One of the things that many churches seem to have lost in today’s culture is the discipline of Scripture Memory. Growing up, Scripture memory was a huge emphasis at our church through programs like AWANA. I remember being on the Bible Quiz team for our church competing against other churches. I remember those verses and definitions that I learned decades ago and I am thankful for it.
But is there any indication from Scripture that memorizing God’s Word is important? The answer is an overwhelming yes!
We see verses like Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.” (KJV) While this verse is not a command, it is a clear principle. Hiding God’s Word in our hearts gives us the tools we need to resist temptation.
Jesus was the perfect model of this in the New Testament when He went under temptation by Satan in the wilderness. This passage is found in Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus goes into the wilderness and is tempted three times by Satan.
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After a community tragedy, David Taylor brings a message from James about how Christians should handle trials that come into our lives and looks to the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.
We hear stories every day of bad things happening to the people of God. There was the Texas church shooting last year, churches are filled with cancer patients, car accident victims, and many other tragedies. Why do these things happen? Where is God?
The answer is that God is in the midst of all of these situations and these trials are purposefully allowed to enter our lives. That does not mean it is easy to swallow but the New Testament gives us instruction on how to handle these trials.
James explains that we should have joy in trials.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (ESV)
Trials in our lives produce a testing of our faith. Ultimately, we should allow these trials to make us stronger. It’s like the old saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” While the phrase is cliche there is much truth in it.
Trials in our lives allow us to put our faith and trust in Christ knowing that He is the only one that can sustain us. It is in these times we look to Him for compassion, mercy, and strength. We do not rejoice for the trial, but we rejoice in the trial knowing that its ultimate purpose is to bring us closer to God and to serve for His glory.