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Scripture Memory is cool

After the longest hiatus Ive ever taken from the blog, time to get back in action. Thanks for your patience. I bet you were worried a snake got me.

Anyways, a couple of weeks ago I went to a conference over at SEBTS my soon to be alma mater #2. My favorite guy to go and hear preach, C.J. Mahaney, as well as Mark Driscoll, both spoke Friday night. It was awesome. Seriously my hand was hurting from note taking.

But the session that ended up being most profitable for me was a breakout session led by Andy Davis (fellow durham pastor) who talked about the impact memorizing scripture has had on his life. His sincerity and clear love for the word of God was quite challenging to me. He actually challenged everyone in the session to memorize one book of the bible in 2009. A WHOLE BOOK!! I’ve never done that before. Ive memorized a psalm, and a couple of chunks of maybe one chapter. But a whole book?

Then he busted my bubble even more. My mind was already thinking…what does philemon have? 24 verses? And about that time he said “If you want to start out with something really easy, do philemon or jude.” I think he knew my pride would kick in there. I, like all males, have an ego that will keep me from ever “starting” on the bunny slopes. Give me the double black diamond!  So then he said to memorize ephesians as a good challenge.

Well, I didnt pray much about this decision because I dont think you need to pray about whether or not you should know God’s word better. So Im now in the midst of a daily memorization plan that will, with God’s help, result in the complete memorization of ephesians by early September 2009. 155 verses.

This is not to gloat. Im only on verse 9 in the first chapter so there isnt much to try and gloat about anyways. The purpose of this is to challenge you to get in your bible. I mean soak it up. There is no more vital discipline to your spiritual health than reading and meditating on the words of God. Donald Whitney, in his excellent book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life gives 3 simple steps that I have found helpful in developing a more steady habit of reading and studying the bible:

1. find the time. studies have shown that it takes 71 hours to read the bible out loud in its entirety. 15 minutes a day can get you through the bible in a year. 5 minutes a day will get you there in 3 years. Yet many professing Christians will never read the whole bible in their entire lives. So it starts with finding and committing a little of your time. (ex: im waking up 15 minutes earlier than I used to & Im using my time walking my dog to memorize scripture.)

2. find a bible-reading plan. So many christians drop the habit of reading daily because they just kinda open the book and wherever it lands is where they will read a chapter that day. The bible wasnt written to be read like that. The one year bible is a great resource for this, the McCheyene reading plan is also good. Courtney and I are going through that one this year.

3. Find one word, phrase, or verse to meditate on each day. This basically means to consider and think deeply on one thing you read each day. For me, until september, it will be my daily ephesians verses.

Hey, I hope this is helpful. The word of God is referred to in scripture as the bread of life. Basically, you need it to follow and love Jesus. I hope you will give it a shot. If you need some help getting into a routine, check in with your small group leader. Or, just shoot me a comment below.

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