Friday, September 9, 2016

26 verses??

Most people who have grown up in church know that we need to be memorizing Scripture. We are told to hide God’s word in our hearts over and over again. Out of all the people raised in church, I have found very few people actually have Scripture memorized (other than John 3:16). After signing up to go to the Philippines, I read online that the organization I planned on going with would require us to memorize 26 verses over the course of the summer. I pride myself on being transparent in these articles and because of that I have to admit my first reaction was not a positive one. If I’m being completely honest I might have groaned and hoped that this was only a recommendation. Go ahead and judge me. I deserve it. 26 verses seemed like a lot and memorizing verses can be challenging. Obviously, I’m writing this article because my view has changed quite a bit. This is what I have learned about memorizing Scripture
There is power in Scripture. The Bible is God’s word and therefore just like Him the Bible is extremely powerful. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is God breathed reminding us that what we read in the Bible comes from Him. We have access to this power. It doesn't make sense for us to not do everything we can to keep this word with us at all times. In the Philippines we had to hike up huge hills in extreme heat. It was not an easy or enjoyable thing to do. During almost all of the hikes, I silently trudged up the hills reciting Scripture. There was a turning point in the summer where reciting these verses wasn't just so I could get them done and win the debrief competition (we did win by the way). But it was to experience the power of what the Scriptures say. When I wanted to sit and rest it was the reminder from Romans 10:14 that gave me the energy to walk to the next house. If I didn't spend that time reciting Scripture I probably would have fallen on the ground out of exhaustion and refused to move ever again.
I learned this summer that the best way to mediate on Scripture is by memorizing it. I spent so much time with the 26 verses I learned this summer and I can see the difference it made in my life. I have a new understanding of these verses that I would have not been able to comprehend from just reading over them during my quiet time. Memorizing is so much easier when we understand what we are memorizing. When I applied the Scripture to my life the task of memorizing the verse didn't seem so difficult.
We can easily defend our faith when we know what the Bible says and where it says it. I know my first reaction when someone tells me that the Bible says something is to ask where. If a person can't tell me I will search for it. I love hearing the wisdom of other people but I want to know that it is Biblically correct. When someone asks us where in Scripture we find what we believe and the best we can do is say it's in the New Testament somewhere, it hurts our witness. I spent so much time this summer showing people where in the Bible it says the only way to heaven is through Jesus. A lot of the times when people understood that what I was saying came from the Bible and not from me that is when they really started paying attention.
Hopefully, I will have the chance to go into countries where I can't have a Bible with me. I want to know enough Scripture that no matter where I am, Bible or no Bible, I can still spend time meditating on the word of God. It is important to keep what the Bible says with us at all times so no matter what situation we are we can depend on what it says.
This summer changed my mindset of memorizing Scripture. Since coming home I have continued to memorize Scripture and I have continued to learn about how powerful actively memorizing Scripture can be. I am happy that I had the opportunity to be required to memorize God's word and thankfully it has completely changed my life.
-Cassidy Winters
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