Sunday, July 14, 2013

His Grace is Sufficient: Scripture Memory

I've been memorizing 2 Corinthians 12:9 after reading Chapter 1 of Ragamuffin Gospel. I mentioned before that I haven't memorized scripture like that since high school. I just haven't made it a part of my daily practice. Well, just in the last couple of days, it's made a huge difference! 
First I looked at some strategies for memorization & here are the ones that really stuck out to me:
1 - Memorize the Reference
This way you can go back & look it up if you forget.
2 Corinthians 12:9
2 - Memorize the Theme or Main Idea
This way you know generally what that verse was referring to.
2 Corinthians 12:9 is about God's grace and His power even through my own weaknesses and imperfections.
3 - Focus on the Key Words
Again, just a strategy to remember the overall important points and to help you kinda put it together like a puzzle.
2 Corinthians 12:9 important words: grace, sufficient, power, perfect, weakness, boast, gladly
4 - Put it all Together
I put this in 1 step, but really you could break it down. I just started repeating. I put a screen capture of the verse on my lock screen on my phone. I wrote it down. I kept repeating it to Lewis and Isis. I tried to incorporate it into my activities. I repeated, wrote, recited, etc. 
2 Corinthians 12:9 - But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
Another thing I did just to help me wrap my head around what I was memorizing was I looked up some commentaries on the verse. This link was probably the most meaningful one for me. Here are my thoughts on it:
Basically, you could break it down really specific, even to "But He said to me" which is referring to the fact that God answered Paul when he asked God to remove his "thorn in the flesh," which is what this verse is really referring to. Paul had some weakness that he asked God repeatedly to take away, but God didn't. This verse is addressing God's response to him - and the fact that He did respond to him. God didn't just leave it alone for Paul to wonder. What God is saying is that His grace, which is God's acceptance and pleasure in us, was what Paul needed. He could've removed the weakness or He could've made Paul stronger to be able to bear it. Either way, God was demonstrating His power with either choice. Clearly He didn't remove it.
One thing that really stuck out to me that they said was that God's grace is sufficient for ME. And they referred to the humor in that, really. God - all knowing, all powerful, all loving God - whose grace really knows no bounds, has grace sufficient for ME. I'm so small in comparison to how mighty and awesome He is. The idea that His grace wouldn't be sufficient for me is absurd. They used the analogy of it being like a little fish in the ocean worrying that he would drink it dry. There is even more grace available than what I need.
From here, I can be happy about my weaknesses because it gives me an opportunity to show God's power in that He works through someone like me, works for someone like me, and could even change someone like me.
Here are some great links I found for scripture memorization strategies:
Ten Tips for Memorizing Bible Verses
32 Ways to Memorize Scripture
How to Memorize a Bible Verse

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