This week we will conclude the ALL IN series. But if the series ends and we simply move on to the next series, we will have missed what God was trying to do. I agree with Mark Batterson that, if you read his book or sat through this series and did nothing with what you read or heard, it will have been a waste of time for all of us.
If nothing else this series is a call from God to trust him! To not just believe in God but to believe God.
I gave a challenge to memorize Galatians 2:20. A few of you - a very few evidently - took the challenge. The vast majority did not deem it necessary to do so. So I want to issue the challenge one more time and explain why I think memorizing scripture can be so vital to our spiritual journey.
Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified” (Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994], p. 61).
Here are six worthwhile reasons to memorize God's words:
1. It will strengthen your relationship with God.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
2. You will be better prepared to share it with others.
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect... (1 Peter 3:15)
3. It will help you through the tough times.
"My soul melts away from sorrow; strengthen me according to your word!" (Psalm 119:28)
"This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life." (Psalm 119:50)
“Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” (Jeremiah 15:16)
4. It will help you stay focused on God's will for your life.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
5. It will help you overcome temptations.
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)
6. It will enrich and empower your prayer life.
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him." (1 John 5:14-15)
As you can see this not just something fun to do. This can be a life-changing exercise.
This past weekend during our second service in Mechanicsville, Joe took the stage and quoted from memory all 22 verses of Psalm 25. I will guarantee you that those verses have encouraged him and given him strength on more than one occasion in his life.
So Joe has memorized 22 verses. I challenged you to memorize only one. It's not too late to memorize the theme verse for this series. But don't just memorize the words - take to heart what it says about you and about God:
For I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me!
The reading plan for this week: 1 Corinthians chapters 7 through 11. Watch for a daily reminder on facebook. And if you missed last weekend's services, you can watch the rebroadcast this Thursday, February 13th at 7:00pm EST.