Scripture memory. I'm hit or miss with this. Sadly, it's most often miss. I've set little goals to memorize a verse here or there and I let it fall to the wayside. Man, this week I have been convicted about my lack of Scripture memory. I listened to a John Piper podcast and there was just no getting around it: as Christians we need to be memorizing Scripture. And then Beth Moore reminded me again on Tuesday. I think the Lord is trying to tell me something.
Now, the last time that I was really good about faithfully memorizing verses was in Pioneer Club. Pioneer Club was like AWANAs, GAs, or Sunbeams if you grew up being a card carrying member of one of those clubs. And if you've never heard of these, no, they're not rival gangs (although Sunbeams would be a cool gang name). They're kind of like vacation Bible school but year-round. They're all similar and we got points and badges for memorizing Bible verses each week. I think vests were involved, but I may have blurred that from my memory. I've never liked wearing a vest. Or shoulder pads. Or stirrup pants for that matter. Sorry, vests make me think of these items. You see how the memory verse work could've fallen to the wayside? I get sidetracked really easy.
When I think about Muslims memorizing pages of Koran and in comparison most Christians know John 3:16 and maybe a few other verses, wow. I'm way guilty on this one. I always have the thought that oh, I can look it up when I need it or I have the gist of verses in my mind. What if you don't have time to look it up? I ran across that in my conversation with Darwin, an athiest. Darwin knew just enough Scripture to distort it for his needs.
No, our faith does not rest upon Scripture memory as our salvation is not based on works, but how much could our faith and intimacy with Christ be furthered with Scripture memory?
John Piper lists 8 reasons why Christians need to memorize Scripture:
1. Memorizing Scripture makes meditation possible when you can't be reading the Bible and meditation is the pathway to understand.
2. Memorizing Scripture strengthens my faith because faith comes from hearing and hearing by hearing the Word of God that happens when I am hearing in my head.
3. Memorizing Scripture shapes the way I view the world by conforming my mind to God's viewpoint.
4. Memorizing Scripture makes God's Word more readily accessible to overcoming temptation that leads to sin because warnings and promises are the way we conquer the deceitful lies of Satan.
5. Memorizing Scripture guards my mind making it easier to detect error and the world is filled with error because the god of this world is a liar.
6. Memorizing Scripture enables me to hit the Devil in the face with a force he can't resist to protect myself and my family from his assaults.
7. Memorizing Scripture provides the strongest and sweetest words for ministering to others in need.
8. Memorizing Scripture provides the matrix for fellowship with Jesus and he talks to us through his Word.
John Piper pointed out that Satan also has Scripture memorized as he quoted it in the Garden of Gethsemane to Jesus. I don't know about you, but that is a weird thought to me. Satan knows Scripture better than Christians. He knows it inside and out making him an expert at changing up one little thing to change the meaning of God's Word. These days so many take just the few parts of Scripture that they would like to live by and ignore the rest OR they twist it to make their own meaning.
This is why it's incredibly important that we can discern the Truth.
I am going to add the portion of Scripture that I am meditating on and add on to the passage as I have each verse successfully memorized. You all will be my accountability. And you are welcome to join me too!
Check out John Piper's Sermon HERE.