Summary: This message deals with the goal of Bible memorization, the results, the excuses, and a few steps to begin pursuing it.
- There are times in our daily lives where we wonder about the right way to respond to situations, problems, temptations. We wonder about the right words to say. Whether it’s a temptation or an opportunity, we wonder about how to deal with it.
- What if there was a way to get God’s Word deeper into my heart so that the likelihood of knowing the right thing to do at the right moment was increased?
- Go to text: Psalm 119:10-11.
WHAT’S THE GOAL? “Bible memorization is not about ‘how many,’ but about ‘how close’.”
- That is: “The goal is not how many verses you memorize, but how much closer you get to God.”
- Every verse that we memorize gives God a better chance of speaking clearly to us. Imagine being in a foreign country and only knowing 50 words of the language. You can understand some of what’s being said, but you might miss out on something important. Every “word” that you learn is one that increases your opportunity of hearing clearly.
- That is obviously an imperfect analogy, but it is difficult at times to hear God speaking to us. Every way in which we can increase the likelihood of hearing what He’s saying is an asset.
- Meditation is focused thinking - a positive version of what our minds do when we worry.
WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO?
1. It prepares us for productivity.
- Psalm 1:1-3; John 15:7 (His words abiding in us bring answered prayer); Colossians 3:16 (let the word of Christ dwell in you richly); Hebrews 5:13-14 (discerning right from wrong); 1 Peter 3:15 (sharing witness); Joshua 1:8 (book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but meditate on it day and night).
2. It keeps us from sin.
- Every verse that we’ve memorized is another bullet in our spiritual arsenal.
- I want to make it clear: this is not a law, but a tool. There is not a verse that says, “Thou shalt memorize three verses of Scripture a week.” This is merely a tool for drawing closer to God.
REASONS WHY WE DON’T DO IT:
1. It’s too hard.
2. I have a poor memory.
- It is true that we are unpracticed because we don’t live in an oral culture, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t.
- In ancient times, it was not unusual for disciples of certain teachers to memorize huge chunks of the OT.
3. I don’t have time.
- This is not a time-intensive discipline. It does require, though, you to be consistent in spending a little time each day.
4. I’m too old.
- If you’re breathing, God isn’t done with you yet. Further, you have the benefit of hopefully having a lot of “half-verses” floating around in your head (verses you’ve “kind of” known for a long time).
5. I can just look it up.
- A verse in our hearts is worth more than a verse in our hands (i.e. in the Bible that we’re carrying).