So…scripture memory. It hasn’t been my thing. In college, as I was introduced to the discipline, I hastily tried to “memorize” one verse a few minutes before our ministry team’s weekly meeting, praying I wouldn’t be called on to recite. Yeah, I was “too busy” to memorize one verse per week when my time was all my own. (What?) A few years ago, I memorized the beginning section of Philippians 2 and was overwhelmingly proud of myself. (Do you see the problem there?)
Enter seminary and FBC Durham. FBC’s senior pastor, Andy Davis, is well-known for his incredible memorization of books of the Bible and his method of teaching others to do the same. You can find his method here. This past semester, PJ took an internship class taught by FBC pastors, and one of the assignments was to work on memorizing the book of Ephesians. I had wanted to try memorizing a long section of scripture, so I used his assignment as motivation to actually get it done. And by God’s grace, we both finished the memory work in May!
It was hard. It meant adjusting our wake-up time to 5 a.m. It meant working on the verses when I really wanted to watch HGTV reruns at the end of the day. It meant confronting the fact that my flesh is lazy and doesn’t have a hunger for God’s word. Ugh.
But…it means that the incredible, life-giving truths found in Ephesians are becoming ingrained in my heart and mind and soul. I am saved by a free gift of God that is not dependent on my works. I am His beloved child. He gives truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and His word to fight the devil. God is rich in mercy. He loves us with a great love that surpasses knowledge. These sweet words are taking the place of discontent and anxious thoughts as I go about my day. I often wake up with these verses on my mind. As my thoughts wander, I find myself in the middle of a chapter of Ephesians. What a blessed reward for a bit of work!
A quote from Ann Voskamp’s blog today prompted me to write this post: “Spiritual disciplines are not about getting God to love you — but about getting your heart in a place so you can hear Him say it.” Oh, how true I have found that to be. God doesn’t love me more because I know Ephesians. He really doesn’t. But He wrote a whole lot of love and encouragement and sanctifying teaching into that letter, and now those truths are sinking in deeply instead of being glossed over in a quick reading. Because of this memorization, I am battling sin harder than I ever have before.
And you? You can do this! I don’t know what your days look like. Mine feel full with four kids, a husband in seminary, and homeschooling. But He gives more grace. I recently found out that my neighbor has been working on memorizing Colossians, so now we encourage each other in our work as we watch our kids play. Take on a memorization project with your spouse or a friend. Encourage each other, and hold each other accountable. It is worth every early morning, every tired evening, every delayed t.v. show…because He is worthy, and because His word never returns void.
Need more convincing? Check out what these two ladies have to say about their use of this method of scripture memorization: Christine Hoover at Grace Covers Me and Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience