Has scripture memorization become a lost art?
When I was growing up, our pastor often talked about the importance of getting God's Word in your heart. Our Sunday School classes memorized passages of the Bible together, and prizes were awarded as an incentive. Growing up, our family learned verses together. I especially remember us memorizing Romans chapters six and eight together, in the King James Version. Most of it is still with me today.
While I can't find an exact verse of the Bible that commands us to memorize Scripture, we are instructed to keep the Word in our hearts. Consider the following verses.
The challenge with spiritual disciplines is the "discipline" part. To say something requires discipline makes it feel like a "check-the-box" duty, not something enjoyable. We understand that we are referring to the spiritual practices that help us abide with Christ and grow deeper in our relationship with God. Most of us would agree that without regular connection and communication with God, our relationship will suffer.
Growing up in the faith, I have experimented with a variety of spiritual disciplines. At age 15, I felt compelled to get up at 5:00 AM to read my Bible and pray. I was able to keep the commitment for six-months until I realized that the "crack of dawn" was not required by God. Over the years, in different seasons, I have tried various approaches to keep my walk with God fresh.
What do we need to do to be a disciple of Jesus? We know that a follower's life begins at our conversion when we are born again by placing our faith in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord. But the journey forward to be like Jesus, what does it look involve?
In my journey as a follower of Jesus, I have experienced different seasons. There have been times as a disciple where I felt like I should be doing more (more prayer, scripture memorization, fasting, etc.). In other seasons I sensed God leading me to do less (rest, solitude, sabbath, etc.). Is there a right way, a wrong way, and only one way?
I'm learning that doing more or doing less follows having the right understanding of being a disciple of Jesus. All the things we "do" as followers must flow out of a heart of gratitude for God's saving grace, not as a means to earn God's favor. At the same time, God is not opposed to our efforts and discipline to follow, pursue, and know Him more.
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