I’ve watched the movie “The Book of Eli” a couple of times, and as I wrote in this post here, was completely captivated by the fact that……spoiler alert……..Eli had memorized the entire Bible. I haven’t been able to get that out of my mind.
I’ve been feeling SO STRONGLY that I’m supposed to be memorizing more scripture. Reading the Bible – The Living Word of the Living God – is a privilege and should be a joy. Should be a desire. Should be a passion. We should hunger and thirst for it. And that passion to read the Bible has been re-kindled in me, thank you, Spirit! But we, as Americans, have taken for granted our privilege of even HAVING Bibles…having MANY Bibles with different versions in our house, Bible apps, online Bibles..We CAN read the Bible whenever and wherever we want! And we shouldn’t be taking that for granted. So many Christians in places around the world either do not have access to a Bible or do not have the “legal” right to have possession of one. I’ve been reading a book about persecuted Christians that have been arrested, thrown in jail for their beliefs, and obviously, do not have access to a Bible. Cannot read scripture that would encourage & comfort or share with fellow prisoners…. And that scenario could be in America’s future……But at the very least, having His “Word hid in my heart” can only deepen my relationship with Him and provide comfort, exhortation, encouragement, etc. as well as the Good News when I don’t have a Bible in my hand. There have been a few nights when quoting Psalm 23 has quietened my racing, anxious heart.
I still know verses that I memorized when I was a child and I “kinda” know many more just from reading the Bible the last few years, but I haven’t been intentional about it. It took Eli 30 years. At least I can start…..
I asked God what I should start memorizing first this go-round. There are so many great passages that will be beneficial to have in my heart, but I have chosen Ephesians 1. It has special meaning to me, as I wrote about here. And yes, the entire chapter. I read this great blog post by Jean Williams entitled Why You Shouldn’t Memorize Bible Verses. Yes, got your attention, too, didn’t it? Just like she wanted. She talks about why Bible PASSAGES are better to memorize than just Bible VERSES. Love her comment: ” Why passages, not just verses? Because they are more useful to remember. Instead of a single nail, they give you a shelf to rest your thoughts on.” She wrote a series (I’ll say again…great) about memorization that has given me much to think about:
- http://matthiasmedia.com/briefing/2012/07/the-delightful-results-of-remembering-the-bible/ This is a really good post. I love that she talks about how the very act of reading & re-reading & memorization of Bible passages “forces me deeper into the Bible and the Bible deeper into me.” And “Memorizing God’s word lays a new set of thought patterns over those that come naturally to us. It transforms our hopes, desires and choices as God’s truth cajoles and pummels them into a more Christ-centred form. Most amazingly for me, it even shapes my emotions, slowly but surely changing despair into hope, fear into trust, and self-pity into joy.” And….oh, just go READ it! It’s all good.
There are many ways to memorize, but here are a couple of sites that I’m using to help me in my effort.
http://thegoodbookblog.com/2012/jan/28/the-easiest-way-to-memorize-the-bible-what-i-learn/ teaches us to memorize passages by READING many times before “rote-memorizing.” I realized that actually this was how I’d “unintentionally” memorized several verses.
There are sites that have word-for-word Psalms set to music to help in memorization. Being on the worship team for years has already given me a vast number of songs that I know by heart so I understand how music can help you memorize better than just words alone. Here’s one site.
Here are a handful of other sites I’ve found.
With another great quote from Jean Williams: “Why passages, not just verses? Because God has invited us to a feast. Let’s not stop at the hors d’oeuvres.” YUMMY.