“Hey, that’s mine”

Guest blogger: Richie Malone

Toddlers say that when they get a toy pulled from them. I used to tell my sisters that when I caught them wearing something from my closet. Even a few adults think it when they go to sit in that same familiar spot in church and someone else has taken their seat.
But, that possessive declaration can also be applied in a good way. Our pastor began a sermon series this month on Psalm 103, focusing on a different verse each week. I memorized that Psalm a few years ago. Each Sunday when I hear him teach on this passage, I smile to myself and think “Hey, that’s mine”.

It’s that way with every book or passage I have committed to memory. They become precious to me, and actually part of me. I have spoken them aloud so many times that the words just gel with my insides. And since they are God’s thoughts, they have a certain significance that human words just can’t match. They are actually living in me and transforming my world. These lines from the Bible have pulled me out of much foolishness, helped me build my foundation on the Rock, and set my mind on things above, not on earthly things. Best of all, my eyes are being opened to the depth of the love that my great God has for me.

I did not read the Bible until I was almost forty years old and certainly never memorized anything other than John 3:16 up to that time either. I got my information about God from preachers, books I read about the Bible, praise songs, and radio interviews with Bible experts. Thinking back now to the first 40 years of my life, it was like I was observing something wonderful from afar, something just beyond my range of sight, straining to see but not being able to quite make it out. I was trying to look at it through the glasses of others.

After the last 11 years of memorizing God’s word for myself, I don’t even need glasses because what I strained so hard to see is not far away anymore. I am sitting on the sofa with God in his living room when I am meditating on his word!

So when I hear any scripture spoken that I have memorized, they aren’t just idle words for me, they are my life! I do possess them and they are mine. And the result is that I have a clearer picture of what my Redeemer looks like.

25 comments to “Hey, that’s mine”

  • warren

    This is powerful…thanks for your thoughts and heart. your words are comforting and inspiring.

    • Richie Malone

      Warren, thanks for the feedback. You may have experienced the same thing yourself, smiling when you hear parts of God’s word you have memorized. It is a delightful thing!

  • Chris Gray

    Amen! Beautifully expressed!

    • Richie Malone

      Hi Chris. Thanks for your comments. Obviously, you know that feeling, too, of the double joy you get when you hear a passage you have committed to memory. Hey, I am still thinking about the excerpt from George Mueller’s bio that you posted the other day about his method of meditating in the mornings. Very powerful. So glad you referenced that here for us!

  • Ethan

    Richie — Awesome blog/perspective. We all need to take owenership of God’s Word and let it go deep into our heart. Press on!

    • Richie Malone

      Ethan, the eternal encourager! Thank you for pointing out that we all need to take ownership of God’s word. And we get unexpected blessings when we do this, one of which is the joy that is hard to put into words when we hear those passages spoken by others in our presence.

      Quick example: at our Colorado retreat last month, one of the girls mentioned a few verses from Colossians that she relied on years ago to get her through a jam. As she spoke I was filled with a childlike giddiness because I knew that I was going to recite that same book for them the next day and that she would hear from me those same words that had become precious to her and she would be filled with the same joy that I knew at that moment! They are words that just keep on giving!

  • Holly Steadman

    Amen! Your words… “It’s that way with every book or passage I have committed to memory. They become precious to me, and actually part of me. I have spoken them aloud so many times that the words just gel with my insides. And since they are God’s thoughts, they have a certain significance that human words just can’t match.”
    Love!!! Agree!!!
    “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.” 1 Peter, chapter 4:11a

    • Richie Malone

      Hi Holly. You definitely know what I am talking about having stored so much of the New Testament inside your heart/brain! When I hear God’s words that I already know referred to by someone else, it’s just a confirmation that I was meant to have those particular words within me. Hard to explain until you’ve been there, but it is so powerful. For instance, you referred to 1Peter 4:11 above. I know that book and that verse in particular stands out in my mind and pictures of certain people appear in my brain who are Bible teachers when I recite that verse. I am very connected to the verse you referred to and thus, I feel a connection to you!

      • Holly Steadman

        Richie–it’s like our hearts are crying out, “Can I have a witness?” And foremost that Witness is Holy Spirit, and then also we are His witness to one another. Honestly, this connection Janet has provided on her blog is such a gift of connection!

        • Richie Malone

          Holly, something else happened after I wrote my comment to you today which I thought was another “WITNESS”. I got an email from a friend in Pennsylvania asking for prayer for a speaking engagement she has coming up related to scripture memory. At the end of her email, she wrote the exact verse you and I had conversed about above, 1 Peter 4:11! I wrote her back and told her of the comments you and I had shared regarding that very verse on this blog today. She called it a “Holy Spirit coincidence”. Obviously I am to stop and camp out on that verse today. And, I am in agreement with you that this blog is a gift from above. James 1:17

  • Lise Anderson Brocious

    Wow, Richie. You have put into words what so many of us feel and think about memorizing Scripture. These words do transform my world. The times when “These lines from the Bible have pulled me out of much foolishness, helped me build my foundation on the Rock, and set my mind on things above, not on earthly things” are more numerous than I can count. That more than anything is how God has used this time to change me. Instead of spinning on my own selfish, hurtful thoughts, I run to Scripture and say it over and over again, to focus me on the all powerful, loving God who knows all things and controls all things. Thanks.

