By Justin Ghere
When I think of Scripture Memorization, I remember all the times I procrastinated and had to try memorizing a verse as I walked into my Sunday School class so I could be rewarded with a piece of candy. Of course, after I had finished my treat I would never be able to recall that verse again. But I didn’t care, because I got my prize and I had a full week before I needed to cram the next verse into my short-term memory.
Although as adults we may not be rewarded with snacks, many of us still have a similar feeling towards Bible memorization as my eight-year-old self. I imagine that most Christians understand that they should be memorizing Scripture, but actually doing it requires time and discipline. You may have told yourself, “Someday I would love to have an entire chapter or even an entire book of the Bible memorized,” but when it comes to starting on the first verse you burn out and decide to do it next year. When you realize how valuable this practice can be for your daily life, it will go from legalistic (or non-existent) to passionate and appreciated.
One of the biggest reasons that Scripture memory is important is because it will deepen our relationship with God. Jesus says that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God. What better way to love God than to admire His character and attributes as shown throughout the Bible. The book of Psalms is full of examples, just check out Psalm 103!
When we have verses in our mind about God it helps us relate to Him as He really is.
Scripture is excellent for fighting against temptations that can feel overwhelming at times. Ephesians 6 describes the believer’s armor in the battle against the spiritual forces of evil, and the final piece is described in verse 17 as “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” We can use our sword, the Bible, just like Jesus did when he fought back against Satan’s temptations in the desert. In the middle of a trial or temptation, you may not have the time or the desire to open a Bible and search for an applicable verse. But if you have some key verses already memorized, the Holy Spirit can bring those to the front of your mind to confront any lies you may be thinking about yourself or remind you of the power of Christ over sin.
There are many more great reasons for scripture memory, such as encouraging other Christians, sharing what we believe with unbelievers, and learning wisdom for life. As you start (or continue) to memorize verses, find ways to personalize them and make them meaningful to you. There is a powerful exhortation in Romans 12:2 (which, by the way, would be a great verse to memorize!)
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
By keeping Scripture in your thoughts, you will find that your mind will truly begin to be transformed and renewed by the very words of God.