So they all will tell you that they’ve got all the answers, their loud headlines and swaggering words and studies done by men in ties.
But what matters is unwrapping the hushed answer, the Word to all the questions.
The one you find in that old story, in The Old Book that won’t be grabbing headlines over at the CNN or the Fox today or anytime soon.
Listen for that answer, for the Word to your questions, the Word that won’t be slick and will catch in your craw, that won’t be politically correct, but it will correct the wandering GPS of a soul.
The headline that should be trending is that only news that ever saved your soul.
So yeah, it doesn’t matter what the talking heads say or how loud this spinning, screaming world gets —
Now is exactly the time to still and listen for His Word, hold out for it and let it take hold of you and carry you gentle through the dark, and the doubts, and over the last divide.
Explore this. Travel the world, explore the whole earth, but listen for the whole Word, explore the only Word that is Truth, for no happiness can exist without those pages that give you back your very face in a world that pushes you hard into its bloated mold.
Because, I’m telling you —
This is a world on information overload and our souls are obese with data that doesn’t matter, but who slowly savours Living Bread?
This is the nation and the generation that is gluttonous for Google, starved for social streams on screens, but who is hungry for God?
I meet a man and he asks me point blank on a darkened street: How are you gluttonous?
There are blinking neon signs everywhere down the street and streams of traffic blurring by in our addiction to speed and people walking all around us with phones in their chained hands and it’s an ache in the gut of all the honest: How are you gluttonous?
How are you greedy for culture’s carbs and not Christ?
How are you gorging on getting things done and not getting more of God?
How are you going to change?
Something locked and lovely became undone right there in me on that street.
Why be fat with the world and anemic for Christ who took nails so you’d have the iron to stand?
The way to have Christ in mind — is to know His Word by heart.
Slow down the body enough to let His Word into your heart. What the heart really knows by heart — is what the heart really knows.
There were heads flicked by rain, and eyelashes glistening with tears and storm thunder, and there was the feast of what I wanted and it doesn’t matter how any imagined deadline wants to strangle you: There is time to taste that the Lord is good — there is time for words that nourish your starved soul.
Why keep ruining our appetite for God?
We’re the Esther Generation who want less stuff, less worry, less noise, less hurry — so we can have an appetite for God.
Because this is the thing: Read only the viral things and after a while your soul becomes sick.
Read all the headlines or hardbacks or hot new releases, but none of them ever read this: Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Where else can you find words like these?
Come and exhale. There are Words to resuscitate your numbed soul — why deny yourself resurrection?
Why not turn the pages of His Word so stones can turn over?
And out of your deadened places, you can feel the rising and the reviving:
You can feel these — These are the Four Reviving Ways of the Word of God –
split it open and
admit a love like this into your life,
commit a love like this to heart,
submit to a love like this with your life,
and transmit a love like this to the world.
Whoever does not want to let Bread like this linger on the tongue — must not have blood in the heart.
So the headlines can keep trying to bang all our heads against the maddening and yeah, answers can flash like breaking news that only break us more and do nothing to make us healed and whole — but there are slowing days with Words that could let us memorize the face of God.
There are daily disciplines that are doors to full freedom. Why would you deny yourself the resurrection on the other side?
I tell the kids that, the weary that, myself that, every day that I hit the floor and the world hits me hard back, and I reach for His Word:
Spiritual disciplines are not about getting God to love you — but about getting your heart in a place so you can hear Him say it.
Go ahead — what other place would you rather be?
There is always time for hard stops to pray, there is always time to quiet the world and open His Word and taste His Word and carry His Word that carries you, there is always time to get your heart to the place to hear Him say He loves you — because how else are you going to taste the relief of resurrection?
I tell myself that in the morning when I get up and look out the window, when I get myself in a place to hear His love:
The words your mind thinks —
become the house your heart lives in.
There are rising, resurrecting words to think on, taking wing in the wind —
There is a mansion in the sky waiting for you to fly into the rest of.
Download Bookmark [just if you are memorizing a verse a week? It’s all fluid — feel free to go at your own pace!]
It would sort of be like this — “More Than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints… 24 verses that would chronologically unpack across the Gospel of John. We’ll memorize at least one verse from every chapter in the Gospel of John. Sometimes several verses from each chapter.
Over the year, we’ll offer another free download of “More Than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints. So the community could memorize 1 set of 24 verses… or 2 sets — 48 verses from the Gospel of John. It would be this fluid experience, entirely self-paced: you could pace yourself and pick 12 verses, and memorize one a month. Or you could hang up several “More than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints and memorize a few every week. You could share with the kids. Tape to the mirror. Stick in the car. We will tape ours up to the blackboard by the kitchen table.
I believe it: What is beautiful in our lives is what actually becomes the most useful in our lives. We are drawn to beauty and Jesus is the Most Beautiful — so hang up His words as art.
Christ’s weapon against Satan in the desert was memorized Scripture. And if you aren’t memorizing Scripture — what IS your weapon in your battle?
This is the year we pick up a sword, that we carry our arrows, that we take aim —- This is the year that we would fly.
1. The First Saturday of Every Month — we will talk about our verses. Recite them. Post video of us reciting? Post the next Memory Prints for the chronological memorizing of certain verses throughout the Gospel of John. And encourage each other on!
2.Every Wednesday on the blog we will post a study and devotional unpacking that week’s verse
3. We will be sharing photos of where we are hanging our “More Than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints — come over to our FB community and share photos of where you are hanging yours memory prints?
4. There are Freeset T-Shirts coming to celebrate the #JesusProject #MemoryProject2014… #staytuned
5. Download your free “More Than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints of the Gospel of John right here:
Set #2 of the #JesusProject:
[ Set #1: Small Prints or Large Prints and Bookmark with List of Scriptures ] … Memorization just got a whole lot easier: Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us. An art gallery of “More than Useful: He is Beautiful” Memory Prints — a humble hanging of prints… God’s Word imprinted right into our being.