In Russia, in the early 1950’s, a group of three youth pastors even in the midst of communist opposition were helping organize house churches. God was moving, and the pastors felt led to have a conference for young people so they wouldn’t become discouraged and would know they weren’t alone.
The conference met in Moscow and almost seven hundred gathered together. None of these young people owned a Bible, their knowledge had come from family members or close friends who had passed down what they had learned. The pastors asked them to get in groups, and like a game, write down what they knew of the New Testament Gospels– Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – and also make note of any hymns or songs they knew.
At the end of the conference, the notes of each small group were combined and compared. The results? “The young people had recreated all of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, with only a half-dozen mistakes, and also had been able to reconstruct the lyrics of more than twelve hundred songs, choruses, and hymns of the faith from memory.”[i]
Wow! Their testimony is amazing and very convicting. How many scripture verses, hymns, and songs do we know and how much can we remember?
Oh, heavenly Father how convicting the story is of these young people. Time is short, and the environment continues to grow in hostility toward Christianity, help me to be diligent to study the Bible, memorize scripture, and fill my mind and heart with Your word along with songs and hymns that honor our Lord. Help me remember Your truth so that I may share the wonderful truth of Your grace, mercy, and love.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 11:18-20, NIV).
“All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, AMP).
[i] Nik Ripken, The Insanity of God, B & H Books
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