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Last week Lee Baker asked me to give him my Top Ten scriptures to memorize (Lee also does his yearly top ten albums – he’s sort of the David Letterman of Northstar).

Memorizing and meditating on scripture is one of the primary ways that God has been changing me over the last year.

The Apostle Paul was a big fan of memorizing God’s Word.

“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think”. – Romans 12:2

I’m with Paul on this one.  I would encourage anyone who is a leader, is interested in being a leader, or can breathe, to make scripture memorization a regular part of their life.

For example, a couple of nights ago I was so worried about a problem I was facing, that after waking up I could not go back to sleep.  I found myself “running scenarios” in my head and just getting more and more anxious.

But instead of spiraling down into hours of despair I began to meditate upon scripture passages that I had memorized.

What began very badly became a very productive time with God.  I knew from past experience, if I had tried to pray instead of meditating on God’s Word I would have just ended up worrying in God’s direction.

With that being said, I really enjoyed taking a few days to think about the passages of scripture that God has used most deeply in 2011 to change me as I have meditated on them.

Here they are and a brief description of what they’ve meant to me:

#1 –  Philippians 2:1-24
I don’t think there is anything in the entire Bible more devastating than the phrase in vs. 3 “do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.” On the other hand there’s nothing as shockingly glorious as Christ’s example in vss.  5-11. I love How Paul instructs us to live out Christ’s example in the remaining vss.

#2 – Matthew 16:24-26
This is the promise that gives the power to live a selfless life.

#3 – Hebrews 4:15-16
I never need God’s mercy more than when I sin (especially of it’s a sin I struggle wih repeatedly). This truth helps me to remember the depth of God’s mercy when I’m tempted to wallow in the depth of my failure.

#4 – Psalms 37:4-9
In my opinion “Delight youself in the Lord” is everything distilled into five words. Everything for salvation and  sanctification and glorification and everything in between is found in those five words. Vss. 5-9 give some of the specifics.

#5 – Hebrews 11:6
This passage helps me to embrace risk when my fears tempt me to play it safe and a try to stay in my comfort zone.

#6 – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
This truth helps me to not be paralyzed be my fears, failures and inadequacy.

#7 – Lamentations 3:21-24
I mess up. A lot. I need this truth. A lot

#8 – 1 Corinthians 12:21-27
I found myself coming home from work with the attitude that my family should serve me because I have been working so hard all day doing such important things for God’s kingdom. This truth has helped me to overcome that lie and develop more of a servant’s heart at home (although I still have a long way to go).

#9 – Proverbs 2:1-6
By nature, I talk a lot more than I listen. This truth reminds me of the importance of doing the opposite

#10 – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
This passage reminds me of how grateful I am that God is love, how far from love I am in most of my relationships most of the time and how bad things would be for me if love kept a record of wrongs.

If you’d like some suggestions on how anyone can memorize a passage of scripture read “How to memorize a bible verse