By Janelle Pollard
Most of my life, I’ve heard that I should be memorizing Scripture. From Bible class teachers, parents, college professors, and more. Some Scriptures you hear and read so much, you don’t have to work to memorize it. You already know it. It’s already written on your heart. And if you’ve used the same Bible for years, you can probably even find exactly which verse you’re looking for not by the book name or chapter, but by the location on the page. There are many places in Scripture that we can find the author encouraging the reader to memorize Scripture. But why?
“Why is it so important to memorize Scripture if I have access to the Bible at all times?”
Well, there’s actually more than one answer to that question…
- Because God said so. This is one of those answers we probably heard as children. And the principle remains, God is our Father and we must do what He says. Thankfully, the things He says are out of love and give us many blessings. His commands are a blessing!
“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.” (Colossians 3:16)
- Because of others’ examples:
-Jesus memorized Scripture
Matthew 21:42- Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
-David memorized Scripture
Psalm 119:11- “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
3. We don’t know that we will always have easy access to the Bible.
What if in our lifetime, having a Bible wasn’t legal anymore? Sounds dramatic and probably a little conspiracy theory-ish, but when I was a kid, had you told me that one day, God would be taken out of schools and our country would be run by people who wanted this, I wouldn’t have believed you. But we are living in a world where that is unfortunately becoming the norm. If there is a chance that we could have our Bibles taken and wouldn’t be able to remember what they say without them right in front of us, shouldn’t we be memorizing everything they say and writing them on our hearts so we can always have them as guidance, even if not as physical guides?
- That we may not sin against God.
Psalm 37:31 says, “The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.” And in chapter 119:11, the psalmist writes, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” We should meditate on and memorize Scripture so that we won’t sin against God. If His Word is what we think about more often that what we see on TV or on our phones, we will be a lot more aware of our behaviors and our speech, and our character will be more like God’s.
Most people say that are not good at memorization. But I bet you would be surprised at how good you could be if you just stuck with it! Here are a few ways you can try for yourself:
- Just the first letters
Something that has worked for me is just writing the first letter of each word.
For example: Using the verse listed above, Ps. 119:11, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you,” we will just take out the first letter of each word:
That way, you can have a little help without seeing the whole word! You can write these letters on post-it notes throughout your house and every time you see them, you must recite the verse out loud. I have even written the letters on my hand before so I can practice throughout the day when not at home.
- Bible Memory Apps (just search for this and you will find several options!)
- Spiral Index Card Notebook– writing is a great way to learn a verse- and you can quiz yourself with this format!
- Dry Erase Board– write the verse out and erase one word at a time, seeing how many times you can recite it, as you take away more and more words.
Scripture Memorization doesn’t have to be dull! There are many ways to commit the Bible to memory and you will be blessed for writing it on your heart!
Share with us what methods you have used to memorize Scripture!