Deut. – the secret sauce of memorizing
Let your mind wander as if this story was about you
You are the owner of small little restaurant that is struggling. You wonder if its time to throw in the towel. Nothing much has changed in your restaurant for some time. Things just seem to be stagnant. So, with the advice of some good friends, you decide its time to evaluate things and dig a little deeper to look for some solutions
So, first of all, you create and implement a customer survey. Next, you hire a firm that does some several “Secret Shopper” kind of studies.
Both kinds of research come back similar. Your customer service needs improvement. Also, it was revealed that people like the friendly atmosphere of the restaurant-it is very comfortable, but many people commented that the food was fairly boring. There was nothing very tasty or special about any of your meals.
In light of this very downer kind of info, you decide you are going to take a trip to a distant land and clear your head, and decide if you should shut down your restaurant.
Upon arriving at your destination, you decide to go out for a meal and there you right away notice how full the restaurant is. One of the hosts at the restaurant sees that you are not from around this area, and goes out of his way to welcome you and to seat you as promptly as he can.
When you are seated, you notice how much friendly chatter is taking place around you. Then, its time to order.
In a short amount of time, you receive your food and you dig into it quickly as you can because you are very hungry. After just a few bites, your eyes become wide open and you are in awe of how good this food tastes, especially the very special sauce that your food is bathed in.
You savor each bite enjoying each and every taste (and smell)–your tastebuds are so exciited.
As you are absorbed in this eating paradise, an old gentlemen comes to your table and asks you how you are enjoying the meal, which you respond back in glowing terms.
The gentlemen seems to be in no hurry to leave this encouraging discussion and at the end of the conversation, he totally surprises you by letting you know that as an old man he is going to be retiring soon and wants to give back to others, as he has been so blessed in his business and life.
So, he graciously gives to you his recipe for his secret sauce, which you gladly receive.
On the plane you anxiously wait to get back to your restaurant and begin making many changes – from the decorations of the restaurant, to implementing a more customer-friendly emphasis, to changing your menu on many dishes, including the one with the secret sauce.
As time goes by, you are amazed at the ways your customers respond.
So, what’s the point of this story? I think there are many parallels to our Christian walk. There is the graciousness of the “owner” wanting to help us. There is the need in our walk to get away some times and get a new perspective on things. Just like in the foreign restaurant, there were so many positive things (customer service, well attended, friendly atmosphere, delicious food), so too, with the Christian faith, there are so many positive things about being a Christian: a relationship with Almighty God, becoming a part of a team-the Body of Christ, enjoyment and peace in our life because of our settled relationship with God and living in a righteous way (and so many other blessings that could be mentioned).
But one additional, tremendous blessings of our faith is the appreciation of the Living Word of God, the Bible.
So, what is the meaning of the “the secret sauce” that was referred to in the story? It is the taking in of the Word of God into our soul, by Meditating and Memorizing.
There is something special about the Bible that sets it apart from any other writing (all the following verses are from the New Living Translation Bible)
* It is a Living Word- Heb. 4:12-13— 12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
* It is God breathed and useful- 2 Cor. 3:16-17 –16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work
* It offers significant Benefits – Ps. 19:7-11 —7
The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The commandments of the Lord are right,
bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear,
giving insight for living.
9 Reverence for the Lord is pure,
The laws of the Lord are true;
each one is fair.
10 They are more desirable than gold,
even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
even honey dripping from the comb.
11 They are a warning to your servant,
a great reward for those who obey them.
* It is a masterpiece of God and a absolutely relevant for our lives – Ps. 119 (enjoy reading this long, and beautiful Psalm)
* It is powerful – Jesus used it in his defense of Satan’s temptations- Luke 4:1-13 (the Word of God is referred to as the Sword of the Spirit and you can see that in evidence as Jesus uses the Bible to defend against Satan’s temptations)
* In addition to all these marvelous blessings that come with reading it, there is one other aspect that tops off all these other benefits. In both Joshua 1 and Psalm 1, it mentions that the person who meditates on His Word, and obeys it will be blessed. They will be successful. How that success looks is varied, but they will be.
In light of all the significant benefits that are available to each of us as we read the Bible, why would any of us not be involved regularly in reading it, and meditating on what is says, by applying it, and then being involved in teaching it to others (Ezra 7:10) ?
I’ve read through the Bible several times in my life and regularly study different portions of it. One of my favorite sections is Deuteronomy chapter 4 through 10.
Since January 2014, I have been putting in the effort to memorize this great portion of Scripture.
I’ve tried reviewing and/or memorizing 2-3 chapters a day. At times, its been very difficult at times because of the familiarity with it, since I have been in this portion of the Scriptures for so long.
But I’m realizing that the benefits of trying to memorize these awesome seven chapters of the Bible have clearly outweighed the challenges.
So, why would I do it?
1) because I believe I was following God’s prompting
2) because of the encouragement I’ve received from past memorizing experiences, like the 10 Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, Colossians 3, Romans 5-8, the Letter to the Philippians
3) because of the expectation of the many insights and growth in my understanding of this precious portion of Scripture
4) and because God promises “success” to me as I meditate on His Word
Let me encourage you, Christian brother and sister to practice this discipline of memorizing and meditating on some portion of the Bible. It is the “secret sauce” to our faith and your spiritual senses will get excited.