Did you know that during the early first-century, Jewish boys, as young as five years old, would go to the local synagogue school to learn Hebrew and memorize scripture? By age 13, the average Jewish boy, would have already memorized the Torah (Pentateuch), the Neviim (The Prophets) and the Kituvin (The Writings), which comprised all of the Hebrew Scripture (Tanach) of that day.
I don’t know about you but that blows my mind 😮
Why Should we Memorize Scripture?
Those of us who have God’s word so easily accessible, may not really understand why it is important to memorize scripture. So many of us have the Bible at our fingertips. We don’t really see a need to memorize verses or chapters or entire books of the Bible.
And just as a disclaimer, I want to be clear, just because you memorize scripture it doesn’t make you holier than someone else. It doesn’t make God love you more. And it definitely doesn’t determine whether or not someone is saved. But it does help you grow as a Christian and mature as a believer.
The book of Proverbs says “My son, keep my words and treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, And my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart” 7:1-3.
I believe when we memorize scripture we are writing God’s word on our heart. Below are 5 reasons why I believe we should devote time to scripture memorization.
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Scripture is Our Weapon Against the Enemy
Ephesians 6:11-12 says “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places”.
We are in a battle. A spiritual battle on this earth. Paul tells us that we need to put on the whole armor of God if we are to stand firm against our enemy. The only weapon included in the armor of God is the “sword of the spirit, which is the word of God” verse 17.
Before I devoted myself to Bible study and scripture memorization I was struggling in so many areas of my life. I struggled to believe that God really loved me. And that he forgave me and continues to forgive me whenever I fall short of his glory. It wasn’t until I realized I was in a spiritual battle and the enemy of my soul was constantly attacking me that I started to use my weapon. I believe God’s word is truth so I began to search the scriptures to see if my thoughts matched God’s word. Of course, they did not. God’s word says he loved me so much he sent his son to die for me, God’s word says I’m forgiven. God’s word says I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.
I began to memorize scripture that was in opposition to the negative ideas and thoughts I was having. And whenever the bad thoughts would pop up in my head I would recite the scripture I had memorized until eventually, those negative thought patterns disappeared.
You can save yourself so much pain and sadness by memorizing scripture. When the enemy starts to attack, you’ll have your sword drawn and ready.
To Avoid Sin & Be Obedient
If you are struggling in your life with sin, one of the best ways to overcome it, aside from prayer and fasting, is scripture memorization.
For example, if you’re struggling with sexual sin, memorize 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 which says “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
If you memorize this scripture and write it on your heart I can almost guarantee that when you’re tempted to commit sexual sin this verse will pop into your head. As you recite the scripture hopefully then you will ask God for the strength you need to resist the temptation.
This goes for any sin you’re struggling with whether it’s sexual sin, getting drunk, lying, or anything else. Find the scripture that speaks against it and write it on your heart.
To Comfort & Encourage Others
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing“. We are told in scripture to encourage and comfort one another. One of the most effective ways to do that, is to share God’s word. When someone is upset or scared or grieving I can promise you there is a verse in the Bible that will bring them comfort or ease their fears. The more you study the Bible and memorize scripture the more likely you are going to be able to comfort those who are in need.
We all want to be used by God and I can tell you from experience that the more you write his word on your heart the more you will find yourself in situations where scripture memorization has enabled you to encourage or comfort someone else.
To Lead Others to Christ
Jesus said “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you“. Most Christians know this verse as the great commission. Jesus commands us to share the gospel with others.
Sometimes when we share our faith with others, we’re confronted with questions we don’t have the answers to. And although I firmly believe we can’t allow that to stop us, I think we would share our faith more if we were more confident in our knowledge of the scriptures. I believe God will use us more and set up more of what I like to call “divine appointments” when he knows we’re properly equipped to lead others to Christ. Two great verses to memorize specifically for sharing the gospel are John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:2-4, where Paul sums up the gospel.
To Defend Your Faith
The Bible is under attack now more than it has been in a long time. And I believe it will only get worse in the years to come. It’s really sad to me when an atheist or those of different religions can quote the Bible more than some Christians can. 1 Corinthians says “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God….“. Just as memorizing scripture equips us to share our faith, it also equips us to defend our faith. If you study your Bible regularly or even better memorize scripture, you’ll be able to recognize when someone is either misquoting scripture or taking verses out of context in an attempt to attack Christianity. As Christ’s ambassadors upon this earth, we need to be bold and confident in defending our faith.
I pray this post encourages and edifies all those who read it. Check this post out if you would like to memorize scripture but aren’t exactly sure where or how to start. I’m in the process of making printable scripture cards for you guys but in the meantime, you can buy some on Amazon to help you get started. These ones from Jenny M. are adorable and I really like these ones too! If you have a memory of when scripture memorization helped you, please share in the comments below 🙂
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