It’s Time to Linger in His Words
—Invitation to Memorize Matthew 7

Linger to Listen


It’s been my One Word theme for 2020, even before Covid-19 twisted it into a theme for all of us.

And for the month of August? I concentrated on lingering to listen, specifically, listen to pain. My own and others. 2020 has been an appropriate year for that, too.

Last week, one of my best friends was in pain. I wasn’t able to be with her in person. That hurt. But as much as possible, I still tried to linger with her in her pain by listening to her words.

It’s what I’m about to embark upon with Jesus in September through November. Specifically, I’ll be lingering in his words that ended the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7.

Linger in His Words Matthew 7

Linger in Jesus’s Words

A few times a year, I take on a Bible memory challenge with Do Not Depart. We’re starting again September 6, taking 1 to 2 verses at a time.

To linger.

We’ll be lingering in the red letters. The words of Jesus 2000 year ago. I look forward to it.

I know some of the words will sting. They’ll be painful.

“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye” (verse 5)

Other words will be full of hope.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find” (verse 7)

And yet other words will be an encouragement to love others better.

“So whatever you wish others would do to you, do also to them” (verse 12)

With the slow pace, I’ll get to linger with Jesus in each word, in each circumstance of my life, in each relationship I encounter.

Linger for Spiritual Exercise

Whether in pain or in silence or through experience, lingering is a spiritual exercise that has benefited me more than I could have predicted. It keeps me from moving ahead too fast. It forces me to be little more patient, to wait a little longer on God.

Because part of me wants to move on. To be finished with 2020. I want to return to normalcy. I want to be able to sit with my friends when they’re sick and listen to their pains and linger in their joys in person.

But I know God still has us in 2020 for good reasons. So I need to linger here with him, with his words, in his presence.

If memorizing scripture is something you’d like to try or return to, we welcome anyone to join us in this challenge to memorize Matthew 7:1-14.

Get all the details here. And if you’re on Facebook, you can also join our private #HideHisWord facebook group here for extra accountability (but not required).

You’ll receive lots of resources to print and encouragement along the way when you sign up.

Matthew 7 Sign up here

And if consistency is an issue with you (it was our #1 reported hindrance in our unofficial Facebook poll), read here for 5 ways to be more consistent in memorizing scripture.

Lingering isn’t always comfortable. But lingering helps you notice things you wouldn’t notice otherwise. It affords opportunities to immerse yourself in deeper ways, in deeper places.

I can think of no better place to linger than in the truths of Jesus.

How are you doing with lingering in 2020? Share your thoughts in the comments.

12 thoughts on “It’s Time to Linger in His Words
—Invitation to Memorize Matthew 7

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Exactly, Linda. And I’m somewhat of an expert in endless ruminating and hand-wringing. 😉 Having scripture tucked away in my heart has been a great aid in refocusing my mind. I’m still a work-in-progress with it.

  1. Patti

    What an awesome plan!! God’s Word is the absolute best thing we can fill our hearts with. I have been memorizing Scripture for several years now. I use a website called Bible It has enabled me to memorize large passages of Scripture, like all of Psalm 145, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Beatitudes. I’ve also set out to memorize the entire book of James, and so far, I’ve got the first 3 chapters and chapter 4: 1 -10 hidden in my heart. I would love to join you in the endeavor to memorize Matthew 7, but I am not on Facebook anymore. (The hate and anger there was creating too much stress for me.)


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh yes, I’m a huge fan of too! It has helped me tremendously, and I never would have thought so, if I hadn’t tried it. Glad to hear it’s been helpful to you too. I love spreading the word about them.

      I totally understand you getting off Facebook. Some in our group are on Facebook; some aren’t. So being on Facebook is definitely not a requirement to join our memory challenge. It’s totally up to the individual. I’ve had to curate what I see on my Facebook timeline to avoid as much of the hate and anger as I can. It’s so sad, isn’t it? It used to be a fun place to stay caught up with friends. Nonetheless, I do love a few groups that I’m a part of there, but overall, I have to watch my use of it too.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Awesome! So glad you decided to join in the fun, Maryleigh! If you’re interested in the Facebook group, we’ve been doing a few easy polls the past week so backtrack and add your responses. 🙂

  2. Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Sometimes I have this bizaar thought – what if I was stuck in jail with nothing to read…would I have enough scripture memorized that I could recite it to myself? And, how much is enough? Strange, I know. I like to concentrate on a scripture segment for the week. I post it by my coffee maker so it’s the first thing I see in the morning. Like you, I need to not skim, but pause and linger longer over the richness of each and every verse.
    Bev xx

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I have similar thoughts, Bev! I’m not sure what that says about us. 🙂 Maybe we’re just thinking ahead. But you do hear stories about people in prisoner-of-war camps and such who relied on their memories to piece a Bible back together. That’s awesome that you’ve created such a beautiful habit of setting scripture by your coffee maker each week. What a beautiful way to start your mornings.

  3. Donna B

    Lisa, I love the thought of “lingering” with Jesus. I have actually been doing the same thing AND in Matthew! I find when I linger with the Lord rather than rushing off, I see so much more in His word. I have also been wanting to get back to scripture memory so I’m all in for your challenge! Thank you!

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