The Romans 8 Project is in full swing. Hope you’ve entered into it with us, and if you haven’t yet its not too late to jump in! We are reading Romans 8 each day, Journaling, praying and even Memorizing all of Romans 8. This is a big project but believe it will be so beneficial for our church family.
I think all of us would say of course we should be reading our Bible’s it is the inspired word of God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17). We are told in Matthew 6:33 to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well. Reading the word of God on a daily basis regularly sets our hearts and minds on the Creator of life, and his Kingdom.
Writing down our thoughts and prayers are a great way to further internalize and remember the things that are ruminating in our brains, and to put down reminders that we can come back to over and over again to find encouragement in what God has been teaching us. I don’t know if this is actually true or not but I had a professor back in the day share with us that when we write things down we are 8x more likely to remember what we are learning.
We are encouraging you to let these 4 questions be a guide as you are reading scripture and reflecting in your journal.
- Who is God?
- What has he done?
- Who am I?
- How then should I live?
Jesus taught us and demonstrated that prayer is extremely important for the life of the believer. He himself would regularly take times to step aside to be with the Father and pray. This is our opportunity to intentionally and actively engage in conversation and connection with our Father.
This is not the place where we merely ask God for things but we talk to him about our life, we thank him for who he is, what he’s accomplished, who he’s now made me, and ask him for strength and courage to live in response to all these things. As you can see its a place where we can take the 4 questions we journal about and make them prayers of worship, thanksgiving, empowerment, realization, and repentance.
Through the Romans 8 Project its our hope that Romans 8 itself would be wonderful fodder for you to go to the Lord in prayer to talk about his word and ask for strength through his Spirit to begin to live out this Spirit Filled Life.
Prayer is very important for us, after all we are now in relationship with him, and have fellowship with him. One of the main ways we have fellowship with the Father is to take time aside to pray with him. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray in Matthew 6 he told them this “Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name, your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven... “ One of the ways to pray his will in our life is to pray through scripture. Pray that it become true for you, that you would believe it in the core of your being.
The final part to our Romans 8 Project is potentially the most aggressive and challenging, we are inviting our entire family to memorize all of Romans 8. Why would we possibly do such a thing as tedious and potentially frustrating as memorizing all of Romans 8? That will take a lot of time, and may feel like an impossible task to do on our own. And I hear ya loud and clear! This is going to be tough I’ll be honest with you this will be the biggest chunk of scripture that I’ve ever memorized, and we definitely need the Holy Spirit’s help to do it.
Look at this quote from Chuck Swindoll regarding memorization:
“I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture… No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and more more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. You confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.”
That is a great encouragement.
Let's look at a six reasons why memorization is such an incredible gift, and opportunity to live this life for the glory of God:
1. WE ARE CALLED TO MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Colossians 3:16 ESV)
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 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 6:4-9 ESV)
When we memorize scripture it becomes readily available to us every moment of the day. It increases our ability to remember, know, love and worship God throughout the day as his word dwells in us.
2. CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:28-29 ESV)
If we are to be changed into Christ likeness we must steadily see him. Jesus is revealed to us in his word. When we memorize scripture it allows us to more steadily fix our eyes upon Jesus. (Hebrews 12:2)
3. DAILY HAVE VICTORY OVER SIN
In Psalms 119:9 the question is posed “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Then in vs 11 he says …”I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” We see in Romans 8:13 Paul charge us to “by the Spirit… put to death the deeds of the body.” Like we learned back in our Ephesians series Rooted the one piece of armor used to kill is the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (Eph 6:17). When we memorize scripture we gain tools to defeat sinful temptation and choose Jesus who is far better.
4. DAILY TRIUMPH OVER SATAN
In Luke 4 we see Jesus go out into the wilderness where he is tempted and each time that he’s tempted we see him recited scripture from memory to defend against the enemy. When we know scripture and have it memorized the Lord uses it to help defend against the enemy and rest in the truth!
5. ABILITY TO COUNSEL AND COMFORT THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE
We cannot dictate the times and places where friends and loved ones will need encouragement, comfort and counsel. The word of God spontaneously spoken from from the heart has unusual power (Proverbs 25:11). When our counsel comes from God’s word it keeps us from being the solution and keeps the gospel the solution that we all need. As we memorize scripture we will be blown away how regularly it comes up in everyday life to continue to push us and those around us toward Jesus.
6. HELPING PEOPLE FIND THEIR WAY BACK TO GOD
You never know who God will bring across your path, or when he will do it. We are to be ready to share the gospel in season and out with those who do not yet know him. Paul tells us that we are given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:16-21). If we are going to be effective in sharing the story of God and his message of redemption we need to know it and be ready and willing to share it.
I know memorizing scripture can be tedious and difficult, some of you may think that you can’t do it or that you stink at it. You are in the Spirit ask Him to help you.
Memorizing all of chapter 8 may seem overwhelming if memorizing scripture is new to you, or it may be incredibly difficult for you.
If so, here are 6 blocks of scripture that I highly recommend memorizing in chapter 8:
- Romans 8:1-4
- Romans 8:9-11
- Romans 8:14-15
- Romans 8:28-30
- Romans 8:31-32
- Romans 8:38-39