Memorizing the Bible
Believers are often familiar with the truths and concepts found in Scripture, but are lacking severely when it comes to having specific texts committed to memory.
Approaching our responsibility of putting the Word of God into our hearts and minds with such a cavalier attitude could prove unwise for several reasons.
It leaves our hearts, minds, emotions, and overall lives exposed as we battle the world, the flesh, and the devil. Every day followers of Christ face temptation to sin, pain, stress, worry, and the pressure to give our hearts to a material-driven world. Although we have been redeemed by Christ, we still wrestle with the proclivity to sin. It is a fight, a battle, to say the least. In Ephesians Paul tells the body of Christ they must put on “the armor of God.” The only offensive piece of that armor is the Word of God. The Bible equips us to be overcomers in all areas of life and temptation. Just as Jesus overcame Satan in the wilderness by quoting, trusting, and believing the Word of God, we can have victory when Scripture is deposited into our hearts and minds. We will be less prone to believe the lies of the enemy, our flesh, and a fallen world system.
We will find ourselves unprepared to join Jesus on His mission. Upon our salvation we are invited to join Jesus on His mission of reconciling sinners to God. The mission is tough and often takes much sacrifice. Selfishness and the temptation to stay silent about our faith are real struggles, but the Word of God motivates us to service and sacrifice. Scripture equips us for evangelism and helps build the proper motivations behind our actions so they both become pleasing to God.
It becomes harder to enjoy God and discern his presence in our lives. Without the Word of God present in our hearts and minds it becomes increasingly difficult to see the goodness of God. In the midst of breaking news—which seems to display only the tragedy and controversy of a fallen world, the Bible serves as an anchor for the soul. It reminds us of where our true and lasting hope comes from. As we navigate the confusing times we live in, the Word of God becomes a compass that points our minds, actions, and emotions towards responses that will glorify our Lord. When we commit texts to memory and store them in our hearts, we are able to discern and see God’s presence in our everyday routines. A heart that is full of truths from the Bible is able to rejoice in all things, see God’s hand at work in all things, and give thanks for all things.
We can only offer mere human words to those around us who need comfort or wisdom. God has deep compassion for those who are hurting and lost. He desires to reveal that compassion through us—his church! Every believer will, at times, find themselves in a situation where the Lord asks them to offer prayer, encouragement, and truth to a particular person. Mere human words are not adequate; we need something that is powerful, absolutely true, and authoritative. When we have the Word of God committed to memory, it becomes easier to share and minister in these types of situations.
These reasons also serve as good reminders regarding our motivation for Scripture memorization. We do not want to memorize verse after verse to fill up our time, appear holy, or impress others. Having the right motivations helps us to put the verses we memorize into practice and allows us to see firsthand the benefit of having committed them to memory.
Here are many helpful and practical tips to help you memorize verses from the Bible.
Commit to put the time in. Just like any thing that is worth doing, memorizing texts from the Bible will take some effort and time. There needs to be some intentional steps taken to commit Scripture to memory. Simply taking as little as two to three minutes a day to work on memorizing Scripture will reap eternal rewards!
Use technology. We live in a fast-paced and technology driven world. It seems as if most of our lives are unfolding as we watch a screen. Our close relationship with technology, especially our phones, provides an opportunity to help get the Word of God into our minds. Take a text you are working to memorize and make it your lock screen, profile picture, wallpaper, or a part of another frequently used app. You will be able to look at the verse wherever you are at and you can spend unexpected free minutes by reading the verse!
Have different verses that correspond with different situations and emotions. Each day brings different emotions, decisions, and challenges to our lives. As believers, the Word of God provides guidance and strength. Having verses committed to memory that are specific to certain emotions and situations will help you navigate and respond in a God-glorifying way despite what you are feeling or facing.
Say it aloud; write it out. These practices are simple and will help you memorize verses much easier than simply reading a verse repeatedly.
Pray through it. Use the verse you are working to memorize as a focus in your prayer life. Pray the truth, and the specific words used in the text, to deposit the verse more deeply in your heart. Praying through the verse will take what can seem like a mechanical task, memorization, and transform it into a deeply edifying spiritual practice.
Busy, Busy, Busy
As our lives become increasingly busy, wasting time is not an option. How we manage our schedules, and decide which pursuits we give time to, ends up being one of the most important decisions we make. As we set the rhythm of our lives and routines, we must give thought to what will really matter when we stand before God. The benefits of Scripture memorization will be felt in all areas of our busy lives. When we commit to put time towards Scripture memorization, it is never a waste of our time!