Last year my friend Liz did something truly incredible. She committed the entire book of Colossians to memory. Seriously. An entire book of the Bible that she was able to quote from memory. And not just learning a few verses, quoting them, and then forgetting them as she moved on to the next verses. No, she is able to say the whole book from beginning to end.
Upon her success I had two striking thoughts concerning her accomplishment. First, I was overjoyed that she was able to memorize it all. Overjoyed because I know what spiritual rewards will be harvested by her in her own life in the days and years to come because of this accomplishment. Secondly, I was brought face to face with the lack of commitment I have given to Scripture memory in my own spiritual life. As a child and teenager I was often required to memorize lots of Scripture, but as an adult it has been many years since I have tackled Scripture memory. Fortunately, this is something that can be fixed simply by dedicating myself to it.
Now at this point some of you may be wondering why in the world you would agree to such a thing. Well, I could point out all of the reasons, but I’m a slow typist and others have stated the reasons better than I can. Desiring God has an excellent article on the importance of memorizing Scripture here. Ann Voskamp lists the benefits that she received through her memorization last year in this post.
So here we are. This post is the introduction to what I hope will be a weekly series for this year. Liz and I have decided to memorize the book of James together and we would welcome anyone else to join in with us. Liz put together a schedule for the year that has us learning two to three verses a week. If you would like to participate, simply leave a comment below that you’re on board and I can email you a copy of the schedule for the year. At the end of every chapter, we will have a week dedicated to review of that chapter. I plan to write a short post at the beginning of every week to outline the verses we are memorizing for the upcoming week and to write a little bit about what the verses mean.
Unfortunately, I’m about a week late with this post as we started memorizing James last week. However, you should be be able to catch up without any problems. Last week we memorized James 1:1-3 and this week we are adding verses 4 and 5. We are using the ESV version, but you may use whatever version you would prefer. I hope that others will join in with us as we commit to memorize the book of James together.
Here are the first five verses.
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
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.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
(James 1:1-5 ESV)