"Let The Word... Dwell In You" - (Colossians 3:16)

The current memory assignment is:
"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you" (John 15:18).

"Your Word I Have Hidden In My Heart"

Bryan Matthew Dockens

When one memorizes a thing, be it a favorite song, a loved one's birthday, or even a locker combination, it is often said that he knows it "by heart". Of all the things one might know "by heart", none is so important as the word of God. It is written in the psalms, "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11).

A memory assignment program is in place so that every member of the Vegas Valley Church Of Christ will learn God's word by heart. A passage is assigned every two weeks, thus providing ample time for everyone to memorize it. Each member who has provided an address is notified of the verse by e-mail the weekend of its assignment. It appears within the pages of "Sound Doctrine" each Sunday and is the subject of scripture readings during worship. Teachers present the assignment to their classes, reciting it aloud together. All are encouraged to transcribe the text to a notebook dedicated to the task.

By making scripture the constant object of our attention, we hope to fulfill the command of Paul the apostle: "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

To increase the likelihood of memorization, as many senses as possible are incorporated into the learning process. Jesus repeatedly said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 43). Hearing is most important for "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). The auditory sense is involved when teachers present the assignment during studies and when the passage is read during worship. Therefore, "give attention to reading" (1 Timothy 4:13).

The sense of sight is exercised when the memory assignment is observed in print within the pages of our weekly bulletin and by e-mail. The concept of prominently displaying scripture was enjoined upon Israel by Moses: "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart... You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates" (Deuteronomy 6:6, 8-9).

The tactile sense is implemented when each individual writes down the content of the passage on paper. Remember what Moses instructed: "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gate" (Deuteronomy 6:9). Furthermore, the king of Israel was required to "write for himself a copy of this law in a book And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes" (Deuteronomy 17:18-19).

Speech is employed when the assignment is recited aloud together in class, that is "speaking to one another in psalms" et cetera (Ephesians 5:19). Additionally, families are urged to review these assignments together at home and everywhere. "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up" (Deuteronomy 6:7).

A principal goal in memorizing these verses is "that you may know how you ought to answer each one" (Colossians 4:6). Christians are required to "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15). This being so, the assignments center on passages of scripture pertaining to the plan of salvation and other elementary principles of Christ, matters which should be well known to any mature saint (Hebrews 5:12-6:2).

"Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all" (1 Timothy 4:15).

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