Not Just A Childhood Practice
by Impact Church
As the Word of God has encouraged us recently about the promise of our “inward man being renewed day by day,” the Holy Spirit has refreshed in my life the benefit of a simple practice that was taught to me as kid. I remember dreading having to stand in front of the entire church – no, not just children’s church — the entire church, and attempt to recite a bible verse that I was supposed to have committed to memory the previous week. On the rare occasions I actually came from behind my big sister, I would stumble through the verse, looking up at her periodically for a hint on the word I could not recall. I still have nightmares about it! 🙂
However as I look back over my life, I am reminded of how influential and powerful those texts have been in my Christian walk. Frequently those verses have come flooding back and have been a source of encouragement, strength and hope. I was simply doing what I was told but my parents and those who cared for me were applying the principle God had taught Moses centuries before, “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul.” (Deuteronomy 11:18) What does it mean to impress God’s words on your heart and soul? Among other things, it includes being continually conscious of His word as we go through our daily routine. Memorization, therefore, enables easy access to eternal truth that has been hidden away in our hearts and can be retrieved at any time of day or night for unimpeded reflection and meditation.
Jesus memorized scripture. The memorized word was the fountain that Jesus dipped into to find His weaponry to overcome the temptation of the evil one. (Matthew 4) May our hearts and minds be filled with the narratives of God’s faithfulness, the instruction to the churches, the encouragement to the nation of Israel, and the recordings of the life of Christ. And therefore, our inward man is renewed [strengthened, encouraged, fortified] day by day!
Chuck Swindoll wrote,
“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.”
Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, wrote,
“Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization.”