A new believer in Jesus, a seasoned saint living by faith more than 20 years, and a 4-verse passage from Titus. A place to start.
I had read and remembered passages of the Bible before this time. Even before I knew Jesus, I had been instructed in bits of his Word and committed those to memory as part of a neighborhood children’s program.
But now I was being led in a more meaningful discipline: writing these words on my heart.
That was more than 20 years ago, and still I can pull up those words and that truth from my heart.
For the grace of God has appeared, teaching us to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in this present age, waiting for the blessed hope, the appearing of Jesus Christ our Savior, who redeemed us and purified us for himself, a people for his own possession, eager to do what is right. (Titus 2:11-14)
At this point, a few of the phrases have become a little fuzzy, and I can’t remember which translation I am speaking. But these words have washed over me for many years, just when I needed the reminder to say “no” to sin, just when I wondered how I should be living, just when I had nearly lost my hope.
Since then, I have committed many passages of scripture to memory just long enough to be able to recite them to a partner or rehearse them in a class. And maybe a verse or a phrase is still floating through my subconscious mind, available for recall with a little prompting.
But those words I write on my heart — the ones I mull over, synthesize with my daily life, and use to fight sin — those are the words that Jesus most often uses to change me.
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:1-4)