piper's series here or you can choose from many other sermons at Monergism.
I am excited for a season of feasting in the Word!