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  • Shawn Thornton

In My Heart

Tuesday - August 10th

Scripture to Read Today: Psalm 119:1-16


I have hidden your word in my heart

that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:11

In Mishawaka, Indiana, my home church, Twin Branch Bible Church, ran a weekly Awana Club throughout the school year. Churches across the country hosted these clubs. The name Awana is an acrostic taken from five words found in 2 Timothy 2:15, "Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed." The verse emphasizes how those who serve and work for the Lord in their lives stand without shame or embarrassment when they know and live out God's Word.

Children from preschool through elementary school participated in Twin Branch Bible Church's Awana Club. The evening included fun games, a devotional time, and a time when we recited (from an Awana handbook) Bible verses to a leader. My parents were deeply involved in our church's Awana ministry. My dad even led it. So, my brother, Troy, and I were deeply involved, too, as clubbers.

Awana highly valued Scripture memorization. It would not be uncommon for me to memorize 4-6 Bible verses a week. All kinds of team and personal rewards could be had if you memorized verses. I learned hundreds of key verses in my childhood. To this day, I can be preaching, and a Bible verse I had not prepared to include in my message pops into my mind, and I quote it.

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, and it focuses on how life-giving, refreshing, convicting and convincing God's Word can be. Throughout my life, Scriptures of comfort and peace that I have memorized have popped up in my mind just when I needed them. I have also discovered that verses I have memorized come to mind in moments of temptation. I have found the principle of Psalm 119:11 to be so true: "I have hidden your word in my heart

that I might not sin against you."

Give it a try. Memorize a verse that is meaningful to you. If you can't think of one, choose one or two to memorize from Psalm 119.

When we know God's Word deep in our hearts, we experience its power in deeply personal ways!


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