Wednesday, September 21, 2005

OK But what should I memorise?

If you have decided that you need to memorise some Scripture then you might be thinking "But what?"

I thought I might share a few thoughts concerning what to memorise. I could give you a list, but perhaps it is better to make some suggestions as to the types of passage that can usefully be committed to memory. I would encourage you to look out for passages to memorise as you read the Bible. In no particular order, here are four ideas:

  1. Look out for and memorise truths on which to rest. God’s word is full of wonderful promises. As you read the Bible look out for the promises that speak to you. Memorised passages can be both a wonderful comfort and nurture for our faith.I’m given to worry about things from time to time and recently I was reminded of Isaiah 26: 3-4 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.”Memorized, a passage like this is not only a comfort when tempted to worry, but a reminder of the right attitude of faith.
  2. Look out for and memorise texts or passages that help you to battle against sin. Remember the gospel accounts of Jesus’ wilderness temptation? Matthew 4:1-11 tells how Jesus countered the very specific temptations that the Devil spoke to him. Three times the Devil speaks and each time Jesus replies with scripture quotations from Deuteronomy. Memorised Scriptures can be a great help to us in our daily battle against sin.
  3. Look out for and memorise texts or passages that describe who you are in Christ. Christians are gospel people. By this I mean that we are who we are because of the gospel. I believe that there is great importance in understanding who I am in Christ. I’m also aware that one of the Devils chief strategies in undermining God’s people is to undermine our gospel confidence. Memorised scriptures can help us to remember who we are in Christ. When we know who we are in Christ then we know the joy that empowers our Christian walk.
  4. Look out for and memorise texts or passages that describe Jesus honouring attributes and attitudes in which you need to grow. I have discovered that as I have memorised passages that describe an attitude or outlook in which I am lacking, and as I meditate on those passages, so I observe a change in my heart.I had always felt that I lacked a passion for mission, and one day committed Psalm 117 to memory. (I’m not boasting it is very short) I found that as I chewed over the Psalms passionate desire that all nations would “Praise the Lord” so I found that that desire was more present in me than it had previously been, and my heart began to resonate with the prayer of the Psalmist.

Monday, September 05, 2005

8 reasons why adults should memorise scripture as well...

Too often Scripture memory has been seen as something grown ups left behind in Sunday School. As I promised last night here is a list of reasons for memorising Scripture. Watch this space as more may follow...

  1. Scripture memory makes Scriptural meditation possible. Memorisation is not in itself mediation, but makes meditation or 'chewing over' the Scriptures in our minds a possibility at any time of the day or night.

    Psa 1:2 ….but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

  1. Scripture memory puts us in the place where we can be transformed by the renewal of our minds.

    Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

  1. The word of God is 'the sword of the Spirit', an essential part of our Christian equipment. When we memorise key passages of Scripture then we are sure that we carry the 'sword' at all times.

    Eph 6:13,17 Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. ….. and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God...

  1. Scripture memory is obedience to the command to "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" AND

  1. Scripture memory will equip us to lovingly and usefully teach, encourage and when necessary admonish one another.

    Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

  1. Memorised scripture was Jesus' chief means of defence in his period of temptation.

    Mat 4:4 But he answered, "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

    Mat 4:7 Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

    Mat 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'"

  1. Storing up the word in our hearts is an effective strategy against sin.

    Psa 119:11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

  1. Scripture memory can help us to be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us.

    1Pe 3:15 but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;

    Of course effective personal evangelism is not usually effective if it involves reciting as many texts as possible! Well used scripture is of huge value however, because it is the word of God itself that is able make people "wise for salvation."

    2Ti 3:15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.