Memorising verses was something I did as a spiritual discipline in the early years of my spiritual growth. I was influenced by the Navigators in the late 1970s and 1980s when the Lord raised this ministry to add a solidity to the growth of the Singapore church during that period.
I recall attending Navigator conferences that packed large halls and practical workshops that motivated us and gave us practical instructions that helped us to grow spiritually. One of these workshops was on memorising scriptures. It fuelled me to buy memory packs and make my own personal store of memory verses. I memorised over a hundred verses.
I read somewhere that Jesus often quoted verses in his preaching and teaching ministry. If I recall correctly there are about 150 different verses that Jesus quoted from the Old Testament, and this is only what had been recorded by the writers of the gospels. What if the unrecorded were included. I figured that if the sinless Son of God needed to keep so much of God’s word in his heart I dare not conceive of living with less.
That season lasted for a few years and continued into my National Service days when I met with two other Navigator trained Christians in the NS Christian Fellowship at Mindef. As iron sharpens iron, so we sharpened each other.
TO SLOW DOWN AND GIVE ATTENTION
Recently, I found the Lord inviting me gently into this spiritual exercise. It started with a difficulty in concentration during my daily scripture reading. The words passed over my mind like birds that swiftly flew by. So I simply began to write down and coloured the verse that caught my attention. I did it deliberately to slow my mind down, to give attention to each word, to allow God to give insights. I found it helpful because it prevented me from merely going through the motion of “having done my quiet time” for the day.
I was going through Psalms after I retired. When I reached Psalm 103 I found that every verse were so meaningful that I decided to slow down and try to memorise and meditate on a verse a day. Then this was followed by Psalms 112. I was surprised at the grace given to me to do this. Prior to this the only psalm I have memorised was Psalms 23. Having done these two psalms, I felt drawn to memorising passages in the epistles that are packed with teaching about Christ’s finished work and new covenant blessings. So now I am “in Christ” and in “heavenly places” in Ephesisan 1.
I do not know how much longer I will continue with this spiritual exercise. As long as it gives me life, I will continue with it. However, the Spirit blows where it wills, and I want to follow where my faithful friend drops markers of nourishment and life.
Maybe reading this stirs in you a prompting or desire to try this. To write down and colour verses to help you slow down when reading scriptures. Or to go further and memorise and meditate and pray scriptures. Whatever you choose to do, let me know in the comment box how it turned out.
The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him.