Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf
does not wither
Whatever he does prospers.
I do not hail from a church tradition where the memorization of Scripture is either practiced or encouraged. Although I read my Bible daily, and peruse dozens of Christian blogs where Scripture is always present, I've never attempted to commit any to memory with the exception of my life verse, Micah 6:8.
But as I read Chapter Ten of Jerry Bridges' book, The Discipline of Grace, I am convicted by the following words: "Meditation on Scripture is a discipline. We must commit ourselves to be proactive. We must memorize key passages (or carry them on cards) so that we can think about them. We must be alert for those times during the day when we can turn our minds to the Word of God, and then we must do it. Even the practice of daily Bible reading is insufficient if we go the rest of the day without meditating on some truths of Scripture."
But for me, the best part about Echo Prayer, considering my new commitment to memorizing Scripture, is I can type in the verses I wish to learn, and it will rotate through them at random. Or I can choose to focus on one verse at a time, all day long, until I feel confident that I have it down pat.
So which verses do I start with? Again, I take Bridges' sage advice: "So I encourage you to memorize Scriptures that deal with particular temptations to which you are especially vulnerable. Then ask the Holy Spirit to bring them to your mind at times of temptation."
One particular downfall of mine, which I described in last Wednesday's blog, is being judgmental and angry when someone on the road pulls a foolish stunt. So I'm beginning with these verses:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. ~Matthew 7:1
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. ~Isaiah 26:3
If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land. ~2 Chronicles 7:14
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. ~Psalm 86:15
I'm so looking forward to adding more Scripture and memorizing God's Word as the weeks and months roll on.
What about you? Do you regularly commit Bible verses to memory? If so, how are some of the ways that have helped you to be successful in this endeavor? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section.
For the next three weeks, I will be participating in a study of Jerry Bridges' The Discipline of Grace. It is led by fellow Christian bloggers, Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter. Hope you will take a moment to visit their blogs, and those of the other participants, Glynn Young and Dusty Rayburn. Be sure to leave a comment!