Have you memorized a verse from the Bible? Can you say it now?
I’ve listened to people quote great sections of scripture, amazed at their ability to memorize and retain. I contribute my ability to recall verses to a class I participated in at my church during my youth. Many Baptist churches had Bible Drill competitions, where children could show how quickly they could find a verse in the Bible or quote one. Through that class, I learned where every book in the Bible was located and memorized many verses that I can still recall today. The certificates and awards have all gone away, but the true aim of the effort remains. I’m grateful for the adults in my church, who served for such an important cause.
One of the verses memorized is this:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.*
When I think about the act of memorization, my mind drifts back to multiplication tables. Oh, how I worked to memorize two times three equals six and five times eight is forty. The rote act of memorizing does have purpose. I have needed those tables more than once in my life.
Does the same hold true for Scripture? Does it serve any purpose to “hide” the Word in our hearts?
Paul’s word to the young Timothy answers that question as a resounding “yes”. God’s Word is useful or profitable for our lives, because it teaches, rebukes, corrects and trains us in righteous living. It prepares us for doing good in a world, where good is shunned and evil is seen as good.
However, memorizing Scripture is not enough. We must believe it. That’s why Paul reminds us that Scripture is God-breathed or inspired. His Spirit spoke through each one who wrote one of the sixty-six books that comprise our Holy Bible. That’s what makes it not just a Bible, but Holy. It’s His Word — a complete revelation, written, not by one man, but many, and not in a short span of time, but over millennia. Even so, it has a uniformity that conveys God’s message, His letter of love, to mankind.
If we believe this verse, we would not only memorize it, but we would live it by making the Bible a part of our daily life — reading and studying it, meditating on it, and ultimately applying it to every aspect of our lives.
Math may be profitable for calculating the cost of something or necessary in construction, but it cannot call out our sins, help us to live moral and upright lives or point us to the way of salvation. Only the inspired Word of God can accomplish that goal.
Where are you spending your time? In things that are temporary in nature or in that which lasts for eternity? God’s Word is the most useful tool you can have. Don’t neglect it. Make it part of your day and watch what God will do in your life.
Grace and Peace
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)