Shortly after turning 29 in June 2011, I undertook the task of reading the Chronological Study Bible (NKJV) over the course of a single year. Several days a week (but not each and every day, I admit), I would take time to sit with God’s word, read a portion of it (and study notes if available), and jot down references to the events or teachings that specifically struck me. The endeavor exponentially increased my love of the Holy Bible, and I plan to read through the text in its entirety again (with a different translation) within the next few years.
Having finished the reading just prior to turning 30 in June of this year, I decided to undertake a new project for the next 12 months of my life–memorize thirty passages of Scripture. For several months, I have been going back through my notes and focusing on specific passages to memorize. This month, I began the first and possibly longest passage, Colossians 3:1-4:1, from the English Standard Version (the primary translation I am using for study at present).
I LOVE having this Scripture memorized, and I need it as a constant reminder of both Christ’s glory and my own need to pursue righteousness. I feel like it is an excellent summation of a true Christian behavior and a fundamental passage to remind the believer of the lifestyle to which he or she has been called. Here is what I have memorized thus far in hopes of having the entire passage complete by month’s end (In fact, come October, I will do this again and see if I have reached my goal):
“If then, you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life appear, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these, the wrath of God is coming. In these you once walked, when you were living in them, but now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouths. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. Here there is neither Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, scythian, slave, free. But Christ is all and in all.
Put on, then, as God’s chosen one’s, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing one another, and if any one has a complaints against another, forgiving each other. As the Lord forgave you, so you also must forgive. And above all put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…”
And, again, that’s just the first half. Good stuff.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.