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Why Memorise Scripture?

Anyone who knows me knows I am pretty keen on memorising (and reading) the Bible. I am not alone in such thinking, in fact many Christians you might have heard of hold the same view.

John Piper quotes Dallas Willard saying,

“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 minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization”

There are many reasons to memorise the Bible. Here are a few that motivate me;

1. It helps me become more like Jesus

1 John 2:6

whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

2 Cor. 3:18

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.

2. It helps me resist the temptation to sin

Psalm 119:11 was my first ever memory verse,

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

3. It helps me to resist the devil

Jesus in the wilderness, Matt 4:4,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

James 4:7

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

4. It helps me tell other people the Gospel

In sharing the Gospel I try to interweave the words of the Bible with experience, questions or testimony. I always think it helps me make sure I am testifying about Jesus not me. Acts 5:42

And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

1 Peter 3:15,

in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

5. It helps my words bring life, hope and encouragement

Proverbs 15:23,

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!


6. It helps me to know more of God and his ways

I like to memorise verses which proclaim the greatness of who God is, Isaiah 40:28, 29

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

7. It helps me to live in the promises of God

John 15:7,

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Phil. 4:13,

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

There are lots of books, posts, blogs and papers giving other good reasons for memorising your Bible. What I have given here is a very simple set of reasons that motivate me to do it.

Next time I will talk a little about the practice of memorising, how you do it.

May Chapel Schedule

2/5/201 MONDAY SINGING & PRAYER
4/5/2011 WEDNESDAY BEN LONGCHAR
6/5/2011 FRIDAY THEMREINGAM CHILHANG
9/5/2011 MONDAY HUBERT MAKANG
11/5/2011 WEDNESDAY ARUN KOCHARY
13/5/2011 FRIDAY TESTIMONY FROM STUDENTS
16/5/2011 MONDAY LOLI PHIMU
18/5/2011 WEDNESDAY RITESH RANA
20/5/2011 FRIDAY AYLWIN WOLENG
23/5/2011 MONDAY RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN

Dispensationalism

JNDarby.jpgJust to help you understand more here are a couple of links to simple papers which give you a simple overview of dispensationalism.

http://www.theologicalstudies.org/dispen.html

http://www.answers.org/theology/dispensationalism.html

http://www.endtimes.org/dispens.html

and I have also found this useful page,

http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/dispensationalism.html

I have uploaded the class notes to slideshare and scribd.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/53914496/Chafer-Bible-Doctrines-Dispensations

http://www.scribd.com/doc/53914789/Chafer-Bible-Doctrines-Covenants

http://www.slideshare.net/rdc2506/chafer-bible-doctrines-dispensations

http://www.scribd.com/doc/53914789/Chafer-Bible-Doctrines-Covenants

JN Darby (pictured above) is considered one of the early pioneers of systematised dispensational theology.

How do you start your day?

This is a quote from George Muller as quoted in Desiring God. I have read it many times yet never fail to get get challenged by it.

While I was staying at Nailsworth, it pleased the Lord to teach me a truth, irrespective of human instrumentality, as far as I know, the benefit of which I have not lost, though now…more than forty years have since passed away.

The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. For I might seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers, I might seek to relieve the distressed, I might in other ways seek to behave myself as it becomes a child of God in this world; and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right spirit.

Before this time my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as an habitual thing, to give myself to prayer, after having dressed in the morning. Now I saw, that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental, communion with the Lord. I began therefore, to meditate on the New Testament, from the beginning, early in the morning.

The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake or preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer.

When thus I have been for awhile making confession, or intercession, or supplication, or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse, turning all, as I go on, into prayer for myself or others, as the Word may lead to it; but still continually keeping before me, that food for my own soul is the object of my meditation. The result of this is, that there is always a good deal of confession, thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession mingled with my meditation, and that my inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened and that by breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart. Thus also the Lord is pleased to communicate unto me that which, very soon after, I have found to become food for other believers, though it was not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word that I gave myself to meditation, but for the profit of my own inner man.

The difference between my former practice and my present one is this. Formerly, when I rose, I began to pray as soon as possible, and generally spent all my time till breakfast in prayer, or almost all the time. At all events I almost invariably began with prayer. …But what was the result? I often spent a quarter of an hour, or half an hour, or even an hour on my knees, before being conscious to myself of having derived comfort, encouragement, humbling of soul, etc.; and often after having suffered much from wandering of mind for the first ten minutes, or a quarter of an hour, or even half an hour, I only then began really to pray.

I scarcely ever suffer now in this way. For my heart being nourished by the truth, being brought into experimental fellowship with God, I speak to my Father, and to my Friend (vile though I am, and unworthy of it!) about the things that He has brought before me in His precious Word.

It often now astonished me that I did not sooner see this. In no book did I ever read about it. No public ministry ever brought the matter before me. No private intercourse with a brother stirred me up to this matter. And yet now, since God has taught me this point, it is as plain to me as anything, that the first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is to obtain food for his inner man.

As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time, except we take food, and as this is one of the first things we do in the morning, so it should be with the inner man. We should take food for that, as every one must allow. Now what is the food for the inner man: not prayer, but the Word of God: and here again not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts…

I dwell so particularly on this point because of the immense spiritual profit and refreshment I am conscious of having derived from it myself, and I affectionately and solemnly beseech all my fellow-believers to ponder this matter. By the blessing of God I ascribe to this mode the help and strength which I have had from God to pass in peace through deeper trials in various ways than I had ever had before; and after having now above forty years tried this way, I can most fully, in the fear of God, commend it. How different when the soul is refreshed and made happy early in the morning, from what is when, without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials and the temptations of the day come upon one!