SHOULD I MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE?
The Value of Scripture Memorization
There is a great need and value in memorizing scripture. It is the spiritual food in which we need to survive and thrive each day.
Let’s talk about some of the values in memorizing Scripture:
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever. “And this is the word that was preached to you.”
(1 Peter 1:24-25)
Everything in this life will eventually fade away, and God’s Word will always remain. What a comfort to know that we can always trust in what God says to us. This is also a great encouragement and reminder for us to press forward as we serve and live for Him.
“For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
We need to remember that God’s Word is powerful. So much that it changes our motives and renews our way of thinking. By memorizing this Scripture, we are reminded of the power of God’s Word and that we always have access to it as children of God.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken
an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow Your righteous laws.
We all need direction in our lives whether we admit it or not. And not just any direction, but God’s direction. By memorizing Scripture, we can be reminded of what God has said and use it as a guide as we make decisions in life.
Why Memorize Scripture?
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Jesus said these words to the devil while he was trying to tempt Him.
Our Saviour, The Son of God, The Messiah, The Resurrection and the Life, The Way, The Truth, The True Vine. Jesus, memorized Scripture and used it all the time.
How much more should we memorize Scripture?
It’s a great question to ask ourselves.
In this world, we are constantly bombarded by many different things and it is so important and necessary to memorize Scripture.
There are times when others need encouragement and when we memorize Scripture, we can easily share God’s Word with them. We can be put in situations where we need to make a decision and then remember a verse or two that help us in that process to make the right decision.
There are people in the world that have yet to hear about Jesus. Some are lonely and desperate and have no access to God’s Word. Let us not take having access to God’s Word for granted. We have so many free available tools to us today that will help us ready, study, and memorize the Word of God.
You can download the Xplore Bible Study here. It’s a great small group study that will help you understand God’s heart for all peoples by studying the Biblical basis of missions.
Which Scriptures do you already memorize? How has memorizing Scripture
helped you in your life?
We would love to hear about it. Feel free to leave a comment below.
RAISED FROM THE DEAD
Raised from the Dead…Twice!
In December 1999, 700 Islamic extremists attacked Doulos Bible College in Jakarta, Indonesia. Dominggus, just 18 years old and a freshman at the time, had just become a Christian earlier that year.
The attack began at 9 p.m., catching the 350 students and faculty by complete surprise. As they saw and heard the extremists attacking, using Molotov bombs, swords/machetes, guns, and iron clubs, they ran for their lives. Many were seriously injured, and two were killed. One of those was Dominggus.
Here is his story:
After attempting to flee, the terrorists cornered him, soon capturing, torturing, and ordering him to deny Christ or be killed. The Lord gave him miraculous courage. In the presence of a deadly threat, he shouted (to his own surprise), “There is no salvation but in JESUS.”
They then brutally beat him with a club, and as he was lying unconscious, they cut his neck with a sword, nearly severing it from his body.
Dominggus then saw his dead, bloody corpse as his spirit left the body. Five angels suddenly appeared when he called upon the Lord.
They took him to heaven. He saw a beautiful garden, indescribable mansions, and other large buildings with thousands of saints worshipping and glorifying God. Then, he was shown the judgment room and an absolutely beyond words throne. He heard a voice say, “Kneel down.” He did. Then, a huge book fell open before him. All his life was written there. His sins were forgiven through the blood of Jesus. Then, he heard another voice say, “It’s not your time to serve me here.”
He bowed in agreement. Immediately, he was returned into his body. Four hours had passed. Because of the fire that engulfed the college campus and all the commotion, TV reporters poured to the scene and took video footage and these photos that Dominggus’ Christian brothers later bought copies of for Dominggus.
First responders, and later doctors, were shocked when Dominggus spoke. How was it possible with his spinal column severed? After four days in the hospital, the nerve specialist in the ICU (not understanding how he had survived this long) said that he would soon die or be a paralyzed vegetable for the rest of his life. Once Dominggus got an infection, without hope of recovery, they moved him to a morgue-like room, and he died … again.
But God had more work for Dominggus to complete on Earth. In an instant, God miraculously healed him completely. His infection was gone, his neck cracked and was in one piece again, and he could walk, talk, and breathe on his own. ONLY God’s divine healing could explain this miracle.
But there’s one more miraculous thing that happened. Friends of Dominggus met the man who had slit his throat. They shared Dominggus’ story and the Good News with him, and he accepted Christ. When the “killer” met Dominggus, he couldn't believe he had survived the attack with his poisoned sword, nor that he had been raised from the dead. But he saw the scar, and he believed.
Feel free to take a look at our Blog here where you will find other stories, updates, and blogs for your own growth.
Do you get enough Bible?
In a past series of blog posts on the ‘Call to Missions’ we concluded that if one is properly relating to God and pursuing godliness, there is little to fear in terms of missing God’s call, whether to missions or any other pursuit. If you haven’t read that post yet, click here to go to it now.
We then determined that the way to ensure that one is properly relating to God and pursuing godliness is through the practice of the spiritual disciplines or habits of grace. We composed a list of habits of grace that are biblical, that is, they are taught or modeled in Scripture.
And the first habit we will examine is Bible intake.
No habit of grace is more important than the intake or consumption of God’s Word. There is simply no healthy Christian life apart from a diet of the milk and meat of Scripture.
