"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…" Colossians 3:16a (KJV)
Last week, I introduced you to MR. MAP, an instructional tool that I used with my sons to encourage their knowledge and application of the Scriptures. As a review, MR. MAP is an acronym:
M = Memorization
R = Reading
M = Meditation
A = Application
P = Prayer
MR. MAP is a faithful friend of discipline that comes alongside to assist us in wrestling and ultimately pinning our pride to pursue the path of God in our lives. In order to use MR. MAP as a vehicle to get your attention and improve your application and appreciation for the scriptures, let’s look at each of the components in greater detail.
M = Memorization.
Memorization is an essential discipline to help you stay intimate with the Master. It is a lethal weapon against all the lies of the enemy. Memorizing Scripture provides an excellent defense plan that will defeat the schemes of your own deceitful heart. Hear and embrace the exhortation of the Word of God with respect to keeping a consistent path that characterizes Christlikeness.
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" Psalm 119:9-11 (KJV)
The Word of God is a priceless treasure that must be deeply and discreetly kept in a secure place.
This practice of memorization is paramount for personal victory in your life. To assist us in our application, I will employ the example of an ATM. We utilize the ATM to secure monies from our bank accounts. When you insert your bank card, you code in the appropriate access code and then decide which source (checking or savings) from which to withdraw your money. After you receive your money the ATM provides a receipt. When in need of financial help, you do not want to read “Insufficient Funds” on your receipt. You can avoid that dilemma by consistently depositing money into your account and by being conscientious of your bank balance. Likewise, when we are in need of spiritual resources, it is essential to know that you have a substantial amount of the currency of Truth in your heart. I promise you that there will be a time where you will need to make a withdrawal from your spiritual bank! Your Faith account must be full!! The Word of God not only should be deposited in your heart and soul but it should also be thriving and growing.
R = Reading.
The second discipline included in MR. MAP is reading. For a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ reading the Scriptures is indeed fundamental. It is also a recommended mandate from the Word of God. The Lord God even expects those who enjoy leadership to make it their practice to read the Word of God.
"And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them." Deuteronomy 17:19 (KJV)
We see this example in the life of Nehemiah. During his tenure as a leader in Israel, Nehemiah read and engaged in expository teaching of the Word of God.
"So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading." Nehemiah 8:8 (KJV)
This practice is also emphasized in the New Testament when the Apostle Paul communicated a charge to church leadership with respects to the non-negotiable discipline of reading the Scriptures in church.
"Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." 1 Timothy 4:13 (KJV)
Deeply loved and appreciated by God: Are you aware that reading will reward you immensely? By reading the Scriptures, you will discover a vast vault of truth and wisdom that is inexhaustible! Reading the Word of God represents a reverence for God. It offers revival and restoration for the thirsty and empty soul. It realigns our thought life and our priorities with the mind of God. The skill set of Scripture reading is essential to thrive and be successful in this life as well as the next.
I remember the first time that I was going to embark on my first long distance road trip. Prior to this adventure, the greatest amount of drive time that I had endured was at most an hour and a half. Yet now I found myself on a nineteen-hour excursion on I-95. I will never forget the words of encouragement from my Dad. He said, "Son, if you can read and pay attention and obey the signs you will not get lost.” Of course, this was well before Google Maps and iPhones. I was soon to discover that he was right.
Have you ever entertained the thought that most people are misplaced and lost because they do not read the word of God? Many are lost in their marital relationships, parenting their children, singleness, social and professional lives and even in their religious and spiritual practices. Rather than stumbling in spiritual darkness, it is important to remember that His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). I encourage you to allow God’s Word to bring the illumination of truth to all aspects of your life.
Join me again next week as we discuss the other disciplines of MR. MAP.
For the Glory of God,