Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

20 January 2014

The Philippians project - the why and the how

Rachael, this is for you, because I have made a minor adjustment to my plan of attack.

So, I mentioned here that I plan to try to memorise the whole of Philippians this year.  There are lots of excellent reasons to memorise Scripture.  Just google the subject to find list after list of good reasons why - and they make for helpful and encouraging reading, I might add.  For me, one of the biggies is that if, down the track, I lose my marbles, the one thing I want to stick is Jesus. 
But why Philippians in particular?  Because it has always been a soft place to fall.  It is the place where I have always found deep comfort and deep encouragement.  Right from the beginning.  The more I read the Bible, the longer the list of favourite bits grows.  But Philippians is home for me.  And I have decided that I want all of it at the ready, in my head and heart and readily accessible.
So how do I plan to do this?  To start with, I have headed back to my favourite John Piper sermon where he recites the whole of Philippians in the first fifteen minutes.   I have started listening just to the first fifteen minutes whenever I can.  This is somewhat ironic given that I am way down the end of the visual learner spectrum.  (Don't bother giving me verbal instructions on how to get to your house...just tell the page number in the directory.)  Also, Piper is operating from the ESV whereas I am an NIV '84 girl.  But I think listening to it multiple times will be helpful, even so, for the size of this task.  In any case, the way Piper emphasises certain phrases has unlocked the meaning in particular spots which has been a great blessing. 
Secondly, my current Bible reading plan has me reading a portion from the Old Testament, New Testament and a Psalm.  In the last couple of days I have decided to tack on a chapter of Philippians every day as well - getting through it once every four days.
Down the track I will photocopy Philippians and leave it in my bag, to work on specific sections when I have a few minutes here and there to dedicate to the task.
That's the plan.  I'll see how it goes.


Anonymous said...

You go girl! will pray now for you in this Excellent Adventure.

(An elderly friend in a nursing home has been losing her marbles for many years, and yet each visit she warmly quotes scripture, points me to Jesus and encourages me to disciple my boys. On my most recent visit she said nothing that made sense and didn't know who I was. I was wracked by grief. BUT after I prayed, she prayed. And it was coherent! She prayed for me and for a personal issue we had prayed about many times before; and then she prayed a full gospel message, looking forward to Jesus' return and for him to bring many more into his kingdom. I have no doubt her daily habit of meditating on God's word and praying is bearing radical fruit in her painful life. Which is a longwinded way of saying your reasons are good!)


Meredith said...

Thanks Sal. What an encouraging story. I am grateful to read it.

Rachael said...

Thanks, Meredith!

anne said...

I memorized Philippians a few years ago, but I wasn't faithful to keep working on it, so I didn't retain all of it. It was a life-changing endeavor, though, for many reasons, and I really do need to get back to it.

I'll follow your progress here and be inspired to memorize more Scripture!

Meredith said...

Hello Anne! How lovely to have you drop by.

Yes, the big problem with scripture memorization is retaining it. I guess I will worry about that when I have done the memorizing bit. :-) Thanks for your encouragement - you comment has encouraged me more than you know.