To Love & To Lead: Staff Discussions

A CHAT WITH CHAPLAIN MAX GOINS

Posted on Oct 4, 2017 by Max Goins, Congregational Care Pastor

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Psalm 119:10-12

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Praise be to you, LORD; teach me your laws.

Wednesday nights I teach a children’s class in our “Timothy Team” program.  Each week, according to the letters of the alphabet, they are required to memorize a verse of Scripture.  We also ask them to recite the “Timothy Team Pledge.”  It goes like this, “I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God’s Holy Word.  I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  I will hide its word in my heart that I might not sin against God.  

This is challenging to our children, but it is also rewarding.  Each week, as the 26 weeks roll along it becomes a little more challenging.  It was not difficult for them to memorize this week’s scripture.  “Be ye Kind to each other.”  (Ephesians 4:32).  However, each week we recite together the verses we have learned so far.  By the time we finish the year, they have a library of scripture verses memorized.

You might ask, “Why do you require them to learn so much?”  It is simple, those scriptures they are memorizing now they are hiding in their heart.  They will always be with them.  Hopefully, not just for this life, but for all eternity.

I have found that scriptures I have memorized often jump out at me in a time of trial or temptation.  When I am facing a trial, they comfort and build me up.  When I am facing temptation they stand between me and the sin I am being tempted to commit.  One of the most helpful things I have ever done was memorizing Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount.”  It has helped me overcome sin many times.

At the time our soldiers were released from Vietnamese prison camps we heard many stories that thrilled our souls.  Some of them had been in prison for nearly a decade.  It was common for them to say that one of the things that helped them survive that difficult time was remembering passages of scripture they learned as children.  One story that especially thrilled me was about the men in one prison tapping out scriptures they remembered in Morse code on the pipes running through their cells.  Other prisoners were able hear the code and share the remembered verses.

Quite often as I read verses to residents of our nursing homes I can see them repeating with me scriptures they have learned in the past.  I can only imagine how much blessing they receive by spending time remembering the Bible Verses from their childhood.  

I hope this makes you hungry to hide some verses from God’s Word in your heart.

 



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