Sermon Series Resources
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Scripture Engagement for Mark: Meditation and Memorization
Why get serious about Scripture memorization?
For most of history, the Bible was read aloud. Before the advent of the printing press, a primary way people learned the Bible was hearing it read and trying to memorize portions of it. In fact, the Hebrew Scriptures can be defined as mediation literature. Check out the BibleProject’s short video that explains how Scripture was written to be absorbed over a lifetime of study (click here). Psalm 1 offers a wonderful image of what it looks like to delight in Scripture through meditation:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2)
Simply stated, meditating on Scripture just means to turn it over and over within your mind and heart to gain deeper insight with the hope that through God’s Spirit, you’ll be changed. Let’s face it: in our busy, fast paced society, it’s much harder to slow down to ponder and reflect on Scripture. We can easily diminish the value because it’s hard to see the immediate impact on us. Thus, memorization and mediation not only can help us slow down from the distractions around us, but it makes space for God to use his Word—inside of us.
I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You. Psalm 119:11 (HCSB)
Doesn’t this excite you? The reality that meditation and memorization can be used as simple steps to help us in our spiritual formation to know Christ more. After all, the Psalmist said:
How do I do it? I’m new to memorization?
You’ll discover there are many apps designed for this, but the goal is to find what works for you. Perhaps a low tech option may be best, such as simply writing down the verse on an index card and carrying it around with you, may help you not get as distracted in the process. Ask others what they do. Choose your favorite version of the Bible. Every time I’m going to practice a verse, I find it helpful to say it out loud ten times. But the key is start of small and slowly develop your memory muscle over time.
Don’t set the bar so high you get discouraged quickly. Give yourself time to figure out what time of the day works best and when you mediate on a verse. Don’t daydream when you are memorization, but consider in new ways, what the text means, look for new connections within the verse and also surrounding passages. Then watch how the Lord begins to give you new insight and revelation about His Word!
Should I do it alone? In a group? Or as a church?
Yes, to all three! Make it a new personal spiritual discipline, suggest that your group works on a verse together for accountability, and the encouraging thing is we can meditate on Scripture as a church family! For the series of Mark, the bulletin and sermon resource page will include the verse of the week(s) from Mark’s gospel.
I’m already familiar with scripture memorization feel I need to take a further step to be pushed a bit more. What can I do?
I’m glad you asked! Consider memorizing longer passages of Scripture. Check out an excellent free resource by Dr. Andrew Davis on extended Scripture memorization, click here. In 28 pages, he gives you a simple way to practice and how to go about tackling longer passages, chapters, and entire books of the Bible. You won’t regret taking up this challenge!
Pastor Jason Fizzard
Week 1: Scripture Memorization Passage
Mark 1:14–15 (HCSB)
14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of God: 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the good news!”