When Jesus was in the desert being tempted He relied on the Word of God by quoting it and using it as an offensive weapon against spiritual attacks from the enemy. Our Lord was teaching us how important knowing and quoting Scripture is. David said that he hid God’s Word in his heart so that he might not sin (Psalm 119:11). We know that the Word of God is powerful and eternal. We know that it is given to us, to help us, but do we utilize it like we should?
When I first started discipleship triads and was presented with memorizing Scripture, I’m sure I was like most people I know thinking, “This is hard; it’s been awhile since I had to memorize (not since college) and how am I going to remember where all the verses are from.” I thought I was in for a challenge, but once I found a method that worked for me, memorizing Scripture became a passion. All that “I can’t do this” talk disappeared and the Holy Spirit opened my mind to how important Scripture is to my walk with God.
As Christians we are taught the importance of putting God’s word in our hearts.
- Jesus illustrated the importance of Scripture– Scripture was so important to Jesus that He quoted from 24 books roughly 180 times. God calls us to memorize Scripture and in His Word we are constantly told to dwell on it, meditate on it, study it, place it in our heart, teach it, obey it, and talk about it all the time, lest we forget.
- Scripture renews your mind and it transforms you to be able to discern what is good and pleasing to God. “Do not conform any longer 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. This renewing of the mind is achieved only through the reading and retaining of His powerful Word.
- It helps us resist temptation, discern the lies of the enemy, live righteously, and be obedient. As Jesus illustrated in the desert, memorizing Scripture gives us a better understanding of God, what He desires from us and for us, how He wants us to live, and what He says about us. God has given us His Word as a weapon to use in spiritual warfare; in fact it is the only offensive weapon on the list.
- It helps us encourage other believers. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:18, “Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words.”
- It allows us to more effectively share the gospel with unbelievers. We don’t always have our Bible handy when witnessing and presenting the message of salvation. God’s Word, unlike ours, has authority and power. Hebrews 4:12 tells us 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. And in 1 Peter 3:15 we are told to always be prepared to give an answer for our hope in Christ.
There are many methods to memorizing Scripture, but the most important thing to do when you start is not to be self-defeating by saying, “I can’t do this, I ……” YES YOU CAN DO THIS!! God would not tell us to do something we were not capable of doing. Here are some suggestions and the internet has multiple sites dedicated to helping people learn the best ways to memorize Scripture.
- Choose a verse to memorize that speaks to you about something going on in your life right now.
- Make the verse smaller by breaking it down into 5 words at a time and when you have memorized those five words, add more until you have memorized the entire verse.
- There is plenty of science behind the fact that we retain information better when we write it down and say it out loud. Always start with the location of the verse and continue to repeat what you have read as many times as it takes to put it to memory.
- Use different techniques such as drawing pictures, putting the verse to music, writing it on flashcards, stick it on your mirrors or carry it with you.
- Don’t give up! Like any new good habit it takes time to develop a system that works for you and with practice anything will become easier.
I find for me the flashcards work best. Now when I wake up in the morning, I grab my flashcards of God’s Word and promises and I go through them, adding new Scriptures to the old ones I have memorized. All day long, as I go through the day, I can apply the verses I know to help me with temptation, obedience, trusting God, to give me hope, and to discern lies from the enemy. Just as important, I can recall Scripture to help others in their time of need. I find peace in my struggles and hope in the midst of it. Start small – one verse – anyway that works best for you. You will never regret it and I know it will change your life.