Thursday, May 22, 2008

Scripture Memorization - Part 2

In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
Psalm 119:14-16

In my last post, I discussed how scripture memorization today has become somewhat of a taboo. Yes, we all know John 3:16 like the back of our hand, but we do not encourage each other or ourselves to continue memorizing the words of God as we continue to grow in the faith. I would even argue that we are missing out on even more growth in our faith if we do not continue to memorize the words of our Lord.

In this post I would like to list reasons (from scripture) why we need to be memorizing God's word throughout our Christian walk, and why we cannot, in good conscience, neglect this critical spiritual discipline.

Why should we be memorizing scripture?
  1. We are commanded to learn God's word and meditate on it (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Colossians 3:16). God tells his people during the giving of the law, that they need to be meditating on his words day and night. Paul tells the Colossians to "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly". The word of Christ cannot dwell in us if it is ever sitting on a page and not continually in our hearts and minds.
  2. It transforms our minds to think God's thoughts after Him (Romans 12:1-2).  When the words of God are in your mind, there is no room for sinful thoughts.  As new creatures in Christ, we can dwell on the thoughts of God in every situation.
  3. It enables the Holy Spirit to guide us (Psalm 119:105).  God's Spirit can bring scriptures to our mind that we have memorized in order to teach and guide us.
  4. It gives us victory over sin (Psalm 119:9-11, Psalm 37:31).  Are you disappointed in yourself when you sin?  Hide God's word in your heart, and he will give you victory over sin.  When God's word is continually on your mind, your passions are no longer for sin, but they are for God's desires.
  5. It gives us confidence in witnessing (1 Peter 3:15, Acts 18:28).  Peter tells Christians to always be prepared to give a defense for the hope that is in us.  Have you ever felt like you were unprepared to witness when you had an opportunity?  Hiding God's word in our hearts prepares us to fulfill the great commission with confidence.
  6. It helps produce spiritual growth in our lives (1 Peter 2:2, Acts 20:32).  God's words are able to build us up in sanctification.  It is able to grow us up from spiritual babies into spiritual men and women of God.
  7. It helps us to overcome worry (Philippians 4:6-7).  God's promises are great in his word and these passages help us to focus on what he has promised us, not on what could cause worry in our lives.
  8. It helps us to discern doctrinal error (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).  How can we perceive error if we do not know the truth?  Committing the truth to memory helps us in every situation where doctrinal error could creep in unknowingly.
There are many other reasons supported by scripture on why we should commit the words of our Lord to memory, but I hope that this has given you a little encouragement to push you in the direction of scripture memorization.

"I see now how important scripture memorization is for my walk, but," some of you are still saying, "memorization is hard.  How do I do it?"

In my next post I want to cover the topic of how we memorize scripture.  Until then, if you have a question or response to these posts on memorization, please comment below or send me an e-mail.  I would love to engage with you on this subject that has been a passion of mine over the last several years.

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