And the reasons should be obvious. In the Bible we learn who God is and who Jesus is. The Bible tells us about God’s law and shows us how we have all broken it. In the Bible we learn how Jesus died as the sinless substitute for lawbreakers and how we must repent and believe in Him to be right with God. In the Bible we learn God’s way and His will. We learn how God wants us to live and what brings joy and satisfaction in life. None of this information is available anywhere else. Therefore, if we want to know God and be godly, we must know the Word of God.
While most of us would nod in agreement with the last paragraph and honour God’s Word with our lips, we must confess that our hearts (and eyes, ears, hands, and minds) are often far from it. Regardless of how busy we become with all other things, as Christian we must never forget that the most transforming practice available to us is the disciplined intake of Scripture.
So how do we take in Scripture? There are a broad range of ways to consume the Word of God.
Let’s look at a few.
Hearing God’s Word
The easiest of the disciplines related to intake of God’s Word is simply hearing it. It may seem silly to include this as a discipline, but it will usually require developing the practice of regularly attending a Bible-believing church where the Bible is faithfully preached.
Luke 11:28 - But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!” Simply listening to God-inspired words is not the point. The purpose of all methods of Bible intake is to do what God says and grow in Christlikeness. The method of intake Jesus encourages in this verse is hearing God’s Word.
Romans 10:7 - So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ. Gifts of faith are often given to those who discipline themselves to hear the Word of God.
1 Timothy 4:13 - Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Here Paul is instructing Timothy to make provision for the people to hear the Word of God by reading it to them.
Reading God’s Word
The EFC’s Canadian Bible Engagement Study published in 2014, reports that less than 5% of Canadians read the Bible every day and only 14% report reading the Bible at least once per month.
Jesus often asked questions about people’s understanding of the Scriptures, sometimes beginning with the words “have you not read…?” (Matthew 19:4, Mark 12:10). His assumption is that those claiming to be the people of God would have read the Word of God. And a case could be made that this question implies a familiarity with the whole Word of God.
Since “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16), shouldn’t we read it?
In Revelation 1:3, God promises a blessing to those who read and heed His Word. But only those who discipline themselves to do so will receive the blessing.
We must draw on God’s endless store of grace from day to day as we need it, not from time to time.
Two practical suggestions are: First, make the time every day to read God’s Word. The time will never be available or convenient, so we must make it a priority. It is a matter of discipline and motivation. Second, use some sort of reading plan. A google search for Bible reading plans will yield 109,000,000 results. Pick one and stick to it.
Studying God’s Word
If reading the Bible can be compared to cruising the width of a clear, sparkling lake in a motorboat, studying God’s Word is like slowly crossing the same lake in a glass-bottomed boat. The motorboat crossing provides an overview of the lake and a speedy, passing view of its depths. The glass-bottomed boat of study, however, takes you under the surface of Scripture for an unhurried look of clarity and detail that is normally missed by those who simply read the text.
Ezra 7:10 - For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel. Ezra disciplined himself to study God’s Word.
Acts 17:11 - Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
According to the late RC Sproul, we fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, or because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy. If you are new to the concept of studying God’s Word, I would suggest that you visit www.mission119.org and begin to study it there.
Memorizing God’s Word
There is probably not a Christian anywhere who would disagree that Scripture memorization is a good thing to do. But when asked to memorize Scripture, most of these same people will look at you like you have two heads. They associate all memorization with the memory efforts required of them in school. It was work, and most of it was uninteresting and of limited value. Frequently heard, also, is the excuse of a bad memory. But what if I offered you a thousand dollars for every verse you could memorize in the next week. How would your attitude toward Scripture memorization change? Would it improve?
Think about this: any financial reward would be minimal when compared to the accumulating value of the treasure of God’s Word deposited into your mind. When the Word is stored in your mind, it is available to the Holy Spirit to bring to your attention when you need it most. That’s why the author of Psalm 119 wrote, “I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (verse 11).
There is much more that can be said about Scripture memorization and perhaps we will tackle that as a separate blog post at some later date. Stay tuned for that.
Next time, however, we will look at meditating on Scripture and applying the Word of God.
What do you do to make sure your Bible intake is adequate? How much is adequate?
Leave us a comment and let us know.
What is Trust?
According to dictionary.com, trust can be defined as: reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confident expectation of something; hope.
Trust is something that we can all relate to and it’s something that we practice often and even subconsciously. We look forward to our morning coffee or tea and trust that when we turn on the machine it will work properly. We go into our vehicles and trust that we will get to our destination without any mechanical issues. You get the idea. We practice trust ALL THE TIME.
The Bible is filled with many verses about trust. More importantly, trusting in God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
This is a verse that most of us have heard several times. It is a beautiful promise from God, that as we trust Him, He makes our paths straight…He guides us into the plans He has for us.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.”
Having perfect peace is something that allows us to sleep well at night. It allows us to not stress over the things we cannot control. When we trust in God, we have perfect peace.
What are you trusting God for today?
OMS Canada is looking for 20 new missionaries by the end of this year. This is our 20/20 Vision.
We are putting our trust in God and know that it is only through Him that this can be fulfilled.
Trusting God is bigger than us and our gifts and abilities. It puts the focus off of us and onto God and others who have yet to hear about the salvation God brings through Jesus Christ.
As we are obedient and faithful in prayer we will do what we can and we will trust God to do what we cannot.
Feel free to leave a comment with a story of how you’ve trusted God. We’d love to hear it.
Check out our website here to stay updated with what’s happening at OMS Canada.