Friday, April 8, 2016

Book Review: 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart

100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart. Robert J. Morgan. 2010. B&H Publishing. 288 pages. 288 pages. [Source: Bought]

I recently decided to buy this one. I had been thinking about buying it for a couple of years at least. I don't regret my decision. I found the book to be well-organized, practical, and substantive.

In the first part of the book, Morgan shares WHY believers should memorize Scripture. He concludes this section by sharing ten tips for HOW to memorize Scripture. His list begins with, "First, make up your mind you can memorize just one verse. That’s all. Just one. (Of course, if you can memorize one verse, you can memorize two.)" I believe Morgan is familiar with excuses and knows how intimidating the idea of memorizing verses can be.

In the second part of the book is the heart of the book. In this section, Morgan shares one hundred Bible Verses that he believes everyone should know by heart. These are arranged into categories.

  • Beginnings: The Bible's Fantastic Four (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1, John 1:14, John 3:16)
  • The Roman Road: The Plan of Salvation (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9, Romans 10:10)
  • Listening: The Word of God and Prayer (2 Timothy 3:16, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:11, Deuteronomy 6:6, Deuteronomy 6:7, Hebrews 4:12, Hebrews 4:16, 1 John 5:14, 1 John 5:15)
  • Assurance: Inner Peace and Security (1 John 5:11, 1 John 5:12, John 14:1, John 14:2, John 14:3, John 14:6, John 14:27, Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 53:5, Isaiah 53:6)
  • Praise: Worship and Thanksgiving (1 Peter 1:3, Psalm 100:4, Psalm 100:5, Revelation 4:11)
  • Promises: Verses to Stand On (Matthew 6:33, Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11, 1 John 1:7, 1 John 1:9, Proverbs 3:5, Proverbs 3:6, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7)
  • Holiness: Obeying God's Commands (2 Chronicles 7:14, Romans 12:1, Romans 12:2, Romans 12:11, Romans 12:12, Romans 12:18, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Hebrews 10:25, Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 15:1)
  • Fullness: The Holy Spirit's Role In Our Lives (Ephesians 5:18, Ephesians 5:19, Ephesians 5:20, Ephesians 5:21, Galatians 5:22, Galatians 5:23)
  • Joy: God's Kind of Happiness (Psalm 118:24, Philippians 4:4, Philippians 4:5, Philippians 4:6, Philippians 4:7, James 1:2, James 1:3, James 1:4, James 1:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • Faith: Trusting God and Resting (Ephesians 2:8, Ephesians 2:9, Ephesians 2:10, Galatians 2:20, Colossians 3:15, Colossians 3:16, Colossians 3:17, Romans 1:16, Romans 1:17, Psalm 56:3, Psalm 4:8, Hebrews 11:6)
  • Sent: The Great Commission and Our Global Task: Matthew 28:18, Matthew 28:19, Matthew 28:20, Acts 1:8)
  • The Twenty Third Psalm: The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Alpha and Omega: The First and Second Comings of Christ (Isaiah 9:6, Luke 2:10, Luke 2:11, Luke 2:12, Acts 1:11, Revelation 21:1, Revelation 21:2, Revelation 22:20)

Each chapter in this section focuses on the verse itself. What the verse means in its context, how it is interpreted. Why the verse was chosen, or, why it's important for us to know it and live by it. Each chapter generally shares a few quotes by famous writers about the verse. I was impressed by the organization and layout of each chapter. The book is very practical.

For example,
In memorizing John 1:14, take time to study the entire passage, using this outline as a guide. 1. Jesus is the God who made us (1:1–3). He is God, existing from the beginning and through whom all things were made. 2. He is the life who sustains us (v. 4a). In Him was life! 3. He is the light who illumines us (vv. 4b–5). His life is our light. It shines in the darkness, and the darkness can’t overcome it. 4. He is the message who excites us (vv. 6–9). John the Baptist testified about Him, and so can we. 5. He is the Savior who redeems us (vv. 10–13). All who receive Him and who believe in His name are given the right to become children of God. 6. He is the friend who dwells among us (v. 14). He pitched His tent here and tabernacles among us. 7. He is the Lord who surpasses us (v. 15). John the Baptist said of Him, “The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.” 8. He is the Son who blesses us (vv. 16–18). No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son has revealed Him, and from the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another (v. 16 NIV).
The book concludes with an appendix for further tips on memorizing Scripture.

Favorite quotes:
"Scripture memory is our most powerful tool in changing our habits of thought, and the internalized truths of God’s Word keep us mentally healthy. It’s the greatest secret I know to personal resiliency. It molds our thoughts, and our thoughts shape our lives; for as we think in our hearts, so we are."
"Bible verses, committed to memory and applied by the Holy Spirit, are the most powerful medications in the whole world. They’re a balm for sore hearts, an elixir for low spirits, an immunization for bad habits, a booster shot of high spirits, a pick-me-up for dreary days, and a stimulant for positive nerves."
When you’ve memorized Genesis 1:1; John 1:1; 1:14; and 3:16, you have the entire Bible in the palm of your hand. These verses are the four corners of God’s Word.
Only three people in the history of the world have been perfect and sinless, and the first two didn’t stay that way—Adam and Eve. That leaves only Jesus Himself. No one else can ever gain access into God’s presence or eternal life on the basis of one’s own perfections or righteous efforts. We have all sinned and have fallen short of the requirements of God’s glory. We can never be reconciled to God by trying to live a good life, for we are intrinsically, internally sinful; and nothing sinful can exist in the blazing holiness of God’s presence and perfections. Only when we realize this can we fully appreciate what Christ has done for us.
With the possible exception of John 3:16, no other text in Scripture better sums up all sixty-six books and thirty-one thousand verses of the Bible. [Romans 6:23] This is the ultimate Reader’s Digest version of God’s Word. Notice the way the verse is balanced between its two clauses: The wages of sin is death. The gift of God is eternal life.
Beware of getting alone with your own thoughts. Get alone with God’s thoughts. There is danger in rummaging through waste and barren desert-thoughts that can be labeled—daydreaming or worse. Don’t meditate upon yourself but dwell upon God. . . . Make this a built-in habit of daily living.
Little verses, little truths, little insights, shared spontaneously, memorized in the family circle—this is the most powerful technique we have in raising our children in the fear and nurture of the Lord.

If you were a sentence, what mark of punctuation would follow you? Is your life a question mark because you’re without answers? A comma because you’re in transition? A period for everything’s at a standstill? Or a dash because you’re in a continual rush? This verse can put an exclamation point to our lives. [1 Peter 1:3]

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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