Sermon Illustrations

MEMORIZING VS. APPLYING SCRIPTURE

Dave Veerman, Campus Life, Wheaton, IL, related this story:

A while ago our family began to memorize Scripture, one verse a week. Because my daughters were ages ten and six, I thought this was about the right speed. We keep the verses on cards in the middle of the table, and we discuss their meanings when we recite them week after week.

One evening as my wife and I sat reading, we heard the girls fighting down the hall. "I hate you!" one yelled and the other responded in kind. Not wishing to jump headlong into the fray, I called back, "Kara?" She answered, "Yes!" "What is our verse for this week?" I asked, hoping to quiet the fight by implication.

Quickly she answered in her most pious voice, "Dear friends, since God loved us as much as that, we surely ought to love each other too." (I John 4:11 TLB). And then she resumed the fight.

I tried the same tactic with Dana, and with the same results. Gail and I couldn’t help laughing -- and then I had to go back and intervene.

What a beautiful example of how most of us apply Scripture! We memorize it and even repeat it flawlessly, but seldom does it change our lives. And yet Christianity is not so much about knowing facts as about living. We must get the Bible off the shelf and into the self.

(From a sermon by Bobby Scobey, If the Church Became Unchristian # 4 - Behavior More Important Than Belief, 6/22/2010)

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