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Dear COA Family,

Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).

Last Sunday I preached on the importance of reading, reflecting and meditating on the Psalms. The Psalms is God’s hymn book for us to help us worship him and pray to him. Jesus reflected on the Psalms so much that he used the Spirit-inspired words in there to pray when he was on the cross.

Why is reading the Psalms (or the whole of Scripture) so important to us?

Firstly, as David says, God’s word keeps us from living a lifestyle of sin against God. It is impossible for us to be immersed in God’s word and continue to sin. This is because God’s word will teach, instruct, correct and train us to walk the path of righteousness. It is when we neglect God’s word that we indulge in sin.

I can remember that oftentimes when I speak to believers who have strayed away from God, it is usually because they have stopped coming to church. As a result, they have failed to hear God’s word regularly. This means that influences of the world and the devil become stronger in their lives and they begin to live in sinful ways. We must ensure that God’s word constantly fill our minds and hearts to live in a way that is pleasing to God.

Secondly, the word of God is able to help us grow in our faith. The Apostle Paul tells the Ephesian elders at his departure that God’s word “is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). The word of God is an essential building block for our growth in Christ.

Finally, God’s word is able to give us wisdom for daily living. King David says, “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation” (Psalm 119:99). We can find God’s guidance for us in his word.

How then can we hide God’s word in our hearts?

One effective way for me would be to memorise the Scriptures. By doing so, I will be able to meditate on them without having to refer to them. And I will be able to recall them in times of crisis as well.

Church, I would encourage you in the coming season of Lent to memorise a verse a day. You would have memorised 40 verses over the 40 days – and that will be a great boost to your faith! To do this, I will spend some time in our services and devotions to help us all memorise the Scriptures.

In our Christian life, there is really no short cut. We must devote our time, talents and energy to grow in our faith. This will then bring about the greatest rewards in our lives – the storing of treasures in heaven and the approval of our heavenly Father!

God bless,
Revd Ian