The Summer Scripture Memory Challenge is here! DoNot Depart is hosting a fabulous Summer Challenge focusing on Bible classics you may be familiar with or already know by heart. This summer we will be meditating on such classics as John 3:16, Psalm 23, Philippians 4:13, etc.
I am looking forward to reviewing verses already hidden in my heart, as well as memorizing verses that I’m merely familiar with, but would love to know by heart. If you’d like to join us, register by clicking here.
Like I said, these verses are classics, so there is a good chance that you are either very familiar or have memorized one or more of the verses we’ll be focusing on. For instance, John 3:16 was one of the first verses I learned twenty years ago when I was a new believer. Over the years, I have heard that verse so many times I know it by heart. Which got me thinking of what God might have me do during this challenge for the occassional weeks that focus on a verse I have previously memorized and know by heart.
Using John 3:16 as an example, instead of mentally checking off that week as one I already know, and not participating until the following week, here are some ways I plan on spending that week, June 3-9, meditating on John 3:16:
1. Take John 3:16 phrase by phrase, and meditate on its truths.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (NASB)
Some truths to think upon:
- God so loves us
- He willingly gave His only Son so that, simply by us believing, we would not perish, but have eternal life.
- Salvation comes simply by faith in Jesus.
2. Consider the implications of John 3:16, by looking at the verse from the flip side.
If it weren’t for God’s love, and giving His only begotten Son, we would certainly perish and have no hope of eternal life.
3. Then turn John 3:16 back into a prayer of praise to God.
Father God, thank You for so loving the world, that You gave Your only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life! Thank you for your great love! Thank you for the free gift of salvation! You have not made it complicated or difficult to be saved. Because you so loved the world, You made receiving your free gift of salvation so super easy—simply by believing in Jesus. Thank You, because we believe in Jesus, we are not doomed to perish, but we can rejoice that we will have everlasting life when You call us home to be with You in heaven. Thank you for the precious promise of John 3:16. In Jesus’ name. Amen
4. Read Bible passages that reiterate the truths within John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…”
A couple of great passages to be refreshed by over the course of the week, to illustrate the truths within John 3:16 would be:
- Matthew 26-28 The betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus
- Genesis 22:1-19 Abraham’s faith is put to the test when God tells him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac
“…that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Hebrews 11, the hall of faith, recounts amazing things all done by faith. One story in the Bible that I think of when I consider the last half of John 3:16 is the story of the bronze serpent in the wilderness. (Numbers 21:4-9) The Israelites were grumbling in the wilderness about no food or water. They were so sick of eating Manna, they went as far to say “our soul loathes this worthless bread.” (Numbers 21:5) “So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.” (Numbers 21:6) Since the Israelites were desperate for God to take away the snakes, Moses prayed for the people and God gave Moses specific instructions on a bronze serpent Moses was to place up on a pole before the people. If the people, by faith, looked at the serpent they were healed and didn’t die. (Numbers 21:8-9)
Just as God made it easy for the Israelites to “not perish, but have life” simply by looking at the serpent lifted on a pole (where we get our medical symbol) when we by faith look at Jesus lifted up on the cross, “we shall not perish but have everlasting life.” God made it easy for the Israelites to escape death, and choose life by simply looking at the serpent. Even so, I do not doubt there were probably some Israelites bitten by the poisonous snakes that believed, “That is ridiculous! Like looking at a snake on a pole is going to make any difference at all. I’m not falling for that. Let others look like fools, believing that looking to a snake on a pole is going to save them. You won’t catch me doing that.” They are no different from people today who refuse to look to Jesus on the cross and believe. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor. 1:18)
5. Teach John 3:16 to someone else.
Draw alongside someone who hasn’t memorized John 3:16 and help them memorize it. Maybe it is your child, grandchild, or Sunday School class. Or perhaps you could share it in conversation while visiting with an unsaved family member, friend, or neighbor.
6. S.O.A.P. Journal John 3:16
This is a great way to actively meditate on a Bible memory verse. I highly recommend S.O.A.P. Journaling!
I hope this has given you some ideas of ways you can still actively participate during the summer memory challenge if you come to a verse you’ve already hidden in your heart. Praying you’ll join us as we renew our minds with the classics this summer.
Question for you: What are your Scripture memory goals for summer?
Copyright © 2013 Brooke Espinoza.