I could continue for quite a while giving you half verses that I am sure you could complete. Maybe you’ve grown up hearing these your entire life or perhaps have recently started recognizing the Scripture verses you hear. Either way, as a Christian, we frequently hear some of the same verses repeated in sermons, literature, and within our conversations.
God has placed numerous people in my life to encourage Scripture memory. Yes, I can rattle off tons of verses that I’ve “hidden in my heart.” However, I have recently realized my lack of knowing where these verses are found. A month ago, Matt and I took the college group from our church to the Resolved Conference in California. Steve Lawson, one of the speakers, peppered memorized Scriptures AND their references throughout his sermon. I wish I could remember where verses are found! I contemplated. And, like so many other thoughts, it slipped out of my mind….
Until a few weeks later when our pastor preached on parenting. He shared a story about his mother spanking him when he was young. Like any child, he hated spankings and told his mother, “You’re going to kill me!” As he laughingly recalled this story, he told us how his mother reached for her Bible and immediately opened it to the verse that states: “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.” As the congregation laughed, our pastor continued his sermon.
I couldn’t get this illustration out of my mind. Not because God was teaching me about the importance of discipline. No, I kept thinking of the dozens of times I know my children will need me to explain truth to them. As they grow and mature, they will ask me hundreds of questions and need me to give counsel and wisdom. I want to be able to respond in any situation like my pastor’s mother. I want to be able to grab my Bible and immediately open it to a verse that applies to this specific conversation. I don’t want to stumble through a concordance or run to the internet every time I need to find the reference to a verse God brings to my mind. I want my children to see, that although I may have some ok things to say, that God’s word is sufficient for all of their questions and problems. Certainly, I know that times will arise when I will have to search the Scriptures for answers (hopefully with my child). But, I don’t want the phrase, “Somewhere in the Bible it says…..” to leave my mouth. Rather, I long to say, “In Prov. 23:13 it says….”
I’ve decided to be certain to include the reference when I memorize verses in the future, knowing that a verse is not completely hidden in my heart unless I know where to find it. Also, as pastors mention verses I have already memorized, and as I read them in my Bible and other books, I am now taking the time to put the reference with the verse by relearning them together.
Lord willing, in the future, when my child needs council, I’ll be able to pull my Bible off of the shelf, open up God’s word, and share His Truth with my little one.