It’s been one of those years that I haven’t had much reading time. As a writer, I’m supposed to be a huge reader. I think of myself as a huge reader. But this year, I wasn’t. I’ve only read a total of eight books.
Full disclosure, I’m still reading numbers seven and eight of those eight. And I definitely won’t finish number eight this year. Still, I hope to add one more book (an Advent read) to the completed list before December 31 rolls around.
But of the eight I’ve (almost) read, one stands out. And it’s one I haven’t finished and definitely won’t in 2016. The most impactful book for me this year is…drum roll, please…100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart, by Robert J. Morgan.
This book has changed me and I’m only halfway through it. Actually, it’s not this book that has changed me as much as THE Book, the Bible, that has. I’ve never been one who’s good at memorizing. I could never have been an actress memorizing lines. Maybe you feel the same. But I’m here to tell you that this book makes it easy, even enjoyable, to memorize Bible scriptures. If I can do it, so can you.
Since June 21, I’ve memorized 60 verses that this book suggests I should know, plus three others that I stuck in there to complete short passages of scripture, making a total of 63 verses. (Hold your applause.) It takes so little time, maybe just five minutes or less in the morning when you begin. Now that I have more verses to review, it takes me around fifteen minutes. And I love it. Every day, I look forward to reading what the next verse is.
Robert J. Morgan has categorized the verses to make them easier to remember. And for each verse, he has written a short devotional or explanation about the verse so you can get the most out of it. His thoughts on the verses are fresh and have given me new perspective on familiar verses. He also includes memorization tips that I’ve found extremely useful.
You may be tempted to skip over the first ten chapters of the book and go straight to the list of verses. Don’t. Those first ten chapters are full of stories that give meaning to why it’s important to memorize scripture. They provide motivation to keep going. Morgan shares testimonies of people who were sustained by Bible verses in difficult situations. Sometimes, they didn’t even know they knew the verses until they popped into their minds at just the right time. Then they remembered that they’d heard them in Sunday school as a child or read them years before. And because of those verses hidden deep in their hearts, they found the hope, strength, or peace they needed to endure.
So by far, 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart is the book that has impacted me most in 2016. I’m secretly hoping Morgan is working on a follow-up book called 100 More Bible Verses. I’d totally buy it. In the meantime, I’m going to start working through this book with my upper elementary Sunday school class in hopes that my students will hide more verses in their hearts than I did when I was young.
What book has impacted you most in 2016? Will you join me in the challenge and start memorizing scripture? Sound off in the comments.