December 29, 2012

“Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7b-8

I posted this flyer on my personal Facebook site yesterday, with the glib comment, “Anyone want to join me?”


Later that evening, I was suffering in my basement on my bicycle.  I was listening to a John Piper sermon on my iPod as I pedaled to nowhere.  His teaching turned my mind to 1 Timothy 4:7-8 and the immensely valuable task of training for godliness.  I was pedaling furiously doing the futile task of converting energy into friction/heat for the specific purpose of conditioning my body.  Yet, there is no aspect of training for godliness that has a comparable futility to it – training for godliness is of value in every way.

I considered why I had posted that triathlon flyer with an invitation to join me. I believe I posted it for two primary purposes:

  1. Commit to the Task: I know myself; I can easily drop a goal when it starts to get tough or inconvenient. By going public, I create some accountability because I really want to do what I say I am going to do.  I am now committed to training and preparing for a triathlon in August of 2013; it is on my calendar.
  2. Encourage Others:  Last year was the first time I had ever completed a triathlon.  I have wanted to do one for about 15 years. I had wanted to a triathlon because it just looked hard to do and I wanted to be in the sort of shape that it takes to finish one. It took my nephew inviting me to join him to get me committed. I tend to be a rather reserved person. I get uncomfortable in situations that I am not familiar or not sure how everything works. The fact that my nephew was going to be there to show me the ropes helped me commit to the goal.

Just as I train for a triathlon, I have tried to be intentional in my “training for godliness”.  This year I have had several goals in this “training”.  However, there is one goal that I have shared with very few people.  I never posted it on Facebook. In fact, I have told only one person outside of my immediate family. Yet, it is of supremely more value than competing in a silly triathlon. It is a goal that I have wanted to do for years and it is a task that will be hard for me to complete.

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United St...My goal is to memorize Romans 8 (the entire chapter).

I realize that for some memorizing whizzes out there that this goal isn’t all that ambitious but for me is seems a bit insurmountable. I don’t have a good memory; I forget people I should remember; I forget birth dates that I should remember; I have forgotten my address and telephone number. It is rather embarrassing to have to look at your own drivers license just to make sure you got your address right. I am the guy who always paraphrases the Bible, “You know… that one verse, I think it is in Philippians or maybe Ephesians, it says something like…”. That is me.

I really want to memorize the Bible.  I have always wanted to be able to quote scripture – accurately.  I know how important it is. We are told to mediate on God’s word day and night.  There have been times when I have gotten home from work and realized that I had not thought about God for over 10 hours. That is not good – that is not biblical.

I have tried many times to memorize scripture but eventually I lose interest and fall into my same old routine. Bible memorization is a list of failed attempts for me. I think that is why I have been apprehensive about announcing this goal.  It is highly likely that I will fail once again.

However, I realized that the reasons for announcing my athletic goal are the same reasons why I should announce my “godliness goal”.

  1. Commit to the Task:  I am in – Romans 8 here I come. My goal is that by December 31, 2013, Lord willing, I will post a video of me reciting all of Romans 8 from memory. By announcing this publicly, I am submitting myself to accountability from you all. I really want to do this. I want to wear Romans 8 as a garment this coming year. I want to mediate on it day and night. I want it to seep into my conversations and writing. I want Romans 8 engraved upon my heart. However, I need your help.  I need to be poked and prodded, coached and cajoled, cheered and sneered, into persevering to completing this goal.  I know it will be hard for me but it will be of supreme value to my soul.
  2. Encourage Others:  This is the main reason I wanted to announce this goal. I realize that there are many others who just need that little nudge to jump in. There is a whole list of reasons why we can’t do something. Let’s consider the list of why we should. Training in godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.  What are you training yourself in?  If you aren’t training yourself in anything, then you might as well join me. If you have wanted to memorize the Bible but have never gotten around to it, then you might as well join me. Why not do something harder than a couple of verses?  Do something that is challenging.  I am of the opinion that completing difficult tasks is great training for getting through this life.  This life has difficult stretches.  When we have done difficult things, what may have once seemed insurmountable doesn’t appear as daunting.  You know how to break it down.  Consider the treasure of having an entire chapter of the Bible locked away in your heart.  You never know when you may need to draw on that specifically treasure but you do know that it will be of supreme value to your soul.

