“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalms 119:11 ESV)
For the past few weeks I’ve been meeting weekly with two friends. The purpose being to foster our spiritual growth with the Lord, to encourage and pray for one another. Recently we were discussing abiding in God’s word and growing in a deeper knowledge of God. Not simply knowledge for knowledge’s sake but rather for a deepened understanding of, and relationship with, God. This seed was planted by a sermon from John Piper If My Words Abide In You . . ..
Jesus says in John 15:14 that we are His friends if we do what He commands us. This is incredible to think that we are friends of God. God loves us so much that he considers us His friends? The eternal, omnipotent, loving creator who sustains the world with His word loves me enough to call me a friend? It leaves one without words to describe the joy this brings.
The key is doing what He commands us to do. The only way to know what He asks of us is to look into His word. Look at what it says about itself:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV)
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 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. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2Timothy 3:14-17 ESV)
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
The only way to know, love and obey God is to read His word and what better way to honor Him than to hide it in your heart. Not just verses but sections, chapters and books. How are we to defend the gospel if we don’t know what it says? My friends and I have been challenged to memorize scripture and would love for others to join us. We are currently memorizing chapter 15 of John. This chapter is about abiding in Him and how we can show our love to Him.
It’s not difficult to memorize scripture. Just like anything else it takes work. How many of us could sing entire albums from our favorite bands, or how many of us guys could rattle off the statistics of our favorite football or baseball team, and yet how little of the Bible, God’s revelation, the sole source of eternal Life and Truth are we able to quote from the heart?
Here’s a guy reciting a portion of Romans 8.
There’s an interview with Ryan Ferguson over at Challies on memorizing scripture. He has several books memorized and does dramatic recitations of them. Read the comments at the bottom for further inspiration from others who are also learning entire books of the Bible!
An Approach to the Extended Memorization of Scripture by Dr. Andrew Davis is a great resource available in PDF on scripture memorization.
Be inspired and to God be the glory!