“Deep Roots Part 2”
by Isaac Stone

{If you have been reading the recent devotions, you will notice that Sarah Lyle wrote a devotional called “Deep Roots”: https://onthebigrock.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/deep-roots/

She did a wonderful job talking about growing our faith daily, and made the correlation between faith and the roots of trees around her home when she was growing up. I encourage you to read her devotional if you have not yet.}

One of the areas of my relationship with Christ that I have been growing in over the last year is my understanding of His word. Specifically I have been focusing on memorizing the Word of God.

Now maybe you, like myself a year ago, hear “memorizing the Word of God” and immediately think back to your childhood days of memorizing Bible verses as part of a youth program.  While those programs are a good stepping stone, I am not talking about memorizing individual verses or even just a small section of verses.  I am talking about working towards memorizing an entire book of scripture.

Before you say, “I cannot do that” please let me unpack this a little bit more.

Psalms 1:1-4
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water

That yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.

In all that he does, he prospers. 

The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”

The focal point of this passage is the Law of the Lord and meditating on that law day and night.

An outcome of meditating (memorizing, deeply thinking or in-depth processing) on God’s word continuously throughout the day is sinking your roots deeper.

The image of the tree planted by a stream of water gives us insight into how important God’s Word is.

Without water, a tree cannot live. And the stream that the tree sinks its roots into is the nourishment for its daily life.

In a similar way, God’s Word is to be nourishment for our daily lives.

We are to be sinking our roots so deeply into God’s Word and into our relationship with Him, that we are to the point of not comprehending a day spent without Him or His Word. 

Now, if you are anything like me, you are probably thinking something along the lines of “why a whole book?”

One of the things that I have noticed with my own walk, is that when I have just memorized individual verses, I have the tendency to not fully understand what the passage is saying or meaning.

For example, I have had John 3:16 memorized since I was about 5 years old, but I could not tell you what John 3:15 or John 3:17 says.

This means I have no idea what the context for the passage is. And, even if I do have some idea, I do not have enough of an understanding that I could accurately explain it to someone.

When this happens, it is similar to taking a single scene of a book or movie and making assumptions about the rest of the book or chapter based on that one small section.

For example, if I turned on Star Wars and I only saw the scene of Anakin choking Padme’, I could make the assumption that in the whole series Anakin wanted to kill Padme’.

Now, if you know anything about Star Wars, you know that the whole point of Anakin joining the dark side was to become powerful enough to save Padme’, and he certainly did not intend to kill her.

This is similar to what happens when I only memorize a verse or a small section of verses, rather than the whole chapter or book.

I can sometimes remember that verse and I use it in the defense of the gospel (or more likely the defense of something I want to continue doing and want to find biblical backing for my own actions).

On top of all these things, the Bible is God’s fingerprint.  It is one of the things God has given us to help us get to know Him.  Through an in depth study of scripture, we begin to understand what the Lord wants of our lives.
And, in my life, God has used the scripture to show me numerous areas in which I have been taking the wheel instead of giving it over to Him.

Ingraining God’s word in every facet of your thoughts is a powerful and life changing way of meeting the Lord and experiencing His love (and our brokenness).
As you continue to seek deeper roots in faith, here are some tips on how to go about memorizing scripture. These have helped me over the course of this year:

  • Start at the beginning of a shorter book (I started with James and HIGHLY recommend it if you are not sure where to start)
  • Set a goal for only a few verses per day (my goal was 3)
  • Do a little bit each day and make sure to connect the pieces by repeating the passage from the days before (I like writing from memory the entirety of the section of the book I have memorized up until that point, and then tack on the new section right at the end so that I have everything in context and flowing smoothly)
  • Think about the section you are memorizing throughout the day and attempt to write it down several times each day. Also, make sure to challenge yourself throughout the day in living out whatever the passage has been teaching you.
  • Encourage others to join you in your journey! I have found very few things to be more encouraging to my study of scripture than having others who are studying with me.  Being able to challenge and encourage each other and hold each other accountable to the Word of God is an amazing blessing.
  • HAVE FUN!! This is not meant to be a chore (though there will be days that it seems like it is). Switch up how you study every once in a while to make sure you do not grow complacent in your studies.

This is something I am still learning how to do even after a year of going through God’s word a few verses at a time.  Take courage and persevere and the Lord will use His Word and the Holy Spirit powerfully for His glory!

God Bless,
Isaac Stone