That’s exactly what I used to say!
Thank God that changed the day I took the Spiritual Maturity Class 201 at Saddleback Church and learned what God had to say about memorizing Scripture. Twenty years down the road I can see why it is so important.
If we want Christ-likeness to be expressed on the outside, we need Christ on the inside. We need to get back to SPIRITUAL BASICS!
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45
This makes sense spiritually to be sure. But it also makes sense practically because when we need God’s Word the most—during an argument, opportunity to witness, or making a tough decision–we almost never have a Bible in our hand.
Yet another benefit of memorizing Scripture comes every day when we are pummeled by a cacophony of noise–good, neutral, and definitely evil. Having God’s Word in us provides a filter through which we can process everything against Godly standards.
“…Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
5 REASONS WHY WE SHOULD MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE
There are myriad reasons why God wants us to memorize his Word, but here are five of the most important for me:
ONE: BECOME MORE LIKE CHRIST
Memorizing Scripture constantly reminds us of the standards God sets for us to live out.
“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30
TWO: UNLEASH THE HOLY SPIRIT
The more Scripture we memorize, the easier it is to hear God speak to us through his Word and by his Holy Spirit.
“The Holy Spirit will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26
THREE: PROVIDE ENCOURAGEMENT
Memorizing Scripture strengthens us when we are under stress and comforts us when we are sad.
“Your words sustain me. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me.” Jeremiah 15:16
FOUR: RESIST TEMPTATION
Jesus encountered temptation during his time here on Earth and we will, too. Having God’s Word in our heart and mind helps gives us the ability to withstand life’s temptations. But that can only happen if we have it memorized!
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
FIVE: WITNESS TO UNBELIEVERS
We must be ready to share God’s Word at any moment and in any circumstance of life.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15
5 STEPS TO MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE
ONE: PICK A VERSE THAT SPEAKS TO YOU
Consider starting with verses you “almost know,” but make sure each one speaks to you.
Start by memorizing the verse’s location in the Bible, not the verse itself. This way, if you forget the verse you can go take another look.
Associate the verse’s main point and location in the Bible. For example: ARMOUR and Ephesians 6:11.
FOUR: READ & REPEAT
Read the verse aloud over and over, include the location/reference before and after reading the Scripture.
FIVE: WRITE IT DOWN!
Write the verse on a card, keep it with you at all times, and review…review…review.
Give it a shot!