There are many reasons why Christians should memorize Scripture. What first jumps into my mind is our desire to know the one we love. In worldly relationships, we want to spend all of our time with a newfound friend/love. We seek out ways to deepen the bond and build intimacy. This means a relationship requires an investment of time.
The Bible clearly states that the Word (Scriptures) is God.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 (NIV)
“The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there He revealed Himself to Samuel through His word.” 1 Samuel 3:21 (NIV)
Every time we open our Bible we interact with the living God! He is with us while we read His words. God is spirit and unseen, but He watches over us and longs for our attention. He is jealous for us! (Deut. 4:23-24, 1 Co. 6:19, 2 Co. 11:2)
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
God also commands us to meditate upon His word. This means to set and establish Gods word in our hearts. If we memorize Scripture, we can recall and ponder it throughout the day and night. If we are to be transformed into the likeness of Christ we must renew our minds! This happens when we read and reflect upon the Word.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)
“Accept instruction from His mouth and lay up His words in your heart.”
Job 22:22 (NIV)
“On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night.”
Psalm 63:6 (NIV)
Another reason to memorize Scripture is to overcome temptations and sin. Once Scripture is memorized, the Holy Spirit is faithful to bring it back to our memory. Consider Jesus and His 40 days in the desert. The devil tempted Him and our Lord combated Satan’s half-truths by quoting back Scripture that He had memorized (Psalm 119:11, Matthew 4:1-11).
Memorized Scripture is helpful when we are hurting, or serving others who are going through difficult trials. We will always find encouragement in the pages of the Bible. When giving advice, it is helpful to quote specific passages to the listener. Just memorizing the following short passage will fill a weary soul with hope!
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
Also, being able to quote specific passages as we share our faith will help others to know what God has said. Many folks have never read the Bible and do not know what is inside the pages.
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Romans 10:17 (NIV)
We can all find an excuse why we are unable to memorize Scripture. It takes discipline, time, and effort. However, with the Holy Spirit’s help we can all succeed. Picking a specific Bible verse that has been meaningful to you personally would be a good place to start. Write it down and review it throughout the day/week. Say it out loud. Then, when you are ready, add another verse!
Try to add one or two verses to memory each week. It is helpful to write them on index cards or your smart phone. Then, when you have a free minute (We all stand in a line at the grocery store), review them. God will be faithful to bring each one back to memory when an opportunity to encourage and serve presents itself.