Tidings for Tuesday

But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

It has happened to me, and I am pretty sure you have experienced it too: a situation has developed in which you knew that the correct response was a specific verse of Scripture, but you just couldn’t think of the right verse. Only a few words would come to mind, and not the reference, so you had to bite your tongue and wish you had memorized that verse. If you are anything like me, you have even misquoted a few verses, and have been embarrassed that you conveyed the wrong meaning. That’s why our text is so refreshing, to read of One Who could never misquote Scripture, and Who know where the perfect verse was for every occasion.

The Lord Jesus is a perfect Example of always having the right Bible verse at hand. But that was a given, because He is the Word of God. As its Author, He knows the contents perfectly, and knows where each portion is best applied. How could we ever hope to imitate His example? There are things we can do that will certainly help. And one of them is memorizing Scripture so we can quote it as readily as the Lord Jesus did. We actually have a great advantage when we do this, because the Holy Spirit can use the Scripture that we have memorized, and help us to recall it when needed. Memorizing Scripture is necessary if we are to be effective in speaking for our Lord.

But simply quoting Scripture is not enough. Suppose someone asked about the Rapture and you responded with John 3:16; that would be inappropriate. So it’s important to know not only the words but the meaning of Scripture. If we know the sense, we can apply it practically when needed. All Scripture is profitable, but it does not all apply to all situations.

We also need to know where in the Bible to go for the help we need. That means an understanding of what is in each book in the Bible, and ideally an understanding of every chapter in each book. But that comes only after years of study and work. God does not expect a newly saved Christian to know all of these things. It takes time, but it is time well spent. In fact, there is no such thing as too much study of the Word of God. The more we know it, the more we can obey it. And the more we obey it, the more we are like its Author.

Can you quote Scripture verses like the Lord Jesus did? No, but don’t let that stop you from learning to quote them better than you can now. -Jim MacIntosh

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