When I first started memorizing Scripture on my own, I viewed it as a ‘Christian duty’ that would give me a sense of accomplishment. I saw it as a ‘bonus’ but never as a necessity of the Christian life. I didn’t see the full benefit of Scripture memorization other than to be like those around me who did it. Besides, reading Scripture didn’t take as much time and effort as memorizing did, so couldn’t I just read the Word instead?
It wasn’t until later on that I grasped the importance of intentionally memorizing God’s Word, and when I did, it changed me. I realized that there were numerous benefits and countless reasons to memorize Scripture, and I started seeing its effects on my life.
In order to succeed at something we want to accomplish, we need to have a strong ‘why’. To put it simply, a strong ‘why’ is a motivator that keeps us going even when it’s hard. In the area of spiritual discipline, a strong ‘why’ could focus on what can be done for Christ and others in love, for the glory of God. It doesn’t give in when circumstances are tough. If we have the correct motivation in place, it’ll be easier to follow through.
But we need to be careful, because people can have a weak ‘why‘, too. An example would be memorizing Scripture because our mom told us to, or so we can go play with our friends afterwards. A weak ‘why’ won’t get us very far in the long run.
So why does memorizing Scripture matter, and why should we make time for it? There are so many valid reasons as to why we as Christians should memorize, but instead of sharing all of those reasons, I’m going to focus on three of them.
- It transforms our thinking to that of Christ
The Word of God has the ability to transform our lives, and as we meditate on it, it’ll also transform our thinking. Naturally, our thoughts affect our words, actions and the way we live, so if our minds are filled with Scripture, that’s what will flow out of us. When an unwanted thought comes, the Scripture we’ve memorized will bring it captive to Christ, and replace it with truth. Colossians 3:2 reminds us to set our minds on things above, instead of things on the earth. Memorizing is one of the best ways to do that! Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Christ was humble, full of love, and eternally-minded. To become like Him, we need to let His Word dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16).
- It reveals God’s will and helps us to keep His commandments
Ecclesiastes 12:13 summarizes the duty of a Christian to these few words: Fear God and keep His commandments. But if we don’t know what God’s commandments are, how can we obey them? I have found that in memorizing Scripture, I continually have the commandments of God on the forefront of my mind. Then whenever I’m faced with temptation or a difficult circumstance, the Holy Spirit will bring the verses that I memorized to my remembrance, pointing me in the right direction. We don’t always feel like reading the Word, and we may not always have a Bible on hand, but in memorizing it, we’ll continually have truth stored up in our hearts for the times we need it most. If we seek to live godly lives, we need to be firmly rooted in the Bible which teaches us to be godly.
- Strengthens and encourages us in the faith
Psalm 119:50 tells us that God’s Word is our comfort in our affliction, and that His Word quickens us. Ephesians 6:17 says that the Word of our God is our sword as we stand against the enemy, and that’s just the beginning! If we memorize Scripture, it’s like we’re sharpening our sword and gaining a better understanding of it for the day of battle. If we take the time to hide the truth in our hearts, we’ll have a foundation to stand upon when the world around us caves in. Psalm 1:1-3 tells us that those who meditate on God’s Word will be like a tree planted by the water – they won’t wither! I can say for myself that my faith has been strengthened so much through Scripture memorization. I’ve found that it not only helps me stand strong in the day of hardship, but prepares me for it. God’s Word is our ultimate joy, peace, and foundation, so we simply can’t go wrong in having that in our hearts!
Having your own personal answer to why you choose to memorize God’s Word is extremely important. If you feel like you haven’t had a very strong ‘why’ in the past, don’t stop here! Go to God and ask for a renewed perspective and excitement in His Word. We serve a God who freely gives to those who ask Him, and I promise, memorizing Scripture will benefit us for eternity! We can never lose that reward.
Written by NBB Alumna: Hannah Kohner