Sunday, January 29

Scripture Memorization (actually doing it)

Read II Timothy 3

"I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! 
Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified."  
(Chuck Swindoll) 

There isn't any need to read further. You've heard this message a time or two (or million) before. Scripture memorization is important.

I hate to admit that I fell into the "please don't tell me what I already know" thinking on Scripture memorization. Yes, yes, I know I'm supposed to be doing that on a regular basis (but I'm not, so hearing the reminder again just makes me feel guilty).

Too many excuses to name, I just didn't do it.

If kids can do it, I can do it, right?
My kids memorize verses for their AWANA club and I listen to them recite the familiar words Practicing them over and over again until they are perfect. I know THOSE verses, I was kinda thinking that was good enough for this stage in my life.

After all, I didn't have the time to be some memorizing crazy person. I'm no theologian, just a simple mom trying to keep my head above water.

I had a professor in Bible college who had the New Testament memorized. Like he didn't need a Bible in his hand to quote Scripture. A memorizing crazy person, I tell you. He could tell you references and quote verses without missing a beat.

I recently came across the most practical method for memorizing Scripture. I've heard the "why" of memorizing Scripture too many times to count, but the "how", that was new.

And inspiring. Maybe I'm not just a simple mom who has all the excuses in the world for NOT memorizing Scripture on a regular basis.

In An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture, by Dr. Andrew Davis, I finally learned the actual method behind (real people) hiding God's word in their hearts. It's an easy read, click here to read the whole article.

"Jesus said, 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' (Matthew 4:4). 
Paul said, 'All Scripture is God-breathed, and is useful for teaching rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness…' (2 Timothy 3:16). 
Memorizing individual verses tends to miss intervening verses that the individual does not feel are as significant. Furthermore, most of Scripture is written to make a case… there is a flow of argumentation that is missed if individual verses are memorized."

So, I took the big leap after reading these words. No more excuses (as good as they may be). I'm going to memorize a book of the Bible! Really, truly.

My husband is on board with the idea and we're doing it together. We will follow the method described in Davis' article because it is practical and completely do-able for our lifestyle. A verse a day? We can do that and review as we catch up at the close of our days. We are on day 2, 2 verses down, only 106 left (we'll be done with this book in about 4-5 months). Already, it's been fun to challenge ourselves and share precious time together in this way.

I hope you are inspired too. Memorizing large portions of Scripture isn't just for brainiacs, Bible seminary professors, or retired folks who have plenty of time. Anyone can do this. Any mom can do this.

Want to do it to? Leave a comment or join us on facebook to tell us what book you are memorizing and how it is going. You won't regret this.

"Memorization... is almost impossible for someone to memorize a passage 

of Scripture without somewhat deepening his/her understanding of those verses. 

Plus, once the passage is memorized, a lifetime of reflection is now available through ongoing review… 

while driving on long trips, while walking on beaches, while conversing with friends, 

memorized verses can flow from you and cause a deepening of understanding." 

(Dr. Andrew Davis)


Whitney said...

You know... My bible study is encouraging us to memorize the book of James. I keep telling myself that I can't do it or I don't have enough time, but I really do feel like God is calling me to do this. I'm glad He used you to talk to me. Thank you!

Lesley said...

Gulp. I hate memorizing. I always come up with excuses. I'm going to read the recommended article STAT. :)

Gen said...

i loved memorizing poetry in school...but that was school, before kids, before my brained morphed into (at max) 5 year old lingo. It's intimidating~~ I'm game:)