Memorization | Practice #5

Hoping these spiritual practices are offering you a new ‘lens’ into being with God. This is what these practices are intended to do, they aid us in our being with God. We certainly have a ‘with God’ promise in Scripture. “I will never leave you or forsake you…I am with you always.” Isn’t that good news when we are in our homes and maybe feeling alone or isolated these days? Our practice today is one I remember as a child being taught and challenged with in Sunday school…it is simple, MEMORIZATION! You know the phrase, “repetition is a good teacher”? Well that is kind of what memorization is. I know for me, the older I get the harder it is to do memory work! But I also know that there is a Scripture that says, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart”…{Psalm 119} and another that says, “Do not let the Book of the law depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night.”{Joshua 1 &  Psalm 1}. But I also know even though it is harder for me to memorize Scripture, when I do, I hold that deep within and it is amazing how a circumstance comes up and a verse I have memorized comes to my kind and is an encouragement or brings a special reminder of the Lord’s presence. In Sunday school when I was a kid, we would get gold stars on a chart and when all the spaces were filled, we got a special prize. I don’t know what will motivate you to try this spiritual practice, but maybe if you ask someone to do it with you, a family memory, a life group, a friend…we can “spur one another on”, as the Apostle Paul says. Memorization can be accessed anywhere, any time! It is very portable. It is like a personal google search that you have inside you! I have friends who have memorized entire chapters and even entire Books (New Testament- Paul’s letters) of the Bible. My jaw drops at that. I don’t think I can do that, but I can do some. So here we go.

Scriptural Practice: Memorization 

Scriptures: Luke 24:8; II Peter 1:13; 15; Psalm 119: 11, 97 – there are more, can you find some?

Here are some personal favorites I have memorized and call to mind often:

“God Himself will fight for you, you need only be still.” Ex. 14:14

“Are you tired, Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of life. I won’t lay anything heavy or I’ll-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 [The Message]

“Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25

“ As the deer longs  for the water, so my soul longs for you,  oh God. My soul thirst for God, the living God.”Psalm 42:1-2

“Only be strong and very courageous.” Joshua 1

Practice Includes: Memorizing Scripture, and also spiritual songs & hymns and even poems; memorizing the Books of the Bible in order; re-reading parts of Scripture over and over until you memorize them; choosing a theme in the Scriptures and memorizing verses related to the theme- I.e. God’s presence or provision, God’s comfort or hope, Scriptures about salvation and God’s invitations, Scriptures of encouragement, etc.

Potential Fruits: Being WITH Jesus, the Living Word!; developing a spiritual habit that you can return to and holds you, anchors you in the Bible; recalling God’s encouragement and truths; a practice for now and later; you can do this in community with others and challenge one another.

A few questions to ponder about the practice:

How do you feel about memorization? Does it come easily? Are you willing to try it?Maybe pick a verse a day- or a week if that is overwhelming. Who can you ask to partner with you about this?

What would be the benefits for YOU to try this spiritual practice? 

Even now in this time when we are at home and more isolated, what have you memorized in the past that can be a comfort to you now? 

If you were to choose verses that nourish your soul, what would are they? Have you memorized them? 

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