Interview with Mark Wilbanks, Pastor of Bradfordville First Baptist Church, Tallahassee, Florida July 11, 2011
Do you memorize Scripture on a regular basis?
I try to. I tend to meditate to let the scripture soak in. God seems to always pull out the scriptures I need when I’m trying to make decisions or when I’m preparing teachings, etc.
As a child, I saw memorizing Scripture practiced in my family. My grandmother did it while suffering with cancer. She would rest her head on the back of the chair and quote Psalm 23. This had a big impact on me as a small boy. I could tell she was really in pain, but Scripture seemed to ease her suffering a bit.
When my mother underwent a medical procedure, the nurse was surprised to hear her quoting Scripture while she was coming out of anesthesia. The Word was obviously ingrained in her.
You know, I would rather have God’s Word dwelling in me than somebody else’s words.
What is your favorite verse or verses?
Philippians 4:19 has been my life verse ever since I was twelve years old when my dad gave me my first Bible. Before he gave me the Bible, he wrote Philippians 4:19 in it.
Psalm 119 also has a lot of meaning for me.
What method do you use when memorizing Scripture?
First, I read the passage over and over again. I take a phrase or a sentence at a time to try to get the full meaning of the Scripture.
This isn’t about being tested—it’s about what God is saying to me. You have to find a rhythm that works for you.
How has memorizing God’s Word changed you?
I have seen it get people through tough times. You can’t help but be changed when you witness God’s power change lives and hearts through His Word.