Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Memorizing Scripture.... such an important habit

I began writing this post last week in response to Ann’s post about the importance of memorizing scripture…. My week quickly got away from me and I never finished the post….

This week Ann asks us to share The Habit of Memorizing Scripture…. Since I believe so strongly in this and know the deep affect it has on my life…. I’m sharing my combined posts….

The Importance of Memorizing Scripture
When Mr. Conductor was a wee babe, I, for the first time in my adult life was involved in a women’s bible study group. The leader captivates me with her wealth of memorized scripture. My heart is tugged mightily as she shares how hiding God’s Word in her heart has made a difference in her life. I began to pray for God to give me a hunger for His Word and a hunger to hide it in my heart. I ask him to help me to remember.
There have been so many touch points in my life where scripture spoke to my head and heart in mighty ways and the memorizing of those important life scriptures has become a life line. God speaks through His Word and makes His Word relevant to us in so many ways.
A few years ago when we were in the midst of a financial drama the likes of which I never want to revisit…. I held on to specific scriptures to get me through. I wrote them in different places…. Stuck them on the bathroom mirrors, slipped them on scraps of paper into my checkbook, used other scraps of written scripture as bookmarks in books I was reading and even printed one very specific scripture on a small piece of paper and placed it in a prayer locket Mr. Steady and the kiddos gave me for Mother’s Day.

Don’t be afraid.
Just stand where you are and watch the Lord rescue you.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:13-14

When a horrific day came…. When we had to go to court over a piece of the mess…. I took a sheet of paper filled with specific scriptures with me and as my heart wobbled and my head throbbed I read those scriptures to myself over and over again…. At this point, I knew the scriptures by heart but it was so important to me at that moment to have that scrap of paper in my hand…. Something tangible to touch….

Yet I am poor and needy,
may the Lord think of me:
You are my help and my deliverer,
O my God, do not delay!
Psalm 40:17

I could go on and on about the specific times in my life when God has brought a scripture to my mind just when I needed it. I have seen, firsthand, the benefits of memorizing scripture, not only for myself but as a tool to encourage others. I have watched the difference scripture memorization has made in my children’s lives. There is nothing better than to love God’s Word so much that you want to write it on your heart and mind…..

And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart,
all your soul, and all your strength.
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly
to these commands that I am giving you today.
Repeat them again and again to your children.
Talk about them when you are at home and
when you are on the road, when you are going
to bed and when you are getting up.
Tie them to your hands and wear them on
your forehead as reminders.
Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:5-9

I believe He most definitely put a hunger in each of us to know Him better through His Word [scripture]. I think we could miss the real deep richness of living a real Christian life if we only pick up our bible on Sundays and never take the time to put some of what we’re reading into our hearts and minds…. How can we truly live it out?
The Habit of Memorizing Scripture
I know how important memorizing scripture is…. Now how do you make it habit forming? It became my desire to eat, breath and live scripture…..
First of all, I took some business card printer paper and wrote scriptures that spoke to my heart on every rectangle…. I started with 20. I then posted these rectangles all over my house where I would see them regularly…. One on the washer, a couple taped on the bathroom mirrors, three over the kitchen sink, another stuck on a picture frame next to the front door, on the table beside my side of the bed, on my dresser, tucked in another picture frame, on top of the piano, on the buffet and mantel…. My desire was to find scriptures wherever my eyes alighted on a daily basis.
I made some of the scriptures relevant to there locations….
Above the kitchen sink:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men,
since you know that you will receive an inheritance
from the Lord as a reward.
It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24

And

She carefully watches all
That goes on in her
Household and does not
Have to bear the
Consequences of laziness.
Proverbs 31:27

And

Honor the Lord in everything you do,
And don’t follow your own desires…
If you do this, the LORD will
Be your delight.
Isaiah 58:13b-14a

Bathroom mirror:
Your beauty should not come
from outward adornment….
Instead, it should be that of your inner self,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of great worth in God's sight.
1 Peter 3:3a and 4

Schoolroom:
When she speaks, her words are wise
And kindness is the rule when she gives instructions.
Proverbs 31:26

My next step was even easier…. My children have wonderful scripture CDs…. [Sing the Word CDs by the Harrow Family] and we love to listen to them together and sing. I have found I learn scripture very quickly when I can sing it.
Eighteen months we began attending a new church and all three of our children quickly became involved in the denomination’s district bible quizzing programs. Sassafras and Mr. Conductor are in children’s quizzing and Ms. Books is in teen quizzing. The two younger children study two or three books of the bible for the school year and learn 20 verses- This year they are studying 1 & 2 Samuel. Ms. Books studies one or two books and learns 100+ verses. This year she is studying John. We incorporate our quizzing into our school days here at home as part of our bible class. I learn all 20 verses alongside the younger two (they have a song CD to go with it!) and roughly a third of Ms. Books verses. I tried to keep up with her memorizing schedule but I confess my older brain cannot keep up with her pace.
The best part is that we are in the Word on a daily basis and we discuss what we are reading and memorizing. It does no good to memorize scripture in your head if you are not going to engrave it on your heart. What good does it do to memorize an entire passage of scripture if you don’t understand it, grasp it and absorb it?
We are acquainted with a young man who went through the quizzing programs and knows many, many scriptures by memory, spouting them off all the time…. BUT…. From his attitude and actions it is plain to see that the scriptures never made it from his lips to his heart…. They don’t touch him at the soul level and so are not truly a part of him. Mr. Steady and I keep this in mind as we walk through these quizzing programs with our children…. Mindful that if ever the ‘perks’ of quizzing overshadow the reality of memorizing scripture heart-deep that we will have to take another path for memorization for our children.
For now, these avenues of habit work for our family. There is something especially appealing about memorizing scripture together as a family…. To hear my children say….
Be joyful and glad of heart for all the good that Lord has done!
2 Chronicles 7:10



1 comment:

  1. Memorizing scripture has always been a challenge for me! John Piper had a great article on Why Memorize scripture? too! Thanks for the encouragement to study the word more!

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