Don't Give Up!

Tuesday, May 05, 2015  ::  

Recently, I read an article about memorizing scripture being an outdated idea. The author basically said it was an old-fashioned discipline limiting our ability to dig deep into scripture. Poor thing. I think he's altogether missing the point.

Listen, if you are still memorizing bible verses to get a star on your chart, then you'll be sad to know there is no chart. (Side-note: Don't teach your kids to memorize scripture for a prize. Please.)

If you are memorizing verses to check a to-do list box, then a check mark will be your only profit.

If you are memorizing scripture without deeply pondering what the words mean, then you are just being religious.

If you are memorizing scripture to puff up your big old fat head with knowledge, then you are only acting like a big old fat pharisee.

I've had my fair share of people tell me that they really see no use for taking in scripture in this way. When I was younger I would argue with them, hoping to compel them into submission. But now, I nod my head and pray they will come to the end of their excuses.

You've heard me say about a jillion times taking in God's word through memorizing and meditating throughout my college years transformed my life. The Spirit used it to remove the shame I walked in (Psalm 3:3), quiet my loud mouth (Proverbs 10:19), show me that he loves me deeply (John 15:13), and teach me that nothing compares to knowing and following him (Philippians 3:8).

I hope you know I don't believe this is the only way to take in scripture, but that it is one part of the whole of allowing God's word to be in you, to be part of your heart, mind, and soul. (Psalm 119:11) Please read, study, listen to, meditate on, and even sing about scripture. The reason we share the verses we are memorizing with each other on this blog is to encourage accountability, commitment, and togetherness. To be honest, some of you are so disciplined that it doesn't matter one little bit if anyone else is on the journey with you. You'll just keep forging ahead. But then there are people like me. I may be able to make myself stay disciplined for awhile, but when I want to quit, or I'm lazy or tired, it helps me to know I'm not alone...even in scripture memory.

In January, I announced that we would be memorizing two verses a month together and more than a dozen people jumped on board. (Women AND men, btw. Drives me crazy when people call this a woman thing.)  But, in April, just four short months later, less than half of the original group posted their verses. Now, I'm not going to assume this means you've fallen off the wagon. Are you still reading and taking in God's word? Yes? Good. Take it one step farther. Are you still training yourself to memorize two verses per month? Yes? Good. It greatly encourages all of us if you will kindly share with us what you are memorizing. It challenges me/us to keep going. It gives me/us ideas of what to memorize next. It allows me/us to pray for you in your own disciplines. It shows me/us that we aren't alone.

As for me, I'm still working on the 2 Timothy 3 passage. Honestly, the list of destruction in verses 2-4 is still hard for me to remember, so I've moved on to the real meat of the passage, so now I'm solidifying 6-7.

2 Timothy 3:6-7 
For among them are those that creep into households and capture weak-willed women, burdened with sins, and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at the knowledge of the truth. 

Which is why I want us to be people of the Word of God! I don't want to be a weak-willed human led astray, learning a bunch of stuff that the world shoves in my face. I plan to continue to use God's word stored up in my heart and mind to arrive at the cross of Christ, considering everything a loss compared to the greatness of knowing, truly, experientially, knowing Him.

It's time. Please post your verses! Let's do this thing together!

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good for in the proper time we will reap a harvest 
if we do not give up. 

Let me encourage you with this disclaimer: all the references and verses shared in this post are from memory. This is not a prideful brag, but a loving encouragement of 'look how God has shaped my mind.' 

Blessings through God's word to you as you keep up the good work! 

9 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Unknown said...

I'm starting the month out with a simple but powerful verse. Proverbs 20:24 "a man's steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his ways." This verse gives me great peace in knowing that God is leading my steps and I don't have to figure it all out on my own.

Angela DeSoto said...

All the points that you made about why we post our verses are exactly why I come back a few days after I've posted and then a few days after that, to read what people have commented. It encourages, inspires, and challenges me to keep going with memorizing. I can testify that since beginning a regimen of memorizing back in 2011, I can confidently say my love for the Word has increased and my love for Jesus has exponentially grown. No one could convince me that memorizing is obsolete or purposeless.
Here are my verses for May:
Hebrews‬ ‭13‬:‭15-16‬
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Kelsi Somers said...

Gosh I needed this today. This was both so wonderfully convicting and encouraging. This year it's been all about intentionality through consistency; a discipline and trait that God has really challenged me with in many areas of my life. I have such a deeper love and understanding in the value of scripture memorization being that I've been able to tangibly see my faith be enriched and deepened through the process. I just obviously need a lot more work in the whole consistency thing:) here's my verse:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭4-7‬ ESV)

Erin Anderelli said...

Well I guess my first comment was too wordy because for some reason it is lost to the interwebs.

I re-read Hebrews and was struck by the number of times the author used the phrase "draw near" in reference to God. I will be memorizing these verses to help me remember to be continually drawing near.

Hebrews 4:15-16

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Nicky said...

I am working on the same verse I was working on in February, guess that shows my discipline for the moment. But I not discouraged and will work on it again this month.

"The Lord of hosts has sworn: As I have planned, so shall it be and as I have purposed so shall it stand."
Isaiah 14:24

Unknown said...

Since we all lurk comments, I thought I'd share this story - when I first started my job I would take out my memory packet and review to give my brain a break from work. One coworker would occasionally drop by at this time, and I would awkwardly share what I was doing. She wasn't a believer, but she eventually started asking me for my cards to encourage her. It grew into a friendship that I was able to share my story and to intimately speak into her life that Jesus loves her. Not because my head was full of stuff, but because she saw the fruit of the word in my life. She still isn't a believer, but it cemented in my mind that memorizing scripture is anything but useless. Let's keep on keepin' on, Moxie ;)

"Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:7-8

Angela DeSoto said...

Thank you for sharing that, Jenna. That's super encouraging!

clepeau said...

Great encouragement and real talk in this post Angel.

To be honest I've lost focus in the last couple weeks, it feels like my days have been extra long and stressful. Mostly because I've been focusing on the wrong things (what people think of me, how I'm making others feel) rather than on the truth found in the word. Time to refresh!

I'm continuing my way through Psalm 34 with verses 6 & 7.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

As we all know, our lives do not become free of pain, hurt, or sin once we know Christ. But as we grow to know God more, our understand of this world and the pains of this world changes. We can groan to God with our deepest hurts and pains and He WILL hear our cry. And through that process I've seen him change my perspective and "save me from my troubles". Sometimes a change in perspective can go a long way.

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