People from 35 different countries have visited my blog site.  How awesome would it be to create a video of people with that many languages and dialects joining together to recite the same precious words in praise to the same one and true God?   That would be most glorifying.

Romans 8 – “Anyone want to join me?”

I hope that you will prayerfully consider joining me.  It will be good for us.  If you’re interested, please email me at jdblom@outlook.com.

PRAYER: Father, I don’t know why I felt compelled to make this post.  You know the number of times I have almost deleted it. Lord, may you use it to encourage and motivate everyone you have specifically been pushing to write your word on their heart.  Father, thank you for giving me a desire to write your words on my heart.  Thank you for your word. It is a spring to my dry and parched soul.  Father, you have said that this training that I am embarking on will be of value to me in every way.  I am anxious to see what you have in store.  May you be glorified.   Amen


  1. I admire your perseverance, JD. Press on, triathlete–mile by mile, verse by verse!

    • Thanks – still working on it. Do you still have it memorized?

  2. Reblogged this on A DEVOTED LIFE and commented:

    I have not failed; I just have not succeeded, yet.
    That is my mantra for Romans 8. I have been endeavoring for three years to memorize all of Romans 8. While it has been slow going with lots of stops and re-starts, I am still at it. I have 15 verses down with only 24 to go. This may be a decade long process, which isn’t that bad of a prospect.
    I read an article by Jon Bloom at Desiring God entitled Ten Reasons to Memorize Big Chunks of the Bible. The article reminded me of the goal I posted nearly three years ago. The ten reasons are all valid for my experience with Romans 8 so I thought I would re-blog my own post.
    Everyone has areas where they do not excel. I don’t excel in memorizing big chunks of the Bible.
    However, there is great benefit to enduring through less than success. We should not train only in the areas of our strengths. I made the goal of memorizing Romans 8 because I know that is a weakness. I picked this goal for the purpose of training for godliness and I probably have gotten more benefit from my slow, grinding application than the person who banged it out in a month.
    So, I continue; I have not failed. I just haven’t succeeded, yet.

    • I absolutely love this, and it is such an encouragement. I love that you know yourself well enough to know that you needed the accountability of posting your goal publicly; I love that you have not given u, even when you didn’t meet your deadline; and I love that you are publicly documenting your continuing progress, even when it takes a long time. This is the humility and perseverance that we need to allow Him to work through us. You are a great encouragement to me, and it am sure, to many.

      • Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. God Bless! JD

  3. In all my women’s Bible studies they tell us to write the verses down because it helps us remember. I buy yellow note cards and write with a red pen when memorizing verses. My daughter’s Occ Therapist taught us this trick and it works…..

    • Thanks for the tip. I am going to try that. I downloaded the Scripture Typer app to my cell phone. It has been working reasonable well but I like the idea of the card. I can’t see where having two methods would hurt.
      Thanks again. God Bless!

  4. […] (I wanted to memorize Romans 8 last year; I blogged about in “Will You Train with Me”.   I struggled when I got up to 23 verses and then gave up.  So, I want to give it another […]

  5. […] Some of you will remember that I went public back in December about my goal of memorizing all of Romans 8 ( “WILL YOU TRAIN WITH ME? – Dec. 29th” ). […]

  6. […] you will remember that I went public back in December about my goal of memorizing all of Romans 8 ( “WILL YOU TRAIN WITH ME? – Dec. 29th” ).  I thought that it was time for another update on my progress, which has not been much.  […]

  7. […] made the public declaration in my blog post “WILL YOU TRAIN WITH ME? – Dec. 29th” of my intention of memorizing all of Romans 8.  The following two photos are of my transcription […]

  8. […] WILL YOU TRAIN WITH ME? – Dec. 29th […]

  9. […] from 2012.  One in particular struck a chord with me.  It was a post on a Christian blog called A Devoted Life, stating the author’s New Year’s resolution to memorize a certain part of the Bible and […]

    • Hey Sarah – thanks for the link; I appreciate it very much.
      God Bless!

  10. Great idea! That would be pretty awesome to see and hear the Bible recited in so many languages! I’d love to see that and encourage you in your endeavor! Blessings!

    Thanks also for liking one of my posts. I hope you’ll visit my blog to read more.

    • Thanks for the encouragement.
      God Bless!

