He First Loved Us

For the past two days I have been doing my best to memorize a bible verse, my first attempt to do so. I’ve written out each sentence many times, by hand and typed on my laptop. I’ve read them out loud. I’ve prayed and meditated on them (also my first time). Even strummed my guitar and sang them. And something happened that has never happened to me before, I wasn’t just reading words on a page anymore, I was feeling God’s word resonate inside me.

The idea for memorizing bible verses came from a book called Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. In the book memorizing scripture is compared to building an armoury of weapons with which to fend off Satan. This may be obvious to the seasoned Christian, but for a newbie like me it didn’t really seem that important until I tried it.

16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4:16-19

I had read the bible verse above several times in the past, but they were just words on a page to me. I never reflected on them even though I thought I understood their meaning. Perhaps to truly understand God’s word we have to unpack each sentence as though it was written specifically for us. Each time I read or wrote a sentence (perhaps a few dozen times each) I could better understand and visualize its meaning, sometimes in different ways all together.

I think by the end of the night I will have the entire verse fully memorized. Not exactly walking on water, but more baby steps in growing in Christ and abiding in God.

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