9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,[d] that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.Romans 1: 8-13
Ok let me start by saying I am optimistic today, and I’m sorry if yesterday I came across as gloomy or pessimistic about memorizing Romans. I’ve been blessed with a good night’s sleep and a good deal of energy this morning, and I’m more hopeful than ever before that ROmans is a powerful book, and that we will tap into that power through memorization. The Lord will reward us for an effort and devotion to his word. He might reward us by suddenly flipping a switch, maybe after hours of trying and practice, memorization will start to come naturally and large paggasages of scripture will embed themselves in our minds. Maybe this is meant to be a long slog, and only a few verses will ever really be cemented in my heart. But I prayed this morning, and I do think that God will reward the effort. I’m not yet sure how, but I beleive the blessing is coming.
So: Let’s do this!
With just a few more days left in February, it’s vital that we keep pressing on. Like I said yesterday, I’m going to write out the verses for today and slowly try to memorize more and more. Every hour I’ll try to dig in further and further. I’ll probably identify a key word in every verse and try to recall that word or its first letter. Something like that.
But how ’bout a little bit of a new strategy as well? What about memorization through application? Here’s what I mean, if you read my post “The Problem with memorizing Bible verses” then you know that I struggle with simulataneously memorizing and learning scripture. It’s so easy to treat scripture like a list of content that I just need to memorize. I don’t want to neglect the actual message. That’s why I’ve take a step back this month and have done a step by step expositional commentary of sorts on each verse, or couplet of verses, of Romans 1.
But now that we’re hitting the memorization part really hard, I still don’t want to overlook the actual meaning of the verses. So as we try to memorize the above verse today, really try to learn them. Apply them to your life. Who do you long to see? Who do you long to impart a spiritual gift to? Do you even long to have a spiritual gift? Are you making plans to see someone–someone you know could really use the encouragement?
Go ahead! Apply these darn verses today! Pray them! Sing them! Practice them! And by all means, memorize them, and don’t think that application and memorization are mutually exclusive events. Memorize them by applying them.