As a new believer I was encouraged to memorize Scripture. At Grace Baptist Church (Wilmington, NC) where I was saved, Scripture memory was practiced throughout the church body (Senior citizens listened to us quote Scripture weekly). At that time Bible Memory Association was a huge organization with hundreds of churches memorizing Scripture. Our summer camp was based upon the verses we memorized. As you can imagine, this was a major change for me as a sixteen year old. I was unfamiliar with the Scriptures even at the simplest level. The first verse I memorized was Galatians 2:20. It says, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. Committing these words to memory affected my spiritual life and walk. I learned that being a Christian was not about what makes me happy. I learned that being a Christian was about dying to myself and to my own desires. I learned that the Lord had a plan for my life and that my plans were in the way!!! Think with me for a second, how hard is this? We all tend to want our way! We all want to be happy even if it makes others unhappy. The truth is, we tend to make our Christian lives all about us. Is that not true? Living for Christ is all about dying to live… dying to self and living for Someone and something bigger than ourselves. Reflect on Galatians 2:20.  Why not memorize it, and let it reshape your life into the life of Jesus Christ! Happiness is one thing; Christlikeness is another. Which do you desire? Look in the mirror, look at your heart and see who you have become. Are you becoming more like Jesus or are you the same person you were before you came to Christ? Take a look, and hear what the Spirit says to your heart! In Philippians 1:21 Paul underscores this truth, For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 

REMINDER: This summer we are going to focus on prayer as a church family! The Scriptures are clear about the church and its prayer life. Prayer begins with our leadership, deacons and pastors. I have been praying about how we can make prayer a priority within our church family. The Lord has given us a plan. I am excited about sharing it with you. Jeremiah 33:3 is still in God’s Word. Listen to it, Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. The impact of such praying is immeasurable! Even our simplest humble cries are heard by our God! Pray, brothers and sisters, pray!

SUNDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY: I want to encourage you to find a Sunday School class, and get connected. Your walk with Christ and with brothers and sisters within Grace Church will be deepened. As a Christian you should not be walking alone. Walking with other believers is your calling. If I can help you with this, please call me. When you came to Christ, the Lord placed you in the body of Christ. Please do not walk alone… a group of believers await you at Grace Church. It’s true! There is a class for you; we can help you get connected. Join a class this Sunday!

1 Corinthians 16:24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.