Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Resources for Reading the Bible In 2011--Memorizing Scripture

This last post to encourage you to read the Bible through in 2011 will be the most challenging one of all. It perhaps brings back those fears you had when you were in high school and you had a major gaffe when you were trying to quote “Mending Wall” by Frost or some ancient line of Shakespeare’s in front of the whole class.

Frankly, I associate memorization of any sort with all sorts of torment particularly after Gerald Bryant, my old A&P teacher in college, who much against our will forced us to memorize the Kreb’s Cycle and the ins and outs of Frank Starlings law. Add to that the forced labor of Ellen Borland exhorting us to memorize Hamlet’s soliloquy and my fleeing from these sorts of modes of education are highly warranted. However, I have to think that memorizing Scripture does not even nearly fall into the same category.

In fact, Don Whitney in his fine book on the Spiritual Disciplines stated that our whole attitude would change about memorizing Scripture if we were told that we were going to be paid $1000 for every verse we memorized. I have a feeling I could memorize at the very minimum, ten every week, probably more. It is a matter of motivation and priority as to whether you want to give yourself to such an activity.

There are multiple benefits in memorizing Scripture. One of the foremost is that it gives us a sense of spiritual power. By memorizing Scripture, we can know what to do in situations that life brings to us. Psalm 119:11 encourages us to put Scripture in our heart so that we will not sin against God. One of the elements of armor in Ephesians 6:10-18 is that wielding of the sword of the Spirit. An accomplished and skilled soldier knows how to use his weapons. Every Christian should know how to use the Word. If you give yourself to the goal of reading through it in 2011, I have a feeling that there will be some changes in your thinking. You will find that Scripture opposes much of the common and pop psychology that the world dumps on us every single day.

Scripture memorization will stimulate your mind toward meditation on godly things. Our society has increasingly become enamored with yoga and its supposed health benefits that it has. However, when you analyze the process of yoga, it is an emptying out of the mind rather than placing something in it. Empty minds create empty lives while Scripture-filled minds will create a godly mind. If anyone ever needed such an experience it is our generation. We need godly minds in pastors, husbands, wives, children, employees, employers, teachers, physicians, construction workers, attorneys, politicians, and every other occupation.

The way I ended up memorizing the Kreb’s cycle for the famous Gerald Bryant, who was a local celebrity on our campus, was by drawing it out on a 3X5 index card and keeping it with me all the time. By the time I got to test time, the card was in terrible shape but I passed the test and that was what was important. I encourage you to do the same and write down 2 or 3 Scriptures on a card and keep it with you. Don’t lower the bar and stumble around with quoting it but hold yourself to a high standard and lock in your mind to the task.

I recently found a link that has broken down Philippians in a way that if you are diligent about it, you can have it memorized by Easter. I also found a link to help you use a Moleskin to be very creative with a memorization plan. If you use a Moleskin this link can help to create your verse list. I also found a list that broke down the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5-7 that will allow you to memorize it entirely by the end of the year (listed below).

It is also important to remember that you are not memorizing Scripture just for the sake of being able to say that you have a certain amount of verses in your resume. The goal of memorizing Scripture is for personal holiness and godliness. You will find the importance and necessity of reviewing what you have committed to memory as time passes but stay with and be a godly person.

Thanks for reading. . .

PH

Week 1 - Daniel 2:20b-21 - To recite January 9 & 10
Week 2 - Matthew 5:3-6 - To recite January 16 & 17
Week 3 - Matthew 5:7-9 - To recite January 23 & 24
Week 4 - Matthew 5:10-12 - To recite January 30 & 31
Week 5 - Matthew 5:13 - To recite February 6 & 7
Week 6 - Matthew 5:14-16 - To recite February 13 & 14
Week 7 - Matthew 5:17-18 - To recite February 20 & 21
Week 8 - Matthew 5:19-20 - To recite February 27&28
Week 9 - Matthew 5:21-22 - To recite March 6 & 7
Week 10 - Matthew 5:23-24 - To recite March 13 & 14
Week 11 - Matthew 5:25-26 - To recite March 20 & 21
Week 12 - Matthew 5:27-28 - To recite March 27 & 28
Week 13 - Matthew 5:29-30 - To recite April 3 & 4
Week 14 - Matthew 5:31-32 - To recite April 10 & 11
Week 15 - Matthew 5:33 - To recite April 17 & 18
Week 16 - Matthew 5:34-36 - To recite April 24 & 25
Week 17 - Matthew 5:37 - To recite May 1 & 2
Week 18 - Matthew 5:38-40 - To recite May 8 & 9
Week 19 - Matthew 5:41-45a - To recite May 15 & 16
Week 20 - Matthew 5:45b-46 - To recite May 22 & 23
Week 21 - Matthew 5:47-48 - To recite May 29 & 30
Week 22 - Matthew 6:1-2 - To recite June 5 & 6
Week 23 - Matthew 6:3-4 - To recite June 12 & 13
Week 24 - Matthew 6:5 - To recite June 19 & 20
Week 25 - Matthew 6:6 - To recite June 26 & 27
Week 26 - Matthew 6:7-8 - To recite July 3 & 4
Week 27 - Matthew 6:9-13 - To recite July 10 & 11
Week 28 - Matthew 6:14-15 - To recite July 17 & 18
Week 29 - Matthew 6:16 - To recite July 24 & 25
Week 30 - Matthew 6:17-18 - To recite July 31 & August 1
Week 31 - Matthew 6:19-21 - To recite August 7 & 8
Week 32 - Matthew 6:22-23 - To recite August 14 & 15
Week 33 - Matthew 6:24 - To recite August 21 & 22
Week 34 - Matthew 6:25-26 - To recite August 28 & 29
Week 35 - Matthew 6:27-29 - To recite September 4 & 5
Week 36 - Matthew 6:30 - To recite September 11 & 12
Week 37 - Matthew 6:31-32 - To recite September 18 & 19
Week 38 - Matthew 6:33-34 - To recite September 25 & 26
Week 39 - Matthew 7:1-2 - To recite October 2 & 3
Week 40 - Matthew 7:3-5 - To recite October 9 & 10
Week 41 - Matthew 7:6 - To recite October 16 & 17
Week 42 - Matthew 7:7-8 - To recite October 23 & 24
Week 43 - Matthew 7:9-12 - To recite October 30 & 31
Week 44 - Matthew 7:13-14 - To recite November 6 & 7
Week 45 - Matthew 7:15-16 - To recite November 13 & 14
Week 46 - Matthew 7:17-20 - To recite November 20 & 21
Week 47 - Matthew 7:21 - To recite November 27 & 28
Week 48 - Matthew 7:22-23 - To recite December 4 & 5
Week 49 - Matthew 7:24-25 - To recite December 11 & 12
Week 50 - Matthew 7:26-27 - To recite December 18 & 19
Week 51 - Matthew 10:18-20 - To recite December 25 & 26
Week 52 - Catch-up/review - To recite December 26 through January 1, 2012

1 comment:

Phil said...

Thank you Philip for this post. I have tried on several occasions to read through the Bible in a year and only been successful once. I am currently in the process of doing so again and have hopes of being successful this time because I have taken to blogging about what I am reading and am finding that I am getting much more out of my reading by doing this. Your post has led me to consider adding scripture memorization to my daily devotion.