Saturday, March 09, 2013

John Piper - A Legacy of Scripture Memory

John Piper:

As I look back over 32 years of pastoral ministry at Bethlehem one of the sweet legacies I savor is the solid place Bible memorization has in the church. I am not the only, or even the main reason for this. David and Sally Michael hold that place under God’s good providence.  
But I have loved it, nurtured it, and tried to model it. 
Because I believe in it with all my heart. 
At the core of this commitment is what we call the Fighter Verse program. This is a church-wide encouragement for young and old to memorize together each week a portion of Scripture. The verses are planned out for five years. Then we start over. 
They’re called “fighter verses” because the one offensive weapon in our spiritual armor in Ephesians 6:17 is the “sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.” 
I have the Fighter Verse app (produced by Children Desiring God) on my phone and look at the verse for the week everyday, even before I get out of bed. It is a really clear and flexible app. 
Now there has grown up around the Fighter Verse program a little industry of song-writing that turns the verses into music. One of the reasons I love this project is that people are so different in the way they learn things. Brains are wired differently. Some memorize by singing and hearing songs. 
Here’s a video of Matthew 5:43-48 put to music. The song is part of the new audio CD of a year’s worth of verses covering the Sermon on the Mount, available at Amazon and iTunes
You can learn more in this promotional video which highlights the ministry and its impact at Bethlehem. 
Years ago we could have called this whole vision: Solid Trees. Psalm 1 says that meditating on God’s instruction day and night makes you like a tree planted by streams of water. That means when the drought hits, the people who live in the Bible remain green, bear fruit, feed the hungry, and give shade to the weary. 
If you need encouragement and help memorizing the most important truths in the world, join us.

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