by Ernest Liu
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  • Random Snippets
  • 4 Reasons Why Christians Don’t Memorize Scripture

    I grew up in the church with one verse memorized–John 3:16. Occasionally I’d memorize other passages, but only if I got points and prizes for it. Once I got the goods, the verse was thrown in the mental dumpster.

    Now I also have Psalm 119:11 memorized. It basically says, “I memorize Scripture so I won’t sin against You.” This implies that the opposite, forsaking the internalization of God’s Word, results in sin. But a lot of Christians don’t bother with Scripture memory.

    Why not?

    1. We Have Google & Stuff

    Lightning-fast access to the Bible has made us lazy. With just a few clicks, we can google the entirety of Scripture! Or how about that Bible app? It’s so convenient, and look… it has so many versions to choose from!

    Okay fine. I was already lazy. Easy Bible access just gave me an excuse to be lazier.

    2. It’s Too Much Work

    There’s already so much going on in life. Family life, church life, schoolwork, work work, and now we gotta memorize Scripture? We often settle for ten minutes of quiet time before we get on with life. But meaningful engagement with God often takes time and sacrifice. The convicting question is this: What is it we are not willing to sacrifice, and why is it even a sacrifice?

    3. We Don’t See The Point

    Are you face to face with temptation? Just tell it, “Hold up, Temptation. Let me pull out my uh… nifty phone and load the Bible app. I think there’s a verse in here that says you’re wrong and I should flee from you. Give me a sec. Gotta look this up while I stand in your gravity as you pull me in…”

    Or you can just slap Temptation in the face with memorized Scripture the moment it enters your atmosphere.

    There’s a certain urgency to be had when standing in the midst of temptation. God’s Word is our sword and it must never be sheathed. Be primed and ready for battle, because you never know when it’s time to strike. Colossians 3:16 tells us to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly.

    4. We Don’t Actually Want to Be Like Jesus

    Jesus, the man who basked in perfect communion with the Father, often quoted Scripture. About 180 times from 24 different Old Testament manuscripts do we see Him reciting Scripture. Jesus held God’s word close to His heart as an act of intimacy.

    Too often, we proclaim that we want to be like Jesus without actually pursuing it. It’s like we want to want to be like Jesus. How about this: Do you want to be like Jesus in the way He memorized Scripture?

    Ernest’s Adventure

    When I finally began memorizing more Scripture, I looked for an app to help me. I couldn’t really find any that I liked, so I coded my own!

    While designing the app, I wanted to add more and more features, things I thought would be useful to others. I eventually realized that the scope of the app I wanted to make would require more time and a small team.

    So this is my latest adventure–an enjoyable and goal-oriented Scripture Memory game! This will help us memorize more of the Bible in a new and fun way. Ultimately, intimacy with God goes beyond pure memorization, but memorization helps us in our quest to glorify God.

    Got 3 Minutes?

    I need your help! To make this app awesome, I need to do some market research. If you’re a Christian with a few minutes to spare, can you do this quick survey for me?

    Click to help! » (111 have taken the survey!)

    Thanks in advance! If you have any other Christian friends, please share this with them, as I would also love their thoughts!

    Have more insight as to why Christians don’t memorize Scripture? Share with us in the comments!
    Ernest Liked a Girl

    Once upon a time, Ernest liked a girl. She was pretty and wicked intelligent. So Ernest thought to himself, “Hmmm… could it be? I gotta get to know her better!” So that he did, and he fell in like with her. Jane was her name.

    But then he noticed something… something that would complicate his pursuit. He noticed that one of his friends, Matthaios, also had affection for Jane. But Ernest wasn’t super sure, so he decided to have a chat with Matthaios. After all, God calls His people to strive for a high level of unity, and the last thing Ernest wanted was to jeopardize his friendship with Matthaios over a legit girl.

    So Ernest talked with Matthaios, and Matthaios admitted that he had a thing for legit girl. Love triangle confirmed. And Matthaios was honest… he said it would be hard for him to treat Ernest the same. But Ernest understood and did his best to continue showing brotherly love to Matthaios.

    In order to proceed with wisdom (Proverbs 19:20), Ernest often sought advice from his friend Pericles. Ernest knew his judgement was clouded whenever it came to wicked intelligent girl, and Pericles was very supportive in helping Ernest process his thoughts. It turns out that Matthaios also sought advice from Pericles. Smart man.

    Then Ernest and Matthaios both cannonballed into the water. They both asked Jane if she was down for more!

    Her Answers

    She told Matthaios no.

