Tim Challies Christian Blog and Commentary

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Memorizing Scripture Together

A few days ago I announced Memorizing Scripture Together—a program or effort dedicated to committing to memory passages and verses of Scripture. I had hoped to have at least thirty people agree to participate in the program. I was surprised and delighted to find that hundreds had signed up to participate. This shows, I think, how much we as Christians crave the Word but how our lazy, sinful natures draw us away from our hearts’ desire.

How it Works

There are two “tracks” you can follow. The first will provide a weekly “fighter verse”—a verse or two that will be profitable for you to memorize, ponder and reflect on. These verses will be the ones my church memorizes together (twenty-six verses repeated twice through the calendar year). The second track will provide a longer passage that will be memorized over a period of weeks or even months. You are free to participate in either or both of these.

Every Sunday I will send an email reminding you of the verses we are memorizing and providing some kind of challenge or encouragement. I hope to provide tips for memorizing these passages, interviews with people who have memorized vast quantities of the Scripture, and other useful information. I will also post this weekly information on my blog where we can discuss it.

I will be using the English Standard Version (ESV). You may, of course, use whatever translation you prefer.

This Week’s Fighter Verse

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17

This Week’s Passage

As we begin this effort together, I think it will be valuable to begin by committing to memory some passages that are prayers to God. These are Scriptures you can use as you pray, simply praying them back to God as an act of worship to him. The first of these is Psalm 8, a prayer of worship or adoration, declaring the glory of God. It seemed to strike the right balance between applicability and length. We will start slowly, by memorizing this over the next 3 weeks, which means you’ll want to master at least three verses per week. You can proceed through it at whatever pace fits you—just target December 14 as a completion date. Next week I’ll begin providing help and advice on memorizing passages like this one.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8

Join Us!

We would love for you to join us. I plan on sending out weekly emails (every Sunday) to remind you of the commitment and to tell you about the new verse. If you’d like to participate in the program, I ask as well that you sign up for these emails (though you certainly do not have to if you don’t want to). Otherwise, just keep an eye on this blog and dedicate time to memorizing the Scripture passages.