This topic has come up several times with the facilitators. Several of us count it as the most essential discipline of a believer. Here are some quotes from others whom we respect.
Dallas Willard writes: “Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our mind with what it needs.” From Spiritual Formation in Christ for the Whole Life and Whole Person.
John Piper writes: “I spend this much time on Bible memory because I believe in the power of the indwelling Word of God to solve a thousand problems before they happen, and to heal a thousand wounds after they happen, and to kill a thousand sins in the moment of temptation, and to sweeten a thousand days with the “drippings of the honeycomb.” I am jealous for you, my readers, that you would “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3:16). This is the path to solid joy and all the service of love that it sustains. Christ will be seen as the fortune He is when we treasure His Word more than money, and when the joy it wakens overflows with sacrificial love (2 Cor 8:2).” -John Piper, When I don’t Desire God.
Bible memorization is essential to spiritual living. Without the counsel of God in your mind you cannot choose to obey Him. Consider the following scriptures:
“In my heart I store up your words so I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11 NET
“This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully
obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper and be successful.” Joshua 1:8 NET
Isaiah 55 begins with this calling to listen to the voice of God:
“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance.
“Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live;”
The fruit of which he speaks comes through Gods Word (God’s voice). Just so you don’t miss the point he writes this in verse 11:
“ So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. “
We must acknowledge the power of the Word of God, but more than acknowledge it, our goal is to live empowered by God. One of the most essential elements to living in the power of God is to know His word well. So we offer this challenge as a jumpstart and supplement to a regular bible memory discipline. Don’t let your mind get intimidated or overwhelmed by the scope of memorizing a whole book of the bible. Some books of the bible aren’t very long at all. My personal suggestion would be Jude. Jude is only 25 verses and is very applicable to the current American spirituality situation. But if you want to choose another, here are some of the books that are less than 100 verses (3 a day).
2 John 13
3 John 15
2 Thessalonians 47
2 Peter 61
2 Timothy 86
1 Thessalonians 89
We think this challenge will be influential in your life. We expect that it will take some work and this isn’t Jenny Craig, you may not “see” results from this in 4 to 6 weeks. You may not see results for a long time. However, I guarantee that you that habitual bible memorization is a key element in living Christ’s Kingdom through our lives and families.