    She told Ernest no.

    Wait, there’s more! The love triangle was a lie. It was a love square.

    She told Pericles yes.

    Well, not quite. She actually kind of told him no, because she felt under-qualified.

    Before we go on, remember that Jane is wicked intelligent. She is very methodical and convicted in her beliefs. No one trumps wicked intelligent girl.

    Upon talking to Ernest on a later date, Jane told Ernest that Pericles was out of her league. She had the utmost respect for him, and thought that perhaps, just perhaps, he could do better. Ernest was utterly confused about her logic, so he inquired,

    “Do you truly respect him and trust in his opinion?”

    Jane responded, “Yes, of course.”

    Ernest reasoned, “Then shouldn’t you trust in him if he chooses you?”

    Jane gaped. Ernest did it. He trumped wicked intelligent girl. Effectively, Ernest convinced the girl he cherished that another man was right for her.

    Years Later…

    Ernest and Matthaios found themselves standing up on stage facing the bride and the groom. Jane was marrying Pericles, and the two prior suitors were groomsmen. They stood up there because they were all close friends, because they refused to let their feelings compromise their unity under Christ, and because they trusted in God’s plans. All were content.


    This is the power of living according to the Word, one that compels us to live peaceably with those around us (Romans 12:18). Furthermore, we read in Matthew 5:23-24,

    So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

    Wait… just ditch your offering and go reconcile with your brother? Did Jesus seriously say that? Does He really value church unity that much?

    Yes, it appears that He does. After all, how can we, in good faith, worship God when we’ve forsaken unity with our siblings? Would you truly dare sing to Him and give Him your money if you haven’t put effort towards living peaceably with His people?

    By no means! We must keep our eyes on the gospel and work together to make disciples of all nations! We must never let our love life, as pursuer or the pursuee, get in the way of our friendship and brotherhood as children of Christ.


    Jane, Matthaios, and Pericles – Ernest thanks you for your genuine efforts in preserving true friendship. He thanks you for not allowing the love square to inhibit his worship of God. Furthermore, he thanks you for strengthening his relationship with Christ! He also thinks you’re all crazy for choosing these names for his blog post.

    Christians get hot in the summer!

    It’s approaching the time of year when the sun shines high and bright. You know what that means… time to whip out that summer attire!

    Of course this post isn’t about having fun in the sun. It’s about the (confusingly controversial) loathsome topic of modesty.

    Before I get into the dirt of it all, I’d like to point out a couple of things.

    1. This post is written in light of the scientifically proven reality that men are much more visually stimulated than women. Though I write in respect to this sexual distinction, it does not negate the fact that many women struggle with lust, as do men with modesty.
    2. When I talk about lust in this article, I am only referring to unholy sexual thoughts. I am not referring to catcalls, sexual assaults, and the like. Our secular culture only seems to ridicule unholy outward actions, but followers of Christ are held to a different standard:

    I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    Jesus, Matthew 5:28

    Reactions to “modesty”

    Some girls find this topic annoying. They see their brothers frolicking along the beachside without a shirt, ready people out for having double-standards. Others feel that their attire is already lovingly considerate of their brothers. And some never bother to think about it in the first place.

    A few even disregard modesty on the idea that their Christian brothers should simply control their wandering eyes and minds.

    What I’ve observed is that most of my sisters are utterly confused about modesty. It’s such a nebulous and subjective expectation. Most women aren’t visually stimulated the way men are, and therefore don’t know what may be deemed appropriate to wear. Also, visual triggers differ from man to man.

    To make matters worse, we live in a twisted generation where unlimited erotic activity is praised. Sex is watered down to a fleshly transaction where the only qualification is consent. Our confused culture praises porn stars for their sexual autonomy while demonizing men for objectifying women, failing to realize that pornography thrives on the objectification of women.

    Why do we talk about modesty but not about controlling our thoughts?

    A sister once shared a concern with me: why don’t we focus on encouraging the men to exercise control when it comes to sexual thought? It’s not fair that she only ever hears about the need to be modest when the sin is clearly committed by the man!

    To all my beloved and understandably frustrated sisters—sexual purity is a big topic with in male circles!

    Some men form accountability groups primarily to fight lust. When fellowships separate men and women, there’s a high chance that men are lectured on lust. I’ve discipled three pairs of guys, and I always bring up the topic of lust. In a decent church, men will confront the topic of sexual purity more frequently than women will confront modesty.

