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Today’s guest blogger is Jim Quigley. Jim has been a part of NewLife since August, after moving up from New Jersey. As we continue our focus on Scripture memory in 2010, Jim is going to share with us about the blessing this practice has been in his life.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Like any discipline, Bible memorization is an activity that is not always enjoyable or easy. But memorizing Scripture is crucial to going deeper in your relationship with Christ. We can see from 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that knowing Scripture will help us to teach and train better so that we can serve the Lord better, being ready to do every work God has in store for us. Knowing God’s Word is essential in spiritual warfare as well. In Ephesians 6:10-17, the Lord has provided us with plenty of armor to protect ourselves from the enemy, but only one weapon: the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We don’t need any other divine weapon. No Golden Gun of God or Javelin of Jehovah, just the Word of God. Once you wield the Sword of the Spirit, temptations are cut down, demons flee, and the prince of darkness himself is defeated. The Word is so strong that even the enemy tries to use it against us with malicious intent to get us to fall. Take, for instance, when Jesus is tempted by the devil in the desert (Luke 4:1-13). Satan on his second temptation quotes Scripture in hopes that Jesus would buy into his lies. Jesus counters this temptation (and the other two as well) with Scripture and with each swing of the Sword, Satan concedes and flees. What is also important from this is that Jesus could have said ANYTHING and it would have been Scripture for us. But instead, He chose to use existing Scripture as a model for us when we are tempted. Memorizing Scripture will help sharpen our Sword so that we can use it to ward off the enemy.
So it is critical that we know the Word, not only because it is necessary for teaching and discipling others in the knowledge of Christ, but also because it helps us to grow in our own relationship with Jesus and to fight off the attacks and temptations from the enemy.
In my life, Scripture is where I hear God speaking to me the most. Whether it is helping me through a struggle, answering a question, or granting me wisdom, God speaks clearest to me through His Word. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share some of my experiences and I pray that God may speak to you in memorizing any of these verses as He did with me.
Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
This is the first verse that I ever memorized, and God spoke to me, saying that no matter what, through thick and thin, He will always be there. That He is a valiant warrior who marches into battle right next to me and never leaves my side. That God is a Warrior, and our General in battle.
Galatians 5:13 – You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
The Lord spoke to me through this verse while I was living a hypocritical Christian lifestyle. I was saved, but only walking in the Light part-time. God revealed that I needed to serve Him better instead of using the gift of free will to satisfy the sinful desires of the flesh.
Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
I had been fasting for a period of time and felt as if it meant nothing to God, nor was it accomplishing anything because I received no divine revelation. God spoke to me with this verse telling me that the “mere” act of sacrificing my body was holy and pleasing enough for Him.
Colossians 3:12-13 - Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
I memorized this verse long before I heard what God was saying to me; although, I was probably intentionally ignoring Him. He wanted me to forgive one of my best friends who stole over $600 from me and some other roommates. I learned that I needed to love the sinner and not the sin. That I needed forgive just as the Lord forgave me for every sin that I have done, am doing, and ever will do. I forgave my friend, started to reconcile our friendship, and now we are back to being friends.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 – But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
God spoke to me here, telling me that this is the man that I should aspire to be. To be a man who is committed to the Lord, who stays close to God and soaks up all the knowledge He provides, like a tree planted by a stream. To be a man who does not fear when trials, temptation, or despair comes his way, but instead to always stand firm in the Lord, praise God, and produce fruit for the Kingdom.
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
God told me through this Scripture that in order to start behaving pure, I needed to start thinking only pure, holy, and Godly thoughts.
Hebrews 4:14-16 – Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
The Lord revealed to me here that He can relate to everything that we are going through. It is so encouraging because He is able to sympathize with and understand everything happening in our lives.
Micah 7:8 – Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.
God taught me to not let the guilt of sin reign over me or to let it hinder me from serving His Kingdom.
2 Corinthians 6:4-10 (Omitted due to length)
The Lord spoke to me here and reminded me that we are not called to live easy, comfortable lives. Being a Christian will be tough and we will have to endure a lot of tribulations. But even if we have nothing, we will always have the Lord, which is everything we need.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
God really encouraged me, telling me to be a bolder servant for Him and to be a better example of Christ, especially in front of my family and those who don’t believe in Jesus.
1 Corinthians 4:3-5- I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
God is still working and revealing truths to me about this verse. But what He has impressed upon me so far is that I should not care what the world thinks about me. That I shouldn’t even consider what I think of myself! But rather, all that matters is what God thinks of me. For at His second coming, He is the one who will be our Judge and He will reveal the true motivations of our hearts.
I know it takes a lot of self-discipline to memorize and, more importantly, retain Scripture. It is definitely a challenge, but I have experienced the rewards and they are truly invaluable. My relationship with the Lord has grown so much through memorizing His Word and sharpening my Sword. I encourage you to take the challenge and start memorizing the Word of God.
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