Memorising the Bible has a profound effect on us, it is the best way of getting from the head to our inner being. Throughout the New Testament it is clear that both Jesus and the Apostles had memorised large portions of the Bible. When memorised it is immediately available for use. See the example of Jesus in Matthew 4 here.
Matthew 4: 3 During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
- What value is there in approaching the Bible in this way?
- How could I go about doing this?
A further dimension to memorising the Bible is what it does to us unconsciously. This is hard to put across in a set of text. It is seen far more experientially. Here is the experience of one of the Bible writers.
Psalm 119: 10 I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
- What does the writer do with God’s word? – What does that mean?
- What is the writer’s belief that happens as a result?
“The Topical Memory System” This is a book and memory cards published by Navpress. The selection of verses is very helpful. If you have memorised all the verses then surprisingly with this relatively small number you will find that you know a key passage of the Bible concerning most topics. The result is that when you hear some new teaching, you immediately have a means of evaluation that goes straight to the Bible.
There is a brilliant program (freeware) that helps you memorise verses. It then helps you keep them memorised by organising a review schedule based on how well you know them. It can be downloaded from http://www.memoryverses.org/smsw.shtml. (This site is safe, I have used it there is no malware.)
Meditation on (Reflecting on, Thinking on) the Bible
The process of meditation or reflection on Bible passages does more than merely give deeper insight. Have a look at the outworking of meditating on the Bible from Psalm 1.
Psalm 1:1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
- What sources of counsel are contrasted in the Bible?
- What is the writers’ attitude to the Bible?
- What impact does the Bible have? What is the Bible equated to?
- How could I meditate or reflect like that?
Meditation on the Bible is what we do as we get into the Bible. Listen to it, read, study and memorise it. Take the extra time to think about what has been said. Reflect on it and compare it to your life. Ask God how He thinks you are doing and what you should do about what is written.
Applying what the Bible says
Growth only happens as God’s word is put into practice. If we are not active physically, then our physical food just becomes fat. Look at what Jesus says about using what we find in the Bible in Mark 4.
Mark 4:24 Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given*—and you will receive even more.25 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”
- To whom does Jesus give insight into the Bible?
- If you want to hear more from Jesus, what is the requirement?