    If you’re a girl who is really curious about this, just talk to a devout male leader in your church. Ask them, “I don’t want any details or anything, but does the topic of sexual purity come up when you talk with other guys at church?” He should almost definitely say yes. If he says no, you may seriously want to consider switching churches. A healthy church deals with the congregation’s sin, and in today’s hyper-sexualized culture, lust is every man’s battle.

    We don’t normally share about this stuff with our lady friends, and there’s a reason for that. Perhaps that’s why girls rarely hear about it, and maybe that’s why they feel that it’s unfair whenever they are confronted with the modesty topic.

    Fair enough. I get it. This is largely why I’m writing about this topic in the first place, to let my sisters know that we aren’t trying to pin our sin on you. Our thought life is something we must take seriously, to love God and to love you.

    On another note, we talk about our modesty, too. It’s a tough topic, because our frequent immodesty has a habit of manifesting in subtle ways.

    Understanding the girls

    For much of my life, I didn’t understand why modesty was so hard for girls. It didn’t occur to me that girls got so much pressure from society to be beautiful and sexy. They’re taught that there’s no difference between dressing attractively and dressing to attract.

    I’ve even had brothers quickly judge a girl by her attire. “Oh my goodness, she’s wearing yoga pants! She’s wearing a sports bra! What’s she trying to get?!”

    It is inappropriate for brothers to judge girls so quickly, to assume that they dress in a certain way to lure wandering eyes. Girls often choose their attire for comfort or for practicality. Case in point:

    My wardrobe was pretty much free t-shirts and basketball shorts – I didn’t exactly fit that demographic most modesty talks were geared toward … And so for years I skated through church life never bothering to think that modesty applied to me until one day, while I was out running, I suddenly realized that what I was wearing was… pretty immodest.

    I wasn’t exactly thinking about modesty at the time either. I just happened to be paying attention to the cars that were driving past me along the road, when suddenly I realized that if anyone from church saw me at that moment I would probably feel really embarrassed. But why would I feel embarrassed? I wasn’t at church, and I wasn’t explicitly going out of my way to make someone stumble. I was just wearing what was comfortable for the activity that I was doing. Deciding then to take more back streets than not, I struggled with that thought for the rest of my run.

    Monica, Summer Means Everything is Modesty

    Eventually I learned that many girls are confused about what passes as “modest.” Truth be told, it’s confusing for me too. Midriffs don’t generally cause temptation for me, but it might for a brother. Every guy is different.

    How to be modest

    In the end, I wished that Monica did not feel embarrassed for her attire that day, because modesty ultimately isn’t about what we wear. We are only immodest when we sport attire with the intention to drag someone’s mind through the gutter. Modesty is not a clothing issue. Modesty is a heart issue.

    Here’s the litmus test: when you stand in the mirror in the morning, can you affirm, in all honesty before God, that your attire is pleasing to Him? If so, then you’re good. Someone may tell you, later that day, that what you are wearing may be a strong catalyst for lustful thoughts. When that happens, don’t feel guilty, because your heart was right before God when you put it on. It’s up to you to decide how to process the feedback when you choose your future outfits.

    Remember, your choices do help others fight lust!

    In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul says that if certain food makes his brothers stumble, then he won’t eat it. He cares too much about his brothers’ spiritual health to exercise his right to eat certain foods.

    A modest heart should lead you to make decisions that help others fight sin. In the same way that Paul was mindful when eating with others, we must be mindful of others when we chose our outfits. Most men know that a single sight can lead down a spiral of lustful, sinful fantasies. While it is our fault when we fall down that abyss, we appreciate it when our sisters help us avoid it.

    To the ladies—since it is often hard to tell what kind of temptation an article of clothing may present, I encourage you to ask others in the case of uncertainty. While your wardrobe shouldn’t be strictly controlled by how others may perceive you, it is good to be informed.

    I know many girls who have helped me fight the battle against lust by considering me when they chose their attire. To all of you—thank you. Thank you so, so much. It speaks volumes that you value our relationship with God more than your outfit. Sexual immorality is one of two explicit sins from which we are told to flee (1 Cor 6:18), and you are helping us do just that.

    Final Thoughts

    Have fun with your summer outfits. Don’t be legalistic about it. Just be loving. And thank God for giving us attractive people and romantic drives, because He ultimately designed it for His glory and for our enjoyment.

    Is it Bad that Most Christians Don’t Pray Like This?

    Tap. Phone loaded.

    Swipe tap. Messenger loaded.

    Tap tap tap. Friends get shotgun spammed with texts.

