When I was in junior high, I attended a little mission church with my family. Sunday evenings were very informal worship experiences with a time to share testimonies and prayer requests.
One Sunday evening, a dear old lady, Mrs. Mann, shared a personal victory, carefully giving credit to God’s grace. The frail little lady said, “I’ve never been good at memorizing Scripture. But, I’ve been praying that God would help me. He has! I’ve memorized the book of Philippians!”
We’re good at making excuses. But come on! If she could memorize chapters, surely we can memorize a few verses.
Let’s start with a few that we may have already locked away in the memory bank. How about John 3:16-18?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:16-18, ESV).
Here’s another one you may have already memorized...
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10, ESV).
And one more...
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, ESV).
It doesn’t matter if you memorize the Authorized King James Version. Choose your favorite translation. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t have it memorized exactly word-for-word. We’re not trying to earn a merit badge or attempting to win a contest. What matters most is this... have enough of it memorized so that you can meditate upon its wonderful truth, and enough that you could share it with a friend as the opportunity unfolds.
Suppose a friend says, “I’ve been trying to do things right. If there’s a heaven and a hell, I know where I want to go!” Could you articulate the truth found in these three passages? Without a Bible in your hand, could you quote enough of the Bible to point your friend in the right direction?
You may have become a Christian decades ago! Still, we need to rehearse the beautiful Gospel regularly. We need to ponder the greatness of the Gospel. We need to contemplate the depth of Christ’s love and the magnitude of His mercy. Instead of counting sheep, consider the grace of God by meditating on His Word!
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor