By Michael Roop
I’ll admit it: sometimes I worry. When I do, it almost always revolves around my ministry future, and specifically whether my sinful nature will one day lead to one of these highly public falls that seem like a daily occurence in the pastoral world. I’m not side-door confessing anything catastrophic here; I’ve just watched enough men I once respected fall prey to things they tried to hide for too long.
During one of those anxious stretches, in God’s providential love for me, I turned to the next passage in my read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan, which was Psalm 119. Here’s what I read in verses 9-11:
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
That’s when I realized the power of Scripture memory. It’s not a means of notoriety in Christian circles, or even ready-made incantation in times of temptation. Internalizing God’s Word makes it part of us, or rather reshapes us in the image and character of its Author. This kind of person, one who is increasingly Christ-like, is less vulnerable to temptation. The sins once desired become less desirable, even an object of hatred (James 4:9).
So this year, I’ve (cue eye-roll) resolved to spend my daily quiet time working on Scripture memory. And I have already been immensely helped by a great app called Bible Memory. This app allows me to select verses I’d like to memorize, and has a great progression to help me not only memorize but master the passages. In the first week, this app helped me master Psalms 1, 23, and 103. Now, I’ve got my sights set on the Sermon on the Mount!
2020 is the year of Bible memory for me. If you’d like to come along for the journey, let me encourage you to explore many of the useful tools out there. Or, just grab and pencil and paper and do it the old fashioned way. Whatever path you choose, let’s guard our hearts according to God’s Word!