Christian spiritual growth: the one discipline that can change everything

Of all the spiritual disciplines, which is the most important discipline for Christian spiritual growth?

For the longest time if someone would ask me that question, I would answer “prayer” without hesitation. After all, prayer forms the basic building block of our relationship with God; it’s how we talk to him. For many of us, prayer is how we came to commit our lives to radical discipleship.

A close second for me would have been simply reading the Bible.

What if I told you it wasn’t prayer, or even simple Bible reading was the most important for Christian spiritual growth? What if I told you it wasnt any of the 12 spiritual disciplines as we usually talk about them? (more…)

Cultivate Your Mind: How Memorizing Bible Verses Can Give You Clarity of Thought

A cultivated mind is one that is well-tended, nourished, disciplined, and flourishing. How do we cultivate our minds? By taking in ideas, actually thinking through them, solving problems, etc. We “work out” our minds. For the Christian, a cultivated mind is also one that has been carefully grown to have increased sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and see the world as the Divine sees the world. (more…)

3 Biblical reasons memorizing Bible verses is essential

memorize
I’m convinced we act out of our most deeply held beliefs.

So, before I was ready to commit to a daily habit of memorizing Bible verses, I had to really buy in to the importance of doing so. Honestly, it’s hard. It takes time and effort, so I know I’m not going to follow through if I don’t really think it’s worth it.

Of course, I accept the Bible as authoritative in matters of faith and practice, so I had to see what the Bible had to teach me. Do I really need to make memorizing the Scriptures a regular part of my discipleship? Just a cursory study convinced me that yes, memorizing bible verses is essential. (more…)

3 vital questions to ask yourself when picking a Bible translation for memorization

Photo Credit: UnlockingTheBible via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: UnlockingTheBible via Compfight cc

The very first “real Bible” I remember having as young child was the Good News Bible. It’s a easy-to-read paraphrase with line drawings. I loved it, and still read from the GNB on occassion for nostalgia’s sake. After that I “graduated” to the New International Version (NIV), but as I learned more about Bible translation philosophy, I became enamored with more “accurate” word-for-word translations. For a big chunk of high school I studied out of the New American Standard Version (NASB), while keeping the New King James Version (NKJV) on hand for general reading. In college I began using the English Standard Version (ESV) and have pretty much settled on that one as my primary reading and memorizing translation. (more…)

3 highly effective methods for memorizing Bible verses

There’s no doubt that memorizing Bible verses is difficult for many people (myself included!). A big aspect of the challenge for me has been that I haven’t been very methodical about memorizing. I’d simply repeat a verse a few times and hope that it stuck, with no plan for review. Going about memorizing halfheartedly like this is a recipe for discouragement and–ultimately–failure.

Effective methods for memorizing Bible verses always involve an intentional approach to internalizing new verses and reviewing old ones. Don’t think that there is a magic formula out there for doing this without putting in the hard work.

You’ve got to commit to the process and show up daily.

Here are three ways I’ve found to effectively memorize Bible verses. (more…)