In WorldVenture’s Facebook group, we have been working our way through the Bible this year. What a journey it has been! To climb into a plane and fly over the landscape of the Bible has been very eye-opening for us as we have observed how God, with great skill and grace, has worked through frail man to accomplish His will on earth. Spending time daily in God’s Word is a spiritual discipline that yields fruit for a lifetime! But, what might be another spiritual discipline to practice in 2021, quite possibly for the first time?
Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV) says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”
The title to a devotional about Bible memorization from Pastor John Piper is “O That You Might be Strong Like a Tree!” and bases that thought on Psalm 1. He views Scripture memorization as the best way to meditate on God’s Word, to be a tree whose leaves don’t wither.
Some of you may have heard the name Dallas Willard, a former professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California and author of many books on the spiritual disciplines. He once wrote, “Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization.” Several other authors besides Piper and Willard have appeals on the internet that sound very much like this.
My personal history with Bible memorization is very much an “on-again, off-again” story, with “off” by far outweighing the “on” part! However, in my preaching ministry at our last church in Austria, I would often memorize the sermon text and quote it during the Scripture reading. I was amazed at the impact that memorizing the biblical text had on me, and those at our church seemed to profit from it. I have gotten away from it in these last couple of years, so my goal this year is to tackle the book of James and see what the Lord has in store for me with me meditating on his Word in this fashion.
What I want to do by writing this here is to see if there might be others who, similar to this year’s reading of the whole Bible, would like to walk this road with me this year, or at least as I attempt to walk it. It could be that the timing is just right for you to step out in faith, sensing that this venture at this time is precisely or possibly is what the Lord has in store for you in 2021.
Do you have to memorize Scripture to meditate on it as encouraged in Psalm 1? No. To meditate on it day and night? Quite possibly! Is 2021 the year for you? Maybe! No one needs to commit on January 1 to do the whole book, but perhaps attempting Psalm 1:1-12 in the first five weeks might serve as a trial run to see if the Lord might be leading you to go even further! Consider praying about this! This project right now could be what the Lord has been nudging you to do for a long time, and you have been allowing yourself to be intimidated by it. But as I said, you could attempt baby steps and see how far those steps will take you! The plan is posted in the Facebook group.
Need help? Encouragement?
- Please feel free to contact me in WorldVenture’s Facebook Group. The “Fighter Verses” website has a wealth of help as well.
- If you go to YouTube and type in “Why should I memorize Scripture?” you will find some helpful videos there.
To join the WorldVenture Facebook Group and enjoy some of Peter’s postings or converse with others, you will need to answer two questions. If you have any issues joining the group, please message us through our Facebook page.
Header Image Photo by Aaron Burden from StockSnap