    • Richie Malone

      Hi Lise. The way you described “running to Scripture and say it over and over again, to focus me on the all powerful, loving God who knows all things and controls all things” resonates with me! The time I spend fretting over situations really accomplishes nothing, but when I turn to God and his word in the face of adversity, doors open up and wisdom comes. It really is time well spent, isn’t it?! Thanks, Lise, for chiming in.

  • Shari B

    Yes! It’s so true. . “they are my life–I do possess them and they are mine.” Thank you for expressing this so beautifully.

    • Richie Malone

      Hi Shari. Thanks for writing. I know you wrote because you feel the same way. That is the beauty of this blog. It is SO encouraging to us all to know that we are like-minded in that God’s word is paramount to us, we pursue him by memorizing it, and that having his word inside us has had a huge impact on our lives. We get to share our experiences here and pull each other along in our pursuit. Thanks, Shari, for your encouragement!

  • Sue Bond

    Dear Richie, You and Janet both are blessed with a talent of putting words to paper (or computer) that resonate with me. I often hear scripture and I want to say “that’s mine!” too and isn’t it fun to recite in your mind the verses following the passage that was quoted?
    The Lord is so generous in allowing these moments of joy that are just meant for us.
    Thank you for writing today!

    • Richie Malone

      Hi Sue. Hey, thanks for pointing to the “joy that is meant just for us” when we hear OUR scripture! You know that feeling! And it is cool to continue on with the rest of the passage after the speaker stops! I am laughing right now thinking about how many times I have done just that. Knowing that you and the rest of the gang who come back here regularly understand that experience is quite uplifting! It’s something we have in common and it’s so great that we want other people to know what it’s like, too. God’s word is a never-ending maze of wonder!

  • Chérie

    Hey Richie,
    Love your message in today’s post. You really nailed what it is like when we etch these chapters and books of the Bible in our memories. Ive only been memorizing for 5 years, (will be 5 years in June) and one thing I have noticed in the last year (ish) is that when I am listening to a sermon in person, online or whatever, and the pastor makes a reference to a passage that is already “mine”, I get a whole new look at what “mine” might possibly mean. If the passage isn’t mine, than I take away something wonderful to be sure, but when I get something new to add to the meanings Ive gleaned already while memorizing, it makes what I’ve memorized even more awesome. Don’t know if that makes sense, but I’m trying to write this quickly while my youngest is in his therapy session… 🙂 thanks Richie!

    • Richie Malone

      Cherie, I DO get what you are saying! It seems like when we have passages or books learned from memory our antennas go straight up when anyone references OUR books! I hear you on that for sure. Very good observation.

  • Ginger

    Wow! I just love to hear y’all testify of the Living Word and how it has become an integral part of who you are. Praise God, it is mine too!

    • Richie Malone

      Ginger, ALRIGHT! So glad to hear you saying “Hey, that’s mine”, too! I just can’t help but think God grins from ear to ear when we say that. And we don’t say it out of pride or stinginess, but out of joy and thanksgiving. We all recognize that it’s the Holy Spirit who has enabled us to memorize large portions of scripture and He has been our teacher throughout the process. We bubble over with thankfulness for what He has done for us and in us. And the joy of knowing God better leads us to love him more. Yep, Praise God!

  • Chérie

    Also, the “mine” phenomenon is what hooked me to begin with. Way back. I had memorized a small chapter, Ephesians 3—after a series of events leading up to it. My very first full chapter. 
    After a month, I had it down perfectly and it kept going over and over in my head and I loved that. BUT THEN!!! (God knew what He was doing for sure….) at a church service only 2 weeks later, the Pastor cross referenced to Ephesians 3. It didnt even hit me when he said to turn to Ephesians 3. But then he starts reading all those words of God, written by Paul, that had been going in my head the past 4-6 weeks. I will always remember an almost electric feeling, and I almost jumped up from my chair, but I slapped my husband Carlos’s leg instead because I had to do something. 🙂 He is my best friend ever and he totally understood. He’s still working on Philippians 1, his first chapter and I can’t wait til he feels the “mine” phenomenon….. cheer him on!

    • Richie Malone

      I love it…the “mine” phenomenon! Poor Carlos. Glad he was so understanding. Sometimes it’s hard to contain!

  • Janet Pope

    Richie, Your article really resonated with our community. We identify with your words wholeheartedly. Thank you for validating our own experiences.

  • Richie

    Thanks, Janet! It’s pretty cool to have scripture memory in common with people. I feel like I really have new friends out there!