Life is in the Word because it is God-breathed, living, and active. Several falsely assume that the early Church created the Word. But, the Word created the Church and will sustain it until Christ returns. The Church does not own God’s Word; we are its stewards and servants. As its stewards and servants, we must be found faithful. Our faithfulness stems from our understanding and obeying God’s truth.
We have been working through a two-year bible reading plan. As we increase our Bible’s knowledge in terms of its breadth, let’s take it a little deeper with scripture memory and meditation. This Summer, from June through early September, we are memorizing God’s Word together. The small group coaches have prayerfully chosen these passages to help us pray (Matt 6:9–13), help us praise God (Psalm 148), and help us know the gospel (Romans 1:1–7, 16–17).
Psalm 148 is a great praise Psalm. We rarely take time to praise and worship God in our prayers but quickly run to make our needs known. It will be good to memorize this one, so praising Him becomes a part of our life. There is power in us praising and worshipping Him. In fact, it is more powerful than any of our resolutions to battle sin. Just as we worship our way to sin, we must worship our way out of sin. As we memorize this Psalm, worshipping God remains on our lips and hearts.
Romans 1:1–7, 16–17 concisely summarizes the gospel’s content. We can never take the gospel for granted, as our growth in Christ is never beyond the gospel but in growing deeper into it. As we meditate on the gospel, let our praise and adoration for Christ increase for the ultimate price He paid for our sins. The same gospel that released us from the penalty of sin also releases us from its power.
Memorizing and Meditating on God’s Word
• Memorization and meditation are commanded in the Scripture.
- Psalm 119:11 — I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
- Joshua 1:8 — This Book of the Law … you shall meditate on it day and night.
- Deuteronomy 11:18–19 — You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and soul ….
- John 15:7–– If you abide in me, and my words abide in you …
- Colossians 3:16–– Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly….
- Meditation is crucial to understanding, and memorization makes meditation accessible. Meditation separates us from a pharisee, a Muslim, or an unbeliever. They memorized the Scripture too, only to argue with a Christian. But they don’t internalize or meditate on it and could never reap the benefits of God’s Word. As we aim to wrap our minds around a text, we are greatly aided by already having it in our minds.
- Meditation is marked by submission to God. Our goal in memorizing the Scripture is understanding and obeying the Word. This exercise is not mastery of God or His Word, but God’s mastery of us through the HolySpirit’s ministry.
- Meditation aims at communion with God. If we forget that meditation aims at communing with God, it may become transactional instead of relational. Don’t waste too much time thinking about how to meditate or memorize. It is more important to spend more time thinking about God and speaking to God than focusing on how we should do it.
- Meditation on God’s Word helps you to speak truth into others’ lives. Jesus said out of the abundance of the heart mouth speaks. If we store God’s Word in our hearts, it will inevitably come out of our mouths. Often when you try to speak God’s truth on the fly, the Holy Spirit will call your mind from the toolbox of Scripture you have stored up.
- Meditation doesn’t always feel awesome. We won’t necessarily memorize much of God’s Word on any given day, and the practice gets complicated, especially during a dry spell. It doesn’t always feel awesome. But, we don’t allow ourselves to believe that reading God’s word and memorizing is “not doing anything.”
How to Meditate on Scripture
- Read Prayerfully
- Read attentively
- Read, then write, then recite and call it to mind
- Read and memorize it with your small group to keep each other accountable