How many of us have a Bible in hand at every moment of temptation? How many of us take the necessary time in Bible reading and prayer in advance of daily and life-impacing decisions? And yet those are some of the very moments when we need God’s Word the most.
At the start of Jesus’ ministry, He went on a 40 day fast at the end of which Satan tempted Him. To every temptation which had serious, life-impacting consequences, Jesus responded with scripture. Did Jesus have His Bible with Him at those moments?
Obviously the answer is “no” and “yes.” While He did not have a written copy, more importantly He had God’s Word in His heart. He had more than words. He understood and knew how to apply God’s Word in relevant ways to a variety of questions and issues.
That is why I highly encourage scripture memorization as a part of your disciple-making plans. Work together on a verse each week. Make sure you together understand the words, meaning, significance, and relevance. Look at the context and understand the truth being communicated in the verse(s).
Some have told me they are not very good at memorization. When I hear that, I think of 85-year-old Irene. She was my disciple through MasterLife for 26 weeks during which we memorized two verses or passages each week. She was my best student. How did she do it? She got on her stationary bike daily and rode it until she had said her verses–not for the week but from the beginning. So by week 26 (50 verses later), she was in better physical and spiritual health.
I suggest that you write down the verse(s) on an index card and carry it with you throughout the week. Stop to say the verse(s) aloud at least three times every day (could be meal times), trying to do so by looking at the card less than the previous time.
Have someone check you daily the later half of the week. This stengthens your resolve to get it right and gives you a chance to share a verse that is worth learning.
When you gather together for a disciple-making meeting, allow leader and learner to say the verse(s) aloud. As leader, your example matters. Talk about the verse(s) and any illustrations or insights God provided throughout the week. Examine the context, words, along with the general and personal application.
What stories can you share about memorizing scripture related to your disciple-making efforts? Invest in Bible reading and prayer. Spend time memorizing and applying God’s Word. Make disciples!
For more ideas about discipling others, check out these blog posts: