How many of us remember as kids being sent down to the shops by mum or dad to buy a loaf of bread, a 500 gram block of butter or whatever it might be. We were told not to forget, we had to remember what we went to the shops to get; we memorised the item/s were we sent to get.
In the same way, some of us may remember our Sunday school/ youth group days where there was a challenge to remember the scripture theme for the day; we were taught fun and interesting ways in which to learn the verse. But there came a time, usually around 18 where we stop memorisation of His word, it was seen as a ‘kid’ thing and I’m an adult now. We may remember some of those verses, but not all. If we don’t practice at something we can start to forget some of the parts, and this is what happens when we stop memorising His word. We forget some of the verses we have learnt.
On our church newsletter we have verse to learn each week. This was not done because we had a blank space to fill, there was a reason for it; to help us as His people get to know His word, not just in our heads but in our hearts also. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise, Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. But why does it matter? I propose to you nine reasons why scripture memorisation matters.
- The Bible is the Word of God. There are so many people of the world who have little access to this Word. Should not we, who often have more Bibles in our homes than people, want to know God’s Word so well that it dwells in our hearts? The above two verses tell us that this is vital for us.
- Jesus modelled for us the power of knowing the Word. Satan tempted Jesus – and three times Jesus countered him with the book of Deuteronomy. Jesus showed us that the Word – all of it – has power over the devil.
- Memorising verses we encounter in our quiet time brings life to that time. I love it when the Spirit uses a verse so powerfully in my life and study that I want to memorise it. It brings change in my life and refreshes my soul.
- Hiding the Word in our heart helps us to avoid sin. That’s what the psalmist told us in Psalm 19:11 and 119:9-11. We fight sin by treasuring God’s Word.
- Memorising scripture today can help prepare us for tomorrow’s battles. Years ago, I started a discipleship program called 2:7s part of this course had scripture memorisation using a prescribed list of verses. To pass the course you had to remember all 65 verses. I don’t remember them all but I have been amazed by how often I’ve turned back to those verses through the years.
- The Word drives the garbage from our minds. I’m 47 years old, but I still occasionally remember images I saw as a teenager. Here’s the good news, though: through the Sword of the Spirit (the Word – Eph 6:17), we can capture every thought for Christ.
- The day may come when we have little or no access to the Bible. Much of the world already faces this situation, and we can’t assume it won’t happen to us. We need to know the Word so well that we can teach it without a written text in front of us or access to apps.
- Memorisation prepares us to share the gospel. Sure, we can use apps and tracts to evangelise – but having the Word ever on our lips gives us confidence and conviction to tell the good news. Knowing the Word weakens our fears of proclaiming, we are after told to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us (1 peter 3:15)
- Memorisation review requires daily time with the Word. That’s the nature of memorisation – if we don’t work on it regularly, we forget what we’ve memorised. Even a few minutes a day to review biblical texts can strengthen our walk with God.
Why does memorisation matter? It matters because without the word of God, the sword of the spirit, we are left defenceless in a hostile world. The word of God is our light in the darkness, and a balm to the soul. Without His word in us to be a defence and a light and a healing we leave ourselves an easy target for those who would seek us harm. Go ahead today and commit to scripture memorisation.
Please leave a comment below and any suggestions you may have or questions you would like me to answer.