Puritan pastor and writer Thomas Brooks said, “Remember that it is not hasty reading — but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, which makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee which gathers honey — but her abiding for a time on the flower which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most, but he who meditates most — who will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest, and strongest Christian!”
As a young college student, I remember memorizing Scripture while taking a course on evangelism. Since Scripture memory was required for class, I memorized because I had to. We memorized two verses a week in those days. That was almost 20 years ago (1999), and I have not stopped memorizing since! Little did I understand at the time that as I was training to pass the class, God was training me on how to promote godliness (1 Timothy 4:7). Praise His glorious name!
Some say that to be too heavenly minded is to be of no earthly good. Colossians 3:1 indicates otherwise. Allow me to introduce myself to you. My name is Will Costello — sinner saved by grace. Miraculously, I have been reconciled to God through personal faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Simple faith in Jesus alone has enabled me to belong to Christ, and for Christ’s righteousness to belong to me (2 Corinthians 5:21). Sin, death, judgment, and the lake of fire have all been conquered through Jesus’ substitution of Himself for me at the cross. Through faith, His death was mine and His resurrection is also. It is in Christ, not in anything or anyone else, where I now stand — forgiven, justified, and completely accepted in the eyes of God forever. This is my story, the story of a sinner saved by grace.
Old Things Have Passed Away
Now that I am in Christ, “old things have passed away, behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). I am completely new. I have a new Father, a new fellowship, and a new focus. Now I know that nothing is more important than to focus my life on my heavenly Father and to grow deeper into the fellowship that I already enjoy with Him (John 17:3). This fellowship grows more deeply — more sweetly with each day that passes. While life gets tougher, problems get bigger, and people usually grow harder (not softer) in heart — these challenges are more manageable because of a growing, deepening, and sweetening fellowship with God.
You ask, “How does one know the LORD more fully and more sweetly?” How can I too grow into a more deep and sweeter fellowship? I desire to share with you one way to grow in the enjoyment of your fellowship with God.
Here’s a hint. Jeremiah 15:16. Here’s another hint. Matthew 4:4. Please permit me to share personally with you how I spend the first hour of every day. The first hour of every day I devote totally to the learning of a new Bible verse. I focus my thoughts upon the verse. Right now I am finishing up 2 Corinthians chapter 6. There is nothing technical about this. For you Greek geeks — sorry, I try not to think about how to parse the main verb. I will do that in my study time. The first hour is for pondering, meditating, gazing at God, and worship! You should try this with me tomorrow. Simply drink in the contents of the verse like a parched runner guzzling water at the end of a long race. Lets face it, this pilgrim’s pathway is a weary one. There’s a lot to get us down. But this is not another downer — quite the opposite, actually.
So, if you struggle (like me), waking up most days bone-tired, a bit dizzy, and somewhat disoriented (I forget what state I live in most mornings), give this plan a try. You will see, no matter how dark the night, the light begins to shine in the heart when you crack open the Bible and begin to meditate. So, why would I never do anything else in the first hour of the day? Here are 5 reasons why I memorize Scripture.
1. Scripture Alone Is Where God’s Voice Is
Luther said, “If any man will hear the voice of God, let him listen to the Scriptures.” All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). Never forget these four facts: God is. God is a speaking God. God has spoken. God has spoken in Scripture!
2. Scripture Is a Mirror
I memorize Scripture because Scripture is a mirror through which I see the glories of Christ, and as I am beholding His glory I am being transformed (2 Corinthians 3:18).
3. Scripture Displays the Goodness of God
I memorize Scripture because through it I learn how God is good and how good God is. This augments worship (Psalm 119:68).
4. Scripture Is the Believer’s Sustenance
I memorize Scripture because, as a Christian, I live by its “every word” (Matthew 4:4).
5. Scripture Is Our Defense
I memorize Scripture because God’s truth treasured in my heart is the greatest defense I have for fighting off sin — the fellowship thief (Psalm 119:11)!
Scripture memory is not just for a course in school or for a new badge on your well-worn AWANA vest. Scripture is for the course of life (Philippians 2:15).