“2017: A Year to Remember”
Many people at WBC did the challenge last summer to read the NT during the summer months. A new challenge is before us.
We are challenging individuals in the church to join together with the church family in memorizing a verse a week. The verses are selected in passages so that we will add one verse a week. The verse to be memorized would be reviewed in the service each week starting January 8th.
Scripture memory is a valuable method of hiding “God’s word in our heart.” It allows the word to dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16). It is a key to living a victorious spiritual life (Psalm 119:11) and gives believers resources to share words of admonition and encouragement. It is also valuable when witnessing and giving a reason for the hope that is within us (I Peter 3:15). It is clear that Jesus memorized Scripture. When Jesus was tempted He recited Scripture. Throughout His messages He quoted Scriptures in His teaching. Our AWANA discipleship program for children recognizes the value of Scripture memory—- but it is just no for children. By the end of the year, those participating in this “Year to Remember” will have committed at least 50 verses to memory.
Consider these quotes:
Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, 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” (“Spiritual Formation in Christ for the Whole Life and Whole Person” in Vocatio, Vol. 12, no. 2, Spring, 2001, p. 7).
Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified” (Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994], p. 61).
In addition to taking a few minutes to talk about this in the morning services, we are encouraging home groups, Sunday School classes, FUSE meetings, elder meetings, deacon meetings, leader meetings, to go over the verses and passages being learned to help support and encourage this discipleship in the Word in personal and community discipleship. IBW, our Hispanic congregation will also be doing the same passages that we are learning in the English services.
Those memorizing the Scripture passages will be given a sticker or button saying “It’s in my heart” from the connection center. If they can say it they will be able to go by and pick one up.
Some might object saying that they cannot memorize… but with perseverance, repetition and encouragement everyone can do it. Passages are from 4-6 verses long. Every 4-6 weeks a new passage will be introduced to the church. It will be on the website, on FB pages and posters around the church.
Our first passage for memory is Psalm 23. This great text needs to be in the memory bank of every person at WBC! “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…” vs 1.
I’m very excited about this latest challenge! I actually have note cards sitting here (most of last year) planning to try to memorize more scripture. Now that I’ve written it, I’ve also verbalized it, it’s not just an idea but will be a reality. Yay!