God’s Promise of a Successful Life
By Drake Mariani, Founder, MemLok Bible Memory System
How Scripture Memory Can Put You On The Right Path
Rick Warren's worldwide appeal is his ability to connect people with God's Word in new ways. He's the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. Saddleback is one of the largest and most influential churches in the United States. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century.
Recently I read one of his sermons on memorizing scripture. In true Rick Warren style, his message was clear and simple. More important, if you want to know how to realize God's promise of success in your life, keep reading.
You Remember What's Important To You
According to Rick, "You may not think you have a good memory, but you remember what’s important to you. You remember the phone numbers and dates that you care about."
The truth is he's right. Every important event, date, and person in my life I remember. When I hear a song from 20 years ago I immediately remember the title, artist and what I was doing when I first heard it.
Here's another example. Let's say you haven't done any walking in a long time. You're shall we say (nicely), out of shape. Today you decide to start walking to get in shape. On your first walk maybe you can only walk for 20 minutes. By the end of the week you're up to 30 minutes, and by the end of the month you're up to an hour. With more practice and exercise your muscles got stronger and you discovered you could walk farther.
Your memory is the same way. Like your muscles, you can strengthen your memory "muscles" with repeated practice.
Rick also said, "In fact, memorizing Scripture will cause your brain to have a stronger memory in other areas. I guarantee it. Study after study has shown this."
So Rick makes a strong case that we all have the ability to develop our memory. We just need repeated practice and something important we want to remember.
So Why is Scripture Memory So Important?
According to Rick, “If you’re serious about being spiritually strong and mature, the greatest habit you can develop is memorizing Scripture.” I think most of us think we are "serious about being spiritually strong and mature", but then I wondered, "Are we really?"
Rick went on to quote the book of James...
“Whoever looks intently into the perfect law … and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” (James 1:25 NIV)
In fact, Rick says "it’s one of four habits that leads to a blessed life:
Read your Bible. “Whoever looks intently …”
Review the Bible. “… continues in it …”
Remember the Bible. “… not forgetting what they have heard …”
Respond to the Bible. “ … but doing it …”
"It’s time to grow up and live the blessed life you’re meant to live. Hiding God’s Word in your heart is an important way to start."
You Can't Meditate if You Don't Memorize
If you're like most of us, when you need a Bible, it's never around.
When you're tempted, it's never around.
When that moment comes when someone is under stress, in crisis, and needs you to share Jesus, it's never around.
If you memorize scripture, you’ll always have God’s Word with you.
You can meditate on Scripture wherever you go.
But You Can't Meditate on God’s Word unless you remember it.
If you’ve memorized Scripture, you can think about it when you get into bed at night or as you drive to an appointment.
You can think about the Bible because you’ve memorized it.
That’s called meditation.
Ok, But What's Memorizing Scripture Have to Do with Success You Ask?
"The only promise of prosperity and success that God gives us in the Bible (Joshua 1:8) says that meditating on his Word is the key." Rick said.
Memorize scripture because at life's most important moments - the moments where family, friends, careers, and businesses, come together - the moments where success reside - are the moments when you need your Bible and it won't be around.
At the heart of all meditation is memorization. How can you meditate on God's Word if you can't remember it?
Rick concluded his sermon by saying, "Start memorizing Scripture today. Pick a verse a week. In a year, you’ll have memorized 52 verses. In two years, you’ll have memorized more than 100 verses."
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