Memorizing scripture: Hard work with great rewards

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

Author Gary Burge told about Jay Leno roving among his late night show audience several years ago, asking how much the audience knew about the Bible.

“Name one of the Ten Commandments,” he asked. A hand went up: “God helps those who help themselves.”

Then he asked someone, anyone to name just one of the disciples. No one could. But when he asked if anyone could name the Beatles, just about everyone shouted, “George, Paul, John and Ringo.”

No wonder Christianity Today in a 1999 article called the Bible “The Greatest Story Never Read.”

People own Bibles, but rarely open them, much less learn what’s in the Bible. Here are some indicators that you may not be reading your Bible enough:

• You think the epistles were the wives of the apostles;

• You think the minor prophets worked underground digging coal;

• You think Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife;

• You find the book of Micah and a World War II savings bond falls out;

• Your favorite Old Testament hero is Hercules;

• You tell your kids the story of Jonah the Shepherd boy and his ark of many colors.

We should desire to know the Bible better so we can know God better. God reveals Himself through His Word, so knowing God’s Word helps us know God.

Charles Spurgeon wrote, “It is true that the head needs illumination, and even more that the feet need direction, or else both head and feet will fall into a ditch.” We need God’s guidance, and that guidance is found in His Word.

We need to read it and study and hear the Bible taught, but one of the best ways to benefit from the Bible is to memorize it. Memorizing anything takes discipline, effort, energy, and hard work, but it can be done.

Someone said, “The human brain is an amazing organ. It starts working the moment you’re born and doesn’t stop working until you stand up in front of a crowd to speak!”

Several people in our church have been memorizing scripture. One Bible study class has been working on one scripture a month for about a year, and they stood before our congregation last month and quoted their scriptures.

Several of our men have been studying the Gospel of John, and two men memorized their assigned chapters.

Our children and students participating in Bible drill memorize numerous scriptures every year. They are growing spiritually.

How do we memorize? Write the verse on a note card and carry it everywhere. When you stop at a red light, while you’re sitting in traffic, while you’re waiting in the doctor’s office, keep going over it and over it until you can repeat it without looking. And while you’re learning it, study the meaning and reflect on what it says to you.

What are some starter verses? Begin with these foundational verses that every believer should know:

Proverbs 3:5, 6; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; I Thessalonians 5:16-17; Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 119:11; John 14:15;

Psalm 119:105; Philippians 4:6, 7; Galatians 5:16; Romans 3:23; Romans 10:13; Psalm 23.

Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville. The church family invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. The church is located at 352 McDonough Road, just past the department of drivers’ services building. Visit them on the web at Join them for the celebration of Easter on April 12.

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