What do you want in your mind? Scripture memorization embeds God’s truth into your mind. Consequently, we have eternal truths always available to us.
We can meditate on them; we can reflect on them. And as a result, we can continually apply Scripture to all of our life situations. Here are seven reasons why Scripture memorization is worth it.
How is Scripture Memorization like an Owner’s Manual for Life?
The Bible is an owner’s manual for life. It really does instruct us on how to operate our lives (2 Pet. 1:3). And Scripture memorization ensures we apply its truths correctly.
For instance, consider your life like a new car.
When my wife and I recently bought a newer model car, the combined instruction manuals were over 400 pages! We laughed at ourselves for our ignorance. We even joked that we needed a Ph.D. to understand all the information.
You see, when we first started driving, cars were simple to understand. All you needed was a key, a speedometer, and gauges for fuel and engine temperature.
However, our new car has warning lights for almost 20 different functions!
On the other hand, our lives are not as simple as a new car. And when problems arise, we need an accurate owner’s manual that we trust and understand.
1. Scripture Memorization as a Foundation for Living Life Well
And that brings us to the most important and complex subject of all, how to live life well. Unfortunately, most people are unfamiliar with the owner’s manual for life, the Bible.
It’s amazing how few people have read the Bible. Sixty-two percent of millennials and nearly all Bible critics have never read it.
The Bible contains 66 books by 40 different authors written over 1500 years.
The Bible is literally “God-breathed” or “inspired” by the Holy Spirit. He “carried along” every human author to communicate all that we need to know for life and godliness (2 Tim. 3:16–17; 2 Pet. 1:21).
Most importantly, God’s Word has withstood centuries of scrutiny. It always provides the “best practices” for living a contented and godly life.
Similarly, it deals with more challenging problems. For instance, it addresses recovering from dysfunctional families and addictions. Further, the Bible also confronts emotional and spiritual illnesses, past traumas, and abuse.
By studying, meditating, and memorizing Scripture, we prepare our hearts and minds. And can deal with every circumstance of life (Josh. 1:8).
2. Scripture Memorization is Not Optional
Above all, God commands his followers to read, study and memorize Scripture.
Paul wrote in Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." What does it mean to have Christ's word "dwell in us"? It means that we have Scripture in our minds and hearts.
Most importantly, Scripture is the very “power of God” (Rom. 1:16). And once Christians begin memorizing Bible verses, they change. The depth and breadth of Scripture’s wisdom and practical application becomes real.
3. Is Scripture Memorization Too Hard? No!
So why do so few Christians take time to study and memorize Scripture?
In short, one word describes the problem: disobedience. We complain Scripture memorization is too hard.
But sadly, we don’t seem to struggle with memorizing less important items: like hundreds of song lyrics or new technology or sports stats or presentations for our jobs.
To sum up, there is no excuse for us not memorizing God’s Word if it’s important to us!
4. Does Scripture Memorization Take Up Too Much Time? No!
Another excuse is the lack of time. In a fast-paced world, there are many distractions.
For example, jobs, family, entertainment, and social media can divert our attention. By comparison, reading and memorizing Scripture can seem dull.
That is to say, Scripture memorization seems unattractive until problems arise. And when that happens those memorized verses prove indispensable.
5. Memorizing Scripture Helps Us Grow More Intimate with God
Memorized Scripture gives us a clearer perspective of God. And we can incorporate Bible verses into our prayer (John 15:7), study (2 Tim. 2:15-17), and meditation (Josh. 1:8). Consequently, we become more intimate with God.
Likewise, knowing God’s truth (John 8:31-32) renews our minds and transforms our hearts. And as a result, we become more conformed to Christ (Rom.12: 2; 2 Cor. 3:18).
Scripture memorization allows us to love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds. And secondly to love others as ourselves (Matt. 22:38-39).
Similarly, memorized verses also guide us into truth (John 16:13) and fill us with the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16–25).
6. Scripture Memorization is a Defense Against Spiritual Warfare
Every Christian faces spiritual warfare at some time in their life. As a result, the Holy Spirit can use memorized Scripture. He does this by illuminating particular verses to guide us in every circumstance (1 Cor. 2:12-16).
However, without memorized Scripture, the Holy Spirit cannot bring anything to your consciousness.
The Holy Spirit can only bring to mind verses you already know!
Therefore, in challenging times provide the Holy Spirit with the verses to help you (1 Cor. 2:10-16). But by ignoring Scripture memorization, you limit what the Holy Spirit can do in your life.
7. Scripture Memorization Defeats False Worldviews and Beliefs
After studying, meditating, and memorizing God’s word, we understand our Christian worldview. As a result, we can refute false worldviews and philosophies (2 Cor. 10:5; 1 Pet. 3:15).
On the other hand, unprepared Christians are gullible and easily manipulated.
Non-Christians often lie about or misrepresent Christianity. Similarly, they may try to bully us.
Knowing Scripture makes us wiser than those around us (Psa 19:8). It allows us to confront and expose the misuse and misinterpretation of Scripture. For example, like the way Christ responded to Satan during the forty days in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-11).
Knowing many battle-hardened verses prepares us.
- First, we refute false representations of Christianity
- Second, we also expose inaccurate views of God
- Third, we provide reasons why Christianity is the only valid worldview
Have God’s word at your immediate disposal. If you don’t, you will lose the battle with secular culture. You will be entering a gunfight blindfolded and carrying only a butter knife.
Only naïve and inexperienced Christians consider this warfare imagery melodramatic.
- First, God commands us to use Scripture as an offensive weapon (“Sword of the Spirit”) (Eph. 6:17)
- Second, the Bible is living and active when appropriately used (Heb. 4:12)
- And third, it guards us against sin (Psa. 119:9, 11) by destroying the attacks from the world (Mark 13:33), the flesh (Mark 14:38), and the devil (Eph. 6:18)
Scriptural Memorization Helps Us to Overcome Emotional Challenges
God promises us spiritual growth (Luke 8:15) and deliverance (Psa. 107:20) from worry (Phil. 4:4-7) and discouragement (Psa. 34:18).
And his Word gives us the wisdom to comfort and counsel other believers (2 Cor. 1:5-7). It is a resource to encourage, teach, correct, and train fellow Christians (2 Tim. 3:16) and evangelize non-Christians (1 Cor. 15:3-8)
Change from the Inside Out
God’s Word needs to embed itself deeply within each of us. We do this through study, meditation, and mostly memorization.
When it does, we have God’s truth available to us anytime and anywhere.
And the Holy Spirit can change us from the inside out to live a Christ-honoring life.
What is this Bible? by Dr. Bob Martin III