In March, the LCC elders challenged us, as a church, to memorize scripture over the next year. I was excited because I have seen this practice spur on my own spiritual growth in the past. Colossians 3:1-17 was the passage we were asked to work on and I started memorizing with a fervor. At about verse 3, however, I sputtered and basically just stopped. I realized again that it is difficult to memorize and it takes some work. I knew I needed some help, so I asked our team going on the recent Haiti Mission Trip to memorize the Colossians passage together. As the trip approached, our 13-member team had made good progress toward completing the memory challenge. By the end of the trip, each person could recite the text without much help!
The result of this hard work was countless Word-centered discussions related to what we were experiencing on the trip. As we returned home, the text has bubbled up in my heart and mind as I’ve lived life here in Longview. I actually have the desire to “set my sights on the realities of heaven” (Col 3:1) more than I normally would. The ripple effects of memorizing scripture are eternally fruitful and it would have not happened if my friends going to Haiti hadn’t committed with me to work on the text.
My memory muscle has been worked out now and I want to continue to see it get stronger. But, how will that occur? How will it occur for you? You may be self-motivated and self-disciplined enough to start and complete a memory challenge. Obviously, I was not, and needed the help from some friends. Please learn from my stumble and commit to memorizing the Colossians 3 passage with a couple of friends, your family, or your small group. Your memory muscle will be flexed and your spirit will be drawn more toward Christ. In Colossians 3:16, Paul says “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives…”. One sure way for this to occur is to have this message firmly planted in your mind and flowing out of your heart. Memorize scripture and watch the Holy Spirit make that happen in your life.