Monday, July 21, 2008


I've never really been very good at memory verse. In fact, I've never really been quite that keen on reading my Bible. Because I'm so music-inclined (not musically-inclined. That's different. Music-inclined means I like music. Musically-inclined means I'm good at music, which I'm not. It's like the difference between 好きand 上手, which I always mix up in LAJ), I prefer to listen/play worship songs, to the almost total neglect of reading the Word.

I mean I do pray, since its relatively easy (sometimes, its not. Surprisingly, it can require quite a large amount of willpower to really sit down and pray), and because both church and VCF have placed an increased emphasis on the importance of prayer. But it takes a lot more for me to really sit down and read my Bible. Which is surprising, considering one of my hobbies is reading.

And this glaring hole in my basics of Christian living has been pointed out to me (by God) many times before, like usually when I prepare for Bible study, I know many Christian concepts and ideals and morals, but I wouldn't know the verse references. And at last year's FOC, GY's station was a memory verse station, where he asked us to tell him as many verses from the four Gospels as we could remember, and then reminded us that in many countries, the Bible is a banned book, and they had to make do with what they can memorize, while here in Singapore, we can have as many Bibles as we have money to purchase them, but many of us don't treasure the Word.

All this still didn't really have an impact on me though. Like probably too lazy, or bo chup. Or both. So I still hadn't really started reading my Bible regularly. Even on the JMT, I didn't really read my Bible, sometimes because of the time spent on doing other things, but also cos I didn't really force myself to sit down and just read the Bible, to see what God is trying to tell me from His Word.

Strangely, I did start reading through a rather 'normal' situation. On the Tuesday of the week I was to leave Japan, I was supposed to meet DL and YM for follow-up Bible Study. And DL told me on the sad Monday morning (TLD) that he was going to go through Psalm 1, and asked me to take a look at it to see if there was anything I could get from it that we could use during the session.

So after moping and sleeping away my Monday, I read Psalm 1 on Tuesday morning, and I wanted to make a decision to continue to read, to live by the Bible, not just live with a Bible. Not sure if it was merely myself talking to me, or if it was God nudging me in this direction, but I asked God to help to continue reading my Bible, and I would start by going through the book of Psalms, one Psalm a day, just as a continuation from that Tuesday.

Now prior to that, all I knew about the Psalms was like you know, Psalm 23 (The Lord is my Shepherd), Psalm 1 (Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked...), Psalm 150 (Praise the Lord, praise God in His sanctuary), Psalm 42 ("As the deer pantheth [it's spelt panteth, T!]), Psalm 40 (The miry clay one) and Psalm 119 (which is the longest one and alphabetically arranged so that each verse starts with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet as the chapter heading, but I don't know any verses). Which you must admit, for a book of 150 chapters, is really rather sorry. And I'm not saying I'm better at the rest of the Bible. It's quite similar. Like fractals. Whether you take a micro- or macro-level view, it's the same.

But now that I've started, I've discovered even more nice things from the Psalms. Like Psalm 3:4-6 "To the Lord I cry aloud, and He answers me from His holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side." Or like Psalm 13:2, which seems to be like something I feel myself. The reassurance of the promise of Psalm 16. The reminders of what I should do to continue to walk with God in Psalm 18: 20-26. And even today, when I had to read yesterday's reading because I didn't read it, Psalm 19:13-14 is almost like a prayer I was saying this morning so that I wouldn't fall into sin.

Now I'm not saying that I suddenly feel happy to be reading. It still takes quite a bit of pushing on my part so that I would just sit down and read the Bible. Even after reading Psalm 1 and feeling refreshed by it a couple of weeks ago, I still don't feel an urge to read my Bible. I'm not even sure if I'll be able to continue pushing myself on like this to dutifully read my Bible everyday, to the point that it is no longer a duty, but a desire. But I do know that at the very least, up to today, I have been blessed through the words of the Psalms.

I had to force myself to read on the plane the day I left because it's hard to read when you leave home at 5.45 in the morning, and it's also hard to read on the bus when you're sleeping.

So I shall just hope that the Lord can sustain me in continually reading, even after I get a job.

Ok, now back to reading. I still have to read Psalm 20 for today.


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