Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Your Word I have hid in my Bible

I have been challenged recently about how much of God's word I know. I don't mean - how good is my general knowledge of the bible. Nor do I mean how well do I know themes, truths or general principles. But how much of God's actual words do I know.

Have I hid God's word in my heart or can I only find it when I open up my Bible? What happens when I don't have my Bible? Or if something happens to my sight?

So I started on a course of memorising verses - the Navigators do an excellent Topical Memory System. Essentially its a small walllet and a series of cards with verses on them. The wallet means you can carry them around with you so you can look at them throughout the day. It's been a really helpful exercise.

Why didn't I start this earlier? How much of my life have I wasted until now?

Last night we were hosting a speaker from Answers in Genesis (Great organisation) and we were talking about memorising scripture. He had been similarly challenged about this too. But he had decided to go a stage further and aims to memorise the whole of the New Testament.

Why not?

It means that you know not just verses, but their context. It means that you can follow the flow of the argument. And God gave us books, not a collection of individual sayings like the Qu'ran.

Anyhow, that's my aim too - well at least to start with memorising a book.

For anyone who cares to join me here's a site that sets out a method here


DM said...

I've memorized two books fairly recently. Some of the epistles are fairly easy (I've done Ephesians and 2 Timothy). One thing I've found (and I'll offer as a tip) is the best way to memorize is to set high goals and have someone hold you accountable. It turns out it's not too difficult to memorize a verse, or even a chapter. So if I make my goal to memorize a chapter in a month, I'm apt to procrastinate until the last week in the month, then memorize the chapter (or feel overwhelmed and not bother). I'm much more successful if I make it my goal to memorize a chapter a week -- then it forces me to put in some time on it, and I actually make progress. It also helps to have someone who knows my goals to hold me accountable (I've done some memorizing with my wife, from whom I learned it's possible to memorize things fairly quickly).

Anyway, just some thoughts. It's a blessing having Scripture memorized. Sometimes it pops into my mind "on its own" when I'm doing something else; sometimes I find myself at loose ends (riding the subway or something) and can recite it in my head and think about it as I go.

Mark Loughridge said...

I'm working on Ephesians myself at the minute. I'm really enjoying it - but it is hard work.

But it really does help you to grasp what is being said, and also the importance of each word. I can identify with the 'loose ends' reciting - often I find myself going over it in the oddest of places.

Must get my wife to hold me accountable - great idea

don Bonner said...


My wife and I just finished reading the book "The Heavenly Man", written by Paul Hattaway. The story is of Brother Yun, a Chinese Christian who wanted God's Word so badly that he fasted and prayed for it for about a year. Once he received a copy in traditional Chinese he had to get a dictionary to learn to read it. Soon afterhe had memorized a chapter a day, he was the nucleus of bringing 2000 of the local people to know Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is a phenomenal story, and shames us who have God's Word so readily at our fingertip.

So keep memorizing and walking with the God who rejoices over you with singing.

Don Bonner