Hiding James in your Heart

January 14, 2016  - By Gretchen Saffles

You could hear a pen drop in the room.

Thousands of people sat on the edge of their seats listening intently to the words being spoken. Some stood out of reverence, others sat in awe. I glanced down at my Bible and back up again. I even looked around to see if there might be a prompter somewhere feeding him the words. There was nothing. My eyes followed along with each word that was said. He didn’t miss a beat. Eventually I shut my Bible and just listened to the Word of God proclaimed with conviction, clarity, and courage.

At the Cross Conference in 2013, David Platt quoted a large portion of Romans to a group of young adults, my husband and I included. The words poured forth from the depths of his heart and out his mouth with ease. God’s presence filled the room. That night, David Platt proclaimed Romans chapters 1-8 and he finished with the 3rd verse of chapter 9. Never had I heard someone quote this large of a portion of the Bible before. Each word carried with it power and the presence of the Holy Spirit. It was evident that these words were his life. They carried a weight with them that rested on my soul that night, and it continues to compel me to action.

This is what God’s Word does when we hide it within our hearts. It flows out of our mouths, shapes our actions, and directs the course of our days. Like David Platt, we too can hide large portions of Scripture in our hearts. We can join the Psalmist in saying, “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (Psalm 119:15-16).

God’s Word changes us, and it is worthy of our time, our mental energy, and our effort to know it and to live it.

We are masters at memorizing things: song lyrics, quotes, statistics, directions…whatever we set our minds to and think about sticks within us. We are constantly hiding away facts and lessons learned in our hearts. Why not faithfully, persistently, and fervently plant God’s Word deep within us? It is the only Word that has the ability to grow us, changes us, and make us more like Christ. For years I’ve made excuses to not memorize Scripture, but I am learning that the more I taste and see God’s Word as it is – holy, righteous, and perfect, my appetite is changing and I am desiring more of Him. I long to hide away Truth in my heart. And I would love for you to join me!

This year, as a part of the Taste & See Challenge, I am going to memorize the book of James.  As a community, let’s pursue the joyful discipline of meditating and memorizing God’s Word! I have created a verse memorization plan for you to follow along with each week. There are only 108 verses in the book of James which amounts to about 2-3 verses a week. You can go ahead and, if you get behind, you can slow down or catch up on your own time. The purpose of this is not to add another item to your to-do list, but to actively seek God’s Word and fill our minds with it!

Below you can find the free plan we have created for you!

Reading Plan:

James Weekly Plan

Weeks one and two lock screens:

Additional Resources:

  • Find tips on memorizing God’s Word here!
  • I will be using the Word Before World Memory Journal to memorize James! There are 50 notecards in it, so I will double up on one week. Essentially, you can use this memory book just for James and keep it with you as you go throughout your day!
  • My lovely junior designer, Kyla, is helping me make free lock screens for you each week! I will send them out in the weekly newsletter (sign up on the right hand side of the blog) and will also put them up on the blog.

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  1. kyla.fetzner@icloud.com says:

    Yay! I’m excited to join you in this, friend 🙂

  2. Jennifer Hill says:

    So excited about this. I already have the first seven verses memorized. It’s going much smoother than I thought it would. I’m using the "Scripture Typer" app on my phone so it reminds me to review them. Which is great.

  3. Amanda says:

    My husband and I decided that we would memorize James together this year, and I was so excited when I heard on your scope that you are memorizing it as well! Thanks for the encouragement and beautiful graphics!

    • gretchen@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      I love that your husband is doing it with you as well! I think mine is going to join me in this, too!

  4. Samantha says:

    Max and I are going to be joining you!! Can’t wait to try this. Thank you for breaking it down and doing all the organizational work for us!!

  5. Esther says:

    so, which week is Week 1 and Week 2?

    • gretchen@lifelivedbeautifully.com says:

      We are having to play catch up a little bit, but week one is verses 1-2, week two is verses 3-4, and week three is 5-6 (just posted the lock screen today:)

  6. cookie.speer@yahoo.com says:

    Iam in I want to have his word hidden in my heart

  7. Lori Turner says:

    Hi Gretchen,
    You may have mentioned this and I just missed it – but do you have a translation that you recommend for memorizing?

  8. Taylor says:

    Hello! I know this is several years later, but it seems that the links you have posted on this mage to help memorize, are no longer working. I am trying to memorize James and I am looking for any good recourses I can get! Also would love access to the lock screens 💕

    • Hi, friend! We have updated those links for you! The lock screens are available on the website by searching “James weeks.” All the weeks will then come up on the search and the lock screens are in the posts. 🙂 I hope that helps!

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