FIRST-PERSON: Let's talk

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Let's talk.

Let's talk in our families, in our churches, in every venue where we spend a portion of our lives.

Let's talk about God's Word. Let's talk about it personally, deeply and frequently.

Let's select a Scripture passage, perhaps one per month, and seek to memorize it, meditate on it, internalize it and speak about it with our loved ones, friends, and acquaintances.

Let's make Scripture a part of our daily conversation, sharing how this passage is enhancing and transforming our lives by God's supernatural power through His Word.

No, you don't have to achieve perfect recall, especially if the passage entails two or more sentences. If you forget how it starts or some of the key words and phrases, just work at memorizing it anew. Quite possibly, it will speak to your life anew.

Here are some passages that we, together, could talk about:

Colossians 3:12-14 -- a marvelous statement on human relationships -- how we as Christians are called to extend grace to one another.

Romans 10:8-10,13 -- life-saving words that you needed and I needed, monumental and eternal words we must convey to folks we know and to literally billions of souls around the world.

1 Peter 3:15-17 -- significant yet winsome instruction for speaking of Romans 10:8-10,13 to whomever we encounter.

Psalm 19:7-11 -- an enjoyable, poignant description of the extraordinary sensibility of our ages-old faith.

1 Peter 2:9-12 -- a firm reminder of who we are as God's people and the divine calling upon our churches as the body of Christ amid the world's brokenness and lostness.

1 Peter 3:7 -- a powerfully succinct exhortation to husbands as leaders of families that must form the bedrock of our churches and our society.

Galatians 5:22-23 -- a way of daily introspection and communion with Christ, or a checklist, to review our godliness, our need for repentance, and the vibrancy of our faith.

James 3:17 -- a highly useful passage for weighing the extent to which godly wisdom is affecting our thoughts and actions.

Philippians 4:4-7 -- special instruction for trusting God amid life's hardships, emotional struggles, doubts and fears, a spiritual "antidote" to lift our spirits in times of worry, sadness and depression.

Philippians 2:14-15 -- an unparalleled call for maintaining a good attitude in every realm of life.

Ephesians 3:16-19 -- an absolutely glorious reminder of the supernatural work of God in our lives when we live with Him as our Lord and Savior.

Each of these passages, and innumerable others in Scripture, relay life-nurturing truth, sometimes even in just a phrase or a single word.

Pastors, Bible study leaders, fathers and mothers, let's make Scripture a dynamic dimension of our relationships.

If this idea seems familiar, perhaps it's because you've read it from God Himself, in Deuteronomy 6:7-8: "These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up" (CSB).

Let's turn to each other, then, and talk about what God has been showing us through His revelation in Scripture, what He is calling us to be and to do in a hurting world.

Granted, there will be plenty of other things to talk about with our loved ones and friends -- God's blessings, church activities, workplace challenges, teachers and homework, illness, financial strain and troubled relationships.

But even in these, the Scripture in our hearts can be a conscious and subconscious catalyst and an answer to the apostle's prayer in Philippians 1:9-11: "And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God" (CSB).

Art Toalston is senior editor of Baptist Press, the news service of the Southern Baptist Convention and author of two ebooks, "When I Meditate" and "Meditation and Morality" with descriptors at arttoalston.com. This article first appeared at the Theological Matters website (www.theologicalmatters.com) of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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