Reading and understanding the bible is one thing....but to have it actually hidden in our hearts is another. As the proverbs goes;
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you
(Proverbs 119:11 - ESV)
Through enough...as in the armour of God, the Word of God is our sword. I have almost like medieval fantasies since i was little so maybe i can illustrate it this way: Well, so back in the day, (well i suppose only fantasy really) there are different kinds of swords. Normal ones, standard issue to the lowest of the knights order to the legendary makes only wielded by the chosen heroes of old, imbued with spells, runes and refined in the furnaces of the ancients by people of old who no longer walks the face of Earth.
I suppose i can draw a rather rough parallel between that and the word of God within us. To those of us who open the bible only on sundays and quote maybe just John 3:16 to the fervent street evangelist or apologist who can readily quote verses with an unerring ease. Of course in the case of those people mentioned, this ability of theirs cannot easily be obtained overnight in a sudden rush of enlightenment to read the Word but only through the power of the spirit working the lives of these people as they daily meditate on God's words and take on various parts of the Word to heart.
A book which i have been reading as well 'The Great Omission' by Dallas Willard, talks about the spiritual formation of the whole life and whole person of men (or women) being of utmost importance in becoming a true disciple of Jesus and not a mere 'Christian'. One important aspect of spiritual formation is bible memorization (this is in fact a key fundamental point before we can proceed on to anything else). He even goes on to say that if and if if if if...he had a preference for only ONE spiritual discipline in life (God forbid that it were so) he would choose bible memorization.
Anyway, that has been a challenge for me personally and has been something which i have been working on for the past year but over time, i tend to slack a little and it is then that i really thank God for friends that he has placed in my life who had a similar challenge and are able to walk with me on the path of hiding God's words in our hearts. Of course glory to Him for His continual encouragement to me to press on through various other means. So with a friend we thought maybe we could do a whole book...as we had not done anything like this before, something small would be great and so 2 John was chosen.
I have never really been a fan of totally memorizing something without understanding it and so throughout the time memorizing the book, the act of understanding a verse and commending it to heart has really forced to look critically at each word in the sentence and having a greater understanding of it. Just merely reciting it over and over again in my head also seem to allow me to really feel the emotions and thoughts of the letters author that have been poured out onto papyrus for our benefit which begin from a tiny inspiration from God
So without further a do here is...2 John 1 - 13 (ESV):
The elder, to the elect lady and her children, whom i love in truth and not only i but all those who know the truth, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever.
Grace, mercy and peace be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son in truth and love.
I rejoice greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth , just as we were commanded by the Father. And now i ask you dear lady, not as though i were writing you a new commandment but the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that you walk according to His commandments, this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning so that you should walk in it.
For many deceivers have gone out into the world. Those who do not confess the coming of Christ Jesus in the flesh, such a one are the deceivers and the antichrists. Watch yourselves so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who has gone on ahead but does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God but whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you but does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.
Though i have much to write to you, i would rather not use paper and ink, instead i hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete. The children of you elect sister greet you.
Phew!...that was 13 verses...now for something longer...2 Timothy!
soli deo gloria!