Cassandra Moton – Children’s Programming Pastor
I didn’t become a Christian until I was 21. I honestly only went to church because a cute guy invited me. And by the age of 21 – I had really, really lived life. But when I decided to follow God, when I decided to make Him the center of my life, I was all in. I wanted to learn everything, read everything, and memorize scripture. I went to every Bible study, asked every question I could think of, wrestled with God on some very tough questions, and in the process, my faith grew.
Now 20 plus years later you would think I know everything there is to know about God and the Bible; that I’ve memorized all the scriptures, I’ve gone through every study, and I have arrived as a Christian. Truthfully, not even close. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve completed many Bible studies, some as a student and some I taught myself. I work in ministry now and have the opportunity to teach others about Jesus every weekend. I do lots of things. But lately, God has been pointing out a big area where I have stopped growing in my faith, where I have almost given up and blamed it on everything except me. Scripture memorization. Yep. Here is the thing – I know scripture, I study God’s word, but the memorization part… I have to admit I’ve fallen off that wagon.
Many, many years ago, when I was a new Christian, a leader challenged me to start memorizing Bible verses. She gave me spiral-bound index cards. We wrote the Bible verses we were both going to memorize on those cards. I kept those cards in my purse and took them with me everywhere. I would read them when I got up in the morning, during the day at work, while I was cooking dinner, and before bed. I would read them all day, every day. I learned them. All of them. But that was over 20 years ago. I find myself saying these days, “It says something like…” or, “I think it says…” or even, “Where is that verse again?” I have made a lot of excuses for my lack of kept up knowledge. I’m too busy, I’m too old, it’s not that important. But those are all lies.
I do have time to watch binge watch something on Netflix or Hulu. I am breathing, therefore I am not too old. And it is extremely important to God that I put Him first and memorize His words. So I bought myself spiral bound index cards, took a deep breath, and began. I began with some basic scripture I had memorized in the past but that I’ve clearly become rusty at. And I’m slowly adding new verses. My challenge is to memorize one each week. I’ve got three down and I’m starting number four this week.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:6-10
Here’s the thing: if we stop growing, if we stop challenging ourselves to grow deeper in our faith and knowledge of God, then what happens to us? For me, it means I start forgetting what I’ve learned. And if I forget what I have learned, how can God use me? Will I be as effective for the Kingdom as I could be? Will I be missing out on something God has for me simply because I’ve stopped growing in my knowledge? Because I stopped putting in the effort and time? Or worse, if I’m not growing, what am I doing? Could be withering? All I can think of is the many, many plants that have been doomed to my purchase and placed by my kitchen sink. I love how a plant looks beside my kitchen sink, I buy each one with every intention of having them grow. And they each do for a little bit. I water them, take care of them, and they thrive. But at some point, I completely forget about the plant. My life becomes too busy with other stuff. And at some point, someone in the house will realize that mom has killed another one.
I refuse to let my knowledge of God wither away and die.
When was the last time you memorized a verse from the Bible? If you are breathing, it’s not too late. Go back to the basics.