We memorize a lot of things in our lives; recipes, song lyrics, movie lines, directions, even computer programs. We are adding more information to our minds on a regular basis. One thing many Christians seem to struggle with is memorizing Scripture. I believe the main reason for this is because we don’t see its importance.
Reasons and Benefits
- We are called to memorize God’s Word.
In Colossians 3:16 we are told to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” To dwell means to live; we are to let God’s Word live in us. In order to do this, we are required to study it deeply and commit it to memory.
Deuteronomy 6:5-6 is says, “You must love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength. These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind.” For something to be on our heart means we have committed it to memory. We can recall and think about it without having to look it up. It is a way of loving God with our mind.
- Jesus memorized Scripture.
Jesus quoted Scripture all the time, showing how He took the time to memorize it. In Matthew 4 records Jesus’ temptation in the desert, during which He consistently clung to the truth of Scripture to combat the attacks of the enemy. If Jesus needed to memorize Scripture, we definitely need to memorize Scripture! Sure, we can open our Bible and read verses, but how much more battle ready would we be if we could recall verses from memory without having to look them up?
In my heart I store up your words, so I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
- It changes the way we speak.
What comes out of our mouths? Complaining? Anger? Pessimism? These are signs that the Word of God does not well in us richly, because what is in our heart comes out of our mouth. If our hearts are filled with God’s Word, then we will speak of Him more often. He will be in the conversations we have with our kids and with each other. He will influence the way we talk about our circumstance and the way we talk about others.
There are many other reasons we could come up with that show the importance and the benefit of having God’s Word hidden in our hearts. Now that we know why, let’s look at the how. There are many ways to memorize Scripture. (I’m sure there is even an app out there that can help us.) Here is one method I have found very effective and helpful in my own life.
Ron Hood, in How to Successfully Memorize and Review Scripture, recommends the following method for memorizing Scripture:
“When you have selected a verse, quote it twenty-five times the first day, twenty times the second day, fifteen times the third day, ten times the fourth day, five times the fifth day, once a day for forty-five days, once a week for seven weeks, and then once a month thereafter.”
It is a slow process, but this way we can be sure that it is cemented in our hearts. Sometimes I’ll tape verses to my mirror in the bathroom, saying it a few times as I get ready. I also put verses in the kitchen, on my computer, or in other areas where I work. I’ve even can even put a 3×5 card in a plastic baggie and taped it in my shower for some uninterrupted memorization time.
One thing we need to remember is that, like Bible study, Bible memorization takes work and time. There are no shortcuts. That’s okay. It is worth the work. What if this year, our mission was to memorize more Scripture? What if this year, instead of memorizing verses, we memorized chapters, or even books of the Bible? Rather than being afraid of the hard, slow work it takes to memorize God’s Word, let’s embrace it, committing our lives to hiding His Word in our hearts.
Looking to Jesus,