    I’m asking for prayer requests, and my friends are usually more than happy to accept free prayer. Over the years, people have asked me to pray for many different things, such as…

    • “Pray that I’ll do well on my finals this week!”
    • “I’d like prayer for my grandma. She’s in the hospital.”
    • “Pray for my contentment at work.”
    • “I’m going to share the gospel with Sally. Pray she’ll accept Christ!”
    • “Praise God for helping me find a job!”

    …and so forth. Most prayer requests I get now are variations of things I’ve prayed for in the past.

    But I rarely hear this:

    “Pray that I will love orphans and widows in their affliction.” Or, “Pray that I will love the starving, the homeless, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. Help me love the unlovable, the least of these.”


    True religion is this, to visit orphans and widows in their affliction (James 1:27). God tell us that those who love Him by loving “the least of these” will inherit the Kingdom. Furthermore, He condemns those who fail to love the least of these (Matthew 25:31-46).

    Think about that for a second.

    God explicitly damns people to Hell for this failure. He commands them to depart from Him, to join Satan and his wicked angels in eternal punishment. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to assume God takes this responsibility very seriously.

    Okay, fine. Maybe a lot of Christians actually do pray like this; they just don’t ask others to pray for them like this. How about you?

    If we really love God, then we must really love the least of these. Christ shows us the kind of heart we should have for the impoverished. We must emulate Jesus and provide for the physical and spiritual welfare of these people. Even the busyness of our middle class lives must not be an excuse for neglecting the needy.

    How about You?

    When’s the last time you fed the hungry? Have you ever helped the homeless or the naked? Do you make it a habit to visit those who are sick or disabled? Have you ever visited anyone in prison? Have you visited the orphans and widows in their affliction?

    If this isn’t something you usually pray for, perhaps now is the time to start. Ask God for a heart to love those whom the world throws away. Ask the Holy Spirit to move you into action, to do something. Because last I checked, taking a minute to feel bad for someone never actually helped them. Ask Him to move you to minister and serve and sacrifice for the least of these.


    I’d encourage you to find a local Christian ministry that enables you to serve these people. If you’re near me, join me at Street Life Ministries. This group has allowed me to exercise love to the homeless, to help them in a way that matters. You can also help people through Christian Aid or International Justice Mission.

    Let’s be a generation that rejects spiritual complacency to love those in the shadows.

    Microwave that Burrito, Jesus

    Can Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that He cannot eat it? Think about it. If He is truly the omnipotent God of the Bible, then He should be able to zap that poor burrito so bad that Hell can’t handle it and He can’t eat it. Omnipotence means He has limitless power, after all.

    The Rock

    This is a variation of the classic question, “Can God create a rock so heavy He cannot lift it?” It’s an attempt to dissolve the possibility of an all-powerful God. As classic as it is, I still find many Christians who have trouble tackling it. So let’s tackle it. The argument:

    1. Can God create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it?
    2. If yes, then God is limited in strength (can’t lift the rock).
    3. If no, then God is limited in creation power (can’t make the rock).
    4. Either way, God is limited and therefore cannot be omnipotent.

    The counterargument is rather simple. Since God can lift a rock of any weight, no rock can exist that He cannot lift. Asking God to create what cannot exist is silly. The question is as nonsensical as “Can God make a square circle?” or “Can God toad an eleven?” Inability to accomplish the logically impossible does not limit His omnipotence, as the trait does not require Him to do such things.

    So no, Jesus cannot diabolically abuse any burrito ’til it is divinely inedible, because such a burrito cannot logically exist any more than a square circle can exist. The question is not really valid to begin with.

    Yes, God technically has limitations. He cannot do anything that contradicts His own nature. For example, He cannot lie because such an act conflicts with His righteousness. But turning water into wine and creating everything from nothing still ranks Him as omnipotent in my book.

    Question the Question

    confusedManI’ve noticed that apologetics is often tricky, since Christians get bombarded with questions that are intrinsically invalid. Recently a friend staggered when asked “Why do you need to add religion to your life to be moral?” As a Christian, we must recognize that we haven’t added anything to our lives. Why assume we have added anything? We simply recognize the reality of the living God who defines the morality by which we live. If anything, others have stripped God from their lives in attempt to escape true and absolute morality.

    We should always question the question before attempting to answer the question, because the question may be invalid or make false assumptions.

    The Beauty of Apologetics

    I am thankful for Christians who devote much of their time to the study of apologetics. They remind us that our faith is based on reality and rationality. Ultimately, they assure us that we believe in the truth, because we believe in Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), and He is beautiful.

    Post sound familiar? This is an update to an old post.