WHAT IS SCRIPTURE MEMORIZATION?
Scripture memorization is the practice of committing verses, passages, chapters, and/or books of the Bible to one’s memory. This is done to retain and keep what the Bible says in one’s heart and mind, so that it would bring comfort and affect one’s actions. Scripture memorization is the final step in Biblical meditation.
WHY MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE?
Memorizing Scripture is one of the most underrated practical and spiritually edifying aspects of Biblical Christianity. Its usefulness extends far beyond collecting points for a sweetie in a Sunday School ministry. Here are some of its useful applications:
Encouraging Others [1 Thessalonians 4:18 & Proverbs 25:11]
“Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances.”
Proverb 25:11 [NASB]
Everyone runs into hard times, faces trails, and experiences suffering from time to time. During these moments, an encouraging word means the world to those going through them. Scripture encourages us to encourage others with ‘fitly’ words. The most ‘fitly’ words often come from Scripture itself. When you share with someone the passage of Scripture that encouraged you during your similar experiences that person feels genuinely comforted.
Witnessing to Others [Hebrews 4:12 & Isaiah 55:11]
“So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:11 [NASB]
Many opportunities to share the gospel come when we don’t have the Bible in hand and don’t have the time to search a smartphone for a reference. This calls for us to memorize passages of Scripture for the purpose of witnessing to others. This is not a fruitless exercise, as Scripture has the power to penetrate and transform lives. God declares that His Word is effective and will achieve the purpose of salvation He intends for it.
Focuses You on the Right Things [Colossians 3:2 & 16]
“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth… Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
Colossians 3:2 & 16 [NASB]
There are many things in this life that ensnares and beat us down. From false pleasures to trials – the world seemingly has the power to swallow us whole. And if you are not careful of where you step and what you chase after, you may find yourself trapped and broken. To not have this happen to us, the Apostle Paul encourages us to fix our eyes and lives on Jesus Christ and the rewards He brings. To help accomplish this the Apostle Paul later commands us to let the Scriptures dwell in our lives – aka from the head, to the heart, and then to the hands.
Helps You Be Righteous [Psalm 119:9-11]
“9How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.”
Psalm 119:9-11 [NASB]
The Psalmist, in Psalm 119:9-11, links righteousness and resisting temptation to storing God’s Word within one’s heart. For this reason we are encouraged to follow the Psalmist’s example of constantly pursuing God’s Word. We are encouraged to keep, seek, and treasure God’s Word so that we will not wander from God. The person who does not do this will wander – to walk (live) aimlessly and purposeless. Scripture memorization this the most effective method of storing the priceless value of God’s Word in the heart – so that you will find lasting treasure, instead of wandering in the wrong direction.
Transforms Your life [Proverbs 22:17-19]
“17Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
18For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.
19So that your trust may be in the LORD,
I have taught you today, even you…”
Proverbs 22:17-19 [NASB]
The real benefit from memorizing Scripture lies in the fact that it transforms your life. The writer of Proverbs 22:17-19, implores his readers to apply wisdom (found in God’s Word) to theirs lives and keep it on their lips. Implying that God’s Word and wisdom permeate your life so much that it sits ready to spoken on your lips. Why must the Word reside in the heart to the point that it flows from the lips? So that we may learn to trust in the Lord our Shepard, and for it to go well with our lives and souls.
God’s goals for you is not to do a good deed here and there, with a sprinkle of righteous living for show to hide the blandness. Rather, His goal is to transform your heart so that you will want to do good deeds (and do them) and live a life that is seasoned throughout with righteousness. Biblical meditation and Scripture memorization are key elements in God’s process to bring about transformation in our lives.
The practice of Scripture memory completes Biblical meditation, which is needed for healthy spiritual growth. Not only does memorization deepen your relationship with the Heavenly Father. But it may be used to introduce others to the Heavenly Father so that they may have a relationship with Him as well.