Dr. Andy Davis of the First Baptist Church of Durham, North Carolina recently spoke at the 2008 National Founder’s Conference on “The Importance of Filling Your Life with Scripture.” Dr. Davis is a very faithful pastor who emphasizes the theme of Scripture memorization for spiritual growth. I did not attend the conference but enjoyed reading through Timmy Brister’s live-blog of the message (which is essentially a word-by-word reproduction of the talk itself). Here are some parts of the message that I found convicting and helpful:
The Bible is a miracle–“I hold in my hand a miracle. The Bible is a miracle, and I challenge you to give me any definition of a miracle that our Bible does not qualify. It was the Word God sent, for faith comes by hearing so that we might be saved. James 1:17 – God chose to give us birth by the word of truth. The Scriptures are able to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 3:15).”
Feeding on Christ–“You need to meditate on Scripture, not as water through a pipe, but pause and let the words sink into your life. Feed and give food to your inner man. The first and greatest duty is to get your own soul happy in the Lord first by study and second by prayer. Let God speak to you first and speak back to Him in prayer. The goal is personal feeding on Christ.”
The Word is like Microsoft (vice versa, maybe)–“I say to you that memorization is the most efficient way to do all of this. Why should you memorize Scripture? God is commending Scripture memory to you, but He is not commanding it. If I was in 1985 offering you a million shares of stock in Microsoft, you would buy it. Memorizing Scripture will make you rich.”
Answers to objections to memorization–
“1. I don’t have a good memory. You have a better memory than you think you do. Think of all the numbers and names you know.
2. It will take up too much time; I am too busy. This is the most efficient use of your time. It will bless you in everything you do. Invest your life in the Word of God.
3. I am too lazy, and it’s hard work. The secret to memorization is repetition over time. Repeat, and repeat, and repeat over months. It is hard work, but it is worth doing.
4. I am not very interested; it seems boring. Could the word of God really be boring to you if you are justified by faith? You haven’t seen the glories of the word of God.”
There is much more to read at Timmy Brister’s blog. Go over there and read the whole thing. You may not immediately begin to memorize massive chunks of Scripture, but Dr. Davis’s message will encourage you to think hard about incorporating such a practice into your life. He certainly has challenged me on this matter.