  11. Wonderful post! I spend a lot of time training and writing about training the body, I like how you say to train for godliness, that is so true and so much more important! Thanks for the reminder.

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I have found that being disciplined throughout my life, physcially and spiritually, go hand in hand. Training is so important to both.
      God Bless!

  12. Thank you for your post. I will study Romans 8 now.

    • That is great. I know you will be bless!

  13. In my former church (we moved to a new one because of change of residence) I was always invited for Bible quizzes because they say I could memorize a lot of verses, but honestly, you guys know more than I do. And memorizing a verse also includes living its message, too…

    I got interested with the Romans 8 in different languages thing. I’m from the Philippines and I had this impulse to memorize the chapter in my language 🙂 May God bless us with a mind that always meditates on His word.

    • Amen! I hope that you pursue memorizing in your language. I think that would be especially meaningful.
      God Bless!

  14. JD, I have had the blessing of reading 2 of your blogs thus far and I thank you for your vulnerability, it does show commitment and encourages me. Forge on soldier with memorizing The Truth; I too am memorizing, just not Roman 8. May He bless you and Ephesians 1:18-19, ” I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe…”
    for His glory alone,
    Mercy17 – ‘heart4women’

    • Thanks for the encouragement. It is very much appreciated.
      God Bless!

  15. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26). And to what end? As Henry V reminds us “Praised be God, and not our strength, for it!”

    Blessings to you in this endeavor…who knows how God will use his Word in you? For as you know, it shall not return empty, but shall accomplish that which God purposes, and shall succeed in the thing for which He sent it. Alleluia.

    • Thanks for the encouragement
      God Bless!

  16. Very interesting that the Lord led me to this post…it strikes a chord in two particular areas of my life right now: 1) as of 12-31-12, I am committed to ending a 30-year addiction to cigarettes, and substituting a training regimen for running; the short-term goal is to complete a 5k race after 10-12 weeks (the end-point of my first training plan) and the long-term goal is to complete the Chevron Houston Marathon in January 2014. I started a new blog (Striding Towards Life) to document my progress, and force that same accountability you spoke of. 2) I am committed to introducing my home church to the Navigators Topical Memory System, with the goal of learning about verse a week, in context, and the entire program within 13 months. These 60 verses will give any believer a good Scriptural foundation to evangelize, and be able to back up their testimony with accurate citations of God’s Word.

    I will be following you, and praying encouragement for you. May the Lord prosper you in your efforts.

    • Why not start right now…if the Lord has led you to this decision. I challenge you to not put off your obedience a moment longer. Don’t tie it to an artificial start date (i.e. a new year) that is unrelated to the power of God.

      • I think we are on the same wavelength. I have already started in – “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from from the law of sin and death.” Now, only 38 more to go.
        God Bless!

      • I’m sorry JD Blom…I guess I was replying to Nicky301 here…why wait until 12-31 to quit smoking?

      • And here I thought everything was about me:) That is good advice for Nicky301 – no better time then the present.

    • I will pray that the Lord richly bless you in both areas. I find that the Spirit has used the discipline of endurance sports to reinforcing self-discipline throughout my life. Memorizing scriptures is such a great tool to help me set my mind on the things of the Spirit and get it off of the flesh.
      God Bless

  17. Romans 8 looks like an awesome chapter to memorize. Blessings upon your memory for this. I am thinking I may try it to?

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Hey Wendy
      Thanks for the encouragement. I am approaching this with the idea that there is absolutely no down side. The worse that can happen is that I send a lot of time mediating on the scripture. That is not bad at all. I hope you do give it a try.
      God Bless

      • I memorized Romans 8:1 today. It’s not much, but I was struck by the word “now”. He saves us now. I forget the significance of this too often… 🙂

      • That is great! There is so much in that one verse. I like vs. 2 where it is says that we have been set free. So many people think that they have to give something up to follow Christ. The really is that we are set free to following him. Add that to the “now” from vs. 1 and we are are set free now…there is no wait. I am with you on too often forgetting the significance of the gift that we have been given.
        God Bless!

  18. Good luck. I also have a terrible memory. Thanks for viewing my blog also – thespiritualfamilymessages. Glad you enjoyed it. I will tag your blog so I can continue to read your devotions.

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.

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