Got a Reference For That?

Posted by on Jul 28, 2011 in Bible Memory | 3 comments

Finish this verse: “For all of sinned…” And this one: “Train up a child in the way he should go…” Or this one: “Your word have I hid in my heart….”

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.

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Oh man, yes. This is very true. It is so hard to keep those numbers all in order in your brain!!!!! (at least for me) I very much wish to be better in this area.

    However, I have to be careful not to rate my godliness on my ability to spout out references to myself or my children or my husband. It is obviously very important to know where to find specific truths in the Word, but it is most important to know those truths and for them to permeate our speach and actions.

    The way that I have best been able to naturally “find” verses that I want to share with people (or myself) is by studying large sections of Scripture all at once (for an extended period of time). By studying an entire letter for a couple months and reading it over and over and over again I can have a pretty good idea where to find the verses within its pages. At the very least I can usually go… “In chapter 2 of Philippians Paul says…” That way I can flip to the section and quickly find what I am looking for. This also helps to keep the verses in context.

    Thanks for the great reminder of how important it is to know your Bible in order to serve the little ones around you. What greater gift can we give them than sharing God’s words with them!

  2. Just happened across this post – AWESOME and well said.

    • Thanks, Wanda! If you have any Bible memorizing tips, I’d love to hear them!

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