Memorizing God’s Word is a gift that keeps on giving

Published 8:19 am Thursday, October 12, 2023

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: So many good programs have been removed from churches today and replaced with entertainment. I recall being encouraged to memorize Scripture as a child. When I asked my church about this, they said it wasn’t necessary anymore because even children have devices in their hands at all times they can use to access every Bible translation through the internet. But is this the same as accessing our minds to what the Bible has to say about life? – B.M.

Dear B.M.: There are more people who know the words to a television commercial than know the words in the Bible. Stories have come out of prison camps about Christians who had no Bibles but who had committed portions of the Scripture to memory and shared them with others.
One such story is from a man who was a prisoner of war for three years. He lamented that he had not committed more Scripture to memory. Another story is told of a Chinese missionary imprisoned during World War II. She managed to take a forbidden gospel of John with her. When she went to bed, she pulled the covers over her head and memorized one verse each night for three years. When the prisoners were released, most of them shuffled out, but the missionary was so chipper that someone said she must have been brainwashed. A Life magazine reporter, who had interviewed her, said, “She’s been brainwashed for sure. God washed her brain.”
Others who have suffered said that sometimes they could only remember small parts of Scripture. One woman, upon hearing bad news, repeated over and over again, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NIV).
Memorizing God’s Word is a gift that keeps on giving. We should read it, study it, and memorize it.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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