Yesterday’s AM sermon, Indwelling Word, from Colossians 3:16 is online. After our Week of Prayer, we take time to consider how God’s Word can be a part of our lives each year and this year, we decided to launch a Scripture Memory Program church wide. We hoped that our lives individually, our lives in families and our life as a corporate body would all benefit. It was exciting to see how people grabbed onto this. We ran out of books (which meant over 1/2 of our congregation will be involved in this). Here’s what I wrote to introduce the book:
As a church, we are embarking on a new emphasis here. Beginning Sunday, January 10, 2010, we will be seeking to memorize a verse of Scripture each week. All of our publications will use the ESV, since that is the translation we use in the pulpit ministry of Crestview.
This emphasis comes for a few reasons:
1) We want to be characterized by widespread Scripture memory together. As God’s Word is hidden in our hearts, the spiritual benefits we can pursue collectively will undoubtedly multiply.
2) We wanted a simple way to promote family worship. By encouraging our people to be hovering over a particular verse each week, we will be encouraging families to be hiding God’s Word in their hearts together.
3) We wanted to create a simple way to deepen relationships we have with one another in spiritual ways. When you get together for coffee, to exercise, for fellowship or study, we can simply ask, “Do you know this week’s verse?” and be able to transition into spiritual discussions.
4) God’s Word being hidden in our hearts should help us fight against sin week in and week out.
5) Many of us believe this is a great thing, but we need a plan. We are implementing a plan, then, to help us remain disciplined in this.
Dallas Willard has said, “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 mind with what it needs. The 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.”
It is in this spirit, then, that the Elders recommend this pursuit to you. May it inspire you and encourage you to glorify and enjoy God, forever.
I hope you have a great week storing up God’s Word in your heart. (Our verse for this first week is Genesis 1:1.)