Chuck Swindoll once wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.” (Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994], p. 61)
Memorizing scripture can equip us in so many ways, and – I believe – is one of the foundations of our relationship with Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (NIV)
Here are a few “good works” that scripture memorization can equip us for:
Victory Over Sin
We are constantly tempted to sin, and often fall into that temptation. But God has given us a way to overcome it. In Ephesians 6:17 it says, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (NIV)
Every time we memorize scripture we are arming ourselves with God’s Word, with the sword of the Spirit, that we may push back against Satan and his temptations.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11 NIV)
Sharing the Gospel
We are so often faced with needing to share the Gospel when we do not have a Bible around to help us out. This is a huge reason as to why memorizing scripture is SO important. It will allow us to be ready for opportunities that come upon us, and will show unbelievers how important the Word of God is to us. I think you’ll find that it makes it easier to share, as well.
Dwelling in God’s Sovereignty
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 NIV)
Memorizing scripture is so much more than just being able to repeat it to someone later. It allows us to praise God in a whole new way. We have the privilege of having this amazing relationship with an almighty God, who loves us and yearns for us to desire him. Memorizing scripture allows that desire to grow within us and it teaches us to appreciate God for Who He is in scripture. We have the opportunity, therefore, to dwell in his sovereignty and in what He has to say through His Word.
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17 NIV)
If we are habitually memorizing scripture, then we can be consistently challenging and encouraging ourselves and others as we grow in our relationships with God. If you have trouble memorizing, then maybe write out passages on note cards and hang them around your room or the house. Either way, definitely make sure you are dedicating time to do this. (This would be another great thing to have an accountability partner for, as well.) And finally, no matter what…always keep persevering.