Memorizing Scripture with my friends

What am I thankful for in 2014?  What’s near the top of my list may surprise you.  Memorizing Scriptures with my friends. Yes, I know we’re always supposed be thankful for God’s Word.  That’s the Sunday School answer. But what made this year encouraging was memorizing with my Sunday School class.  It really was enjoyable, fun, and the accountability was what I needed to persevere through Romans 6, 1 Corinthians 13, and parts  Psalm 119.  I might even admit that as I look back on 2014, perhaps I’ve been a little selfish because I feel like I’ve used our Sunday class for my own advantage. I can start memorizing well, but true staying power comes when I’m not alone. And our class has helped me persevere through Romans 6, 1 Corinthians 13, and parts of Psalm 119.  

As for the saints in the land,
they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
— Psalm 16:3

So selfishly, I’ve asked "what’s next?"  How can I use the class again?  I’d like to start memorizing Psalm 16.  And I’d love to do so with my whole family and my class. I kind of fell of the horse with my kids for 1 Corinthians 13.  We’re trying to get back on again by making it our goal to read it daily and focus on one verse. Here are three reasons why I chose Psalm 16.

Because Psalm 16 is a song, and songs are meant to be memorized.  The Psalms, perhaps more than any other genres of Scripture, ask to be memorized.  Psalms are songs. Psalms are full of word pictures.  They’re written in poetry (parallelism to be more exact). They are worship.  Psalms are full descriptions of God and the cheers (and cries) of God’s people.  As such, they give us inspired words for prayer and worship, pleading with us to memorize them.

Because Psalm 16 focuses on delighting in the goodness of God.  All Scripture is profitable and therefore worthy of our study, meditation, and memorization. However, I think it is particularly helpful to balance what we learn.  A father noticed that his son lacked joy in his relationship with the Lord. The father couldn’t figure it out.  His son was an avid student of the Scriptures.  In fact, he was constantly committing verses to memory, even putting him to shame for how much he was learning.  But he eventually discovered that was the problem.  The was only memorizing commands and never promises.  Balance what you learn from God’s word.  Balance the commands with the promises.  Psalm 16 is rich with truths about God’s goodness to us. “I have now good apart from You…The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; I have a beautiful inheritance…. my heart is your presence is fullness of joy."

Because Psalm 16 ends in resurrection hope.  When I preached Psalm 16 a few years ago big idea I landed on was something like, “We can enjoy God’s goodness now because we can know for certain that it will never end.” That’s because the hope that drove David was that not even death will separate him God’s love.  In February 2015 our church will begin a series on 1 Corinthians 15 and the resurrection.  I originally thought Psalm 16 would be a good corollary.  I just don’t think I want to wait until February.

Written to my Sunday School class on November 22, 2014.