By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director
Read Aaron’s bio here
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. – Colossians 3:16
Since 1938 scripture memory has been a foundational aspect of ministry at Joy El. Then we were commonly known as Children’s Bible Mission (CBM).* Children have always been challenged to memorize God’s word, and many thousands of verses are memorized each year.
It is commonly understood that it is easier for childrento memorize than adults, but that doesn’t meant that adults can’t memorize God’s word . . . It may be a bit harder, but the benefits are very powerful. And that is why our staff has committed to memorizing at least one new verse per-week this year, and to reviewing these verses regularly.
Recently I read the following story in a Navigators devotional (www.navigators.org):
Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, loved to tell us about a letter he received from an eighty-year-old woman who had begun to memorize Scripture and was finding it an enjoyable way to know God’s Word. For years she had told herself she couldn’t memorize–that Scripture memory was for children. She had convinced herself she couldn’t remember the reference, so even if she did memorize a verse, she wouldn’t know where it was located. But she did learn to memorize Scripture, and so can you.
Dawson’s own testimony tells what the memorized Word can do, whether a person believes it or not. Through a series of circumstances–on his way to jail as a teenager–he promised God that if He got him out of the scrape he was in, he would go to church. Well, God did keep him out of jail, and Dawson kept his promise to God by going to a young people’s meeting in a nearby church. The kids in the group were having a contest. One of the ways you got points for your team was to memorize ten verses from the Bible. So that week, on his way to his job at the lumberyard, Daws memorized them. When he went to the meeting the next Sunday night, he was the only one who had memorized the ten verses. And he wasn’t a Christian!
After he became a Christian, Daws gave himself to helping Christians write the Word on their hearts through Scripture memory.
Scripture memory is a key component of summer camp, weekend retreats and the Released Time Bible program, and the benefits are lifelong. When we are tempted or deceived, we can effectively rebuke the evil one with God’s truth. Have you discovered the joy of hiding God’s Word in your heart?
Let’s ask the Lord to help us memorize scripture.
Children in Released Time who earn 300 points by memorizing scripture can attend Summer Camp for FREE. Summer camp registration is significantly ahead of last year – register now to save your spot. Learn about Summer Camp
* = CBM Ministries of South Central Pennsylvania, Inc. remains our official name, although we are legally recognized as Joy El Ministries. Joy El Generation and Joy El Camps and Retreats represent our two main ministry program areas.
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