(A Blog Devoted to Memorizing the Gospel of Mark)
Week #1: Mark 1:1
Theme: Mark shows us who Jesus is (his identity) by looking at what He did (his actions)
The Gospel of Mark is a primer in discipleship in that it shows us who Jesus is by what He did. Its simple, concrete, creative and practical. And the fact that it is largely chronological is really helpful in memorizing this account of the good news.
If you would like to join this adventure, it would be great to have you along. We’ll start in Mark 1 and keep going for about a year until we have the whole Gospel memorized. We’ll take a small chunk each day and keep adding to it. Its much like preparing for a marathon. We’ll have a daily task of building up our memory, and then every few days we’ll have a “long run” where we’ll recite all that we have memorized from the first chapter up to where we are in the book. We’ll also learn a little bit about how Mark organized his Gospel which will aid in memorization, as Mark gave special attention to the way he organized his account so it was easy to remember for the early Christians.
“Lord, we pray you will help us learn and memorize the words you gave Mark to record in his account of the Gospel. May you be glorified in our commitment to write your Word on our hearts this year.”
Why is Memorizing Scripture an Essential Skill for Christian Outdoor Leaders?
Just as in any field, the vocation of ministry or soul care cannot be practiced very well if you always have to rely on a manual. There is a certain amount of effort that needs to be invested to develop the confidence to practice this art of ministry. Memorizing Scripture is an important discipline for anyone who is a follower of Christ. Its benefits are astounding both as a defense against the lies and deceit of the world and as an offensive tool to intercede for others with the power of the gospel. To shepherd others well, we need to develop a habit of committing Scripture to memory.
Memorizing the Bible makes God’s Word accessible in our minds and readily available to teach, correct, rebuke, and train others (see 2 Timothy 3:16). Just like the vocations listed above, we still might have to refer to our “trade manual” (the Bible) to brush up on the specifics. But the great thing about memorization is, even if you can’t recall the specific wording of a passage, you will probably be able to find the chapter or verse. I don’t mind if a lawyer or engineer needs to look something up to double check his knowledge, that’s just being human. But I wouldn’t be very comfortable entrusting the safety of my family to a doctor who never passed a board exam. Because we live under grace, no one is forcing us to memorize Scripture or study it for that matter. But James did say that not many of us should presume to be teachers of the Word, because we are held to a higher standard (see James 3:1). If you want to take on the responsibility of leading others, I highly encourage you to take this mantle of responsibility seriously. The spiritual disciplines of study and memorization are not meant to be a burden but a joy. Be in awe of the privilege it is to lead others spiritually. This leads us to a grateful attitude, which springs up freedom to excel still more (see 1 Thessalonians 4:10, 1 Corinthians 14:12)!
Excerpt: Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice by Dr. Ashley Denton p. 299