Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Did you know that in ancient Israel, a jewish boy between 10 and 12 years of age had the entire torah memorized. Really disciplined children would memorize the entire old testament by their teens. Could you imagine it? Imagine having that large portion of the Bible memorized before college age. That was the norm back in those days.

In the middle east, devoted muslims memorize the Koran by age 18. This is the equivalent of memorizing the entire new testament.

I once heard someone say that if a college student started memorizing two verses per week, they would have the entire new testament memorized before they were 40.

But our modern western world is a world of competing distractions, we don't memorize much more than our social security numbers or student IDs. We convince ourselves we don't have good memories, but that simply isn't the case. (We know too many advertising slogans and commercial jingles to convince anyone of that, not to mention song lyrics, names of celebrities, etc.) But imagine for a moment, if we applied ourselves singularly to memorization of the sacred text. We would be carrying small portions of sacred scriptures with us wherever we go. Imagine how the sacred text might find its way into a conversation at an appropriate moment.

This semester, one of our canvas groups has been issued a challenge. We are going to try to memorize the book of Philippians. Not all of us will take hold of the challenge (So far there are two or three of us), but imagine having this encouraging and joyous book in our minds as we go through trials.

Have you ever considered memorizing a passage? Would you like to join us in our endeavor this semester? I hope you will consider taking the time to let this discipline shape your life for the glory of God.

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