God’s Word is powerful. Have you recently experienced the power of God’s Word in your own life? Reading the Bible, studying it, and hearing sound teaching from our pastors at church on Sunday mornings are all foundational to growing in Christ. But, Scripture memory tends to be more of a challenge for many. And, it doesn’t seem to be emphasized as much as the other ways we approach the Bible, which is such a shame!
I have experienced the power of God’s Word in my own life even without realizing it at times. I recently shared about that in this video. But, a few years ago when I was in a dark season, I discovered the mighty ways God works through Scripture memory. I was working through some personal challenges and my pastor emphasized the importance of getting into the habit of memorizing Scripture. As I memorized and reflected on God’s Word in such an intentional way, by His grace, I quickly began to experience how His Word has the power to change us, and as a result, change our lives. And, I praise God that I continue to experience the power of His Word through Scripture memory today!
So, let’s talk about why we should practice Scripture memory and how to get started.
3 Reasons to Memorize Scripture
1. Scripture memory equips us | 2 Timothy 3:16-17 & Ephesians 6:10-18
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man [or woman] of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” In other words, because the Bible is divinely inspired and given to us by God Himself, He will use it to equip us for godly living. By the power of His Word, we are able to do works that bring Him glory and benefit us and those around us.
In Ephesians 6:10-18, believers are instructed to put on the whole armor of God: The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the Gospel as shoes for our feet, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Memorizing God’s Word grounds us in truth and trains us to think and act in alignment with God’s will. It reminds us of the Gospel—that Jesus died on a cross and rose from the dead to save all who repent of their sins and believe in Him. Remembering His saving work in our lives builds our faith. Knowing God’s Word is foundational to putting on the armor of God. It is our greatest defense and our weapon against the enemy and his schemes.
Key Takeaway: When we have Scripture memorized, God will use it to equip us for godly living and the battle’s we face.
2. Scripture memory shapes our thoughts and actions | Hebrews 4:12
Hebrews 4:12 says, “the word of God is living and active,” and that it discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart. God’s Word has the power to reveal and correct wrong thinking that leads to ungodly living. As we fill our minds with Scripture, He replaces lies with truth. But, we must yield to the Spirit by trusting His promises and obeying His commands in order to experience God’s transforming work in our minds and actions.
For example, even if we feel anxious, we still choose to trust God’s character and promises and obey His commands. If we’re memorizing Philippians 4:6-9, that means we obey God’s commands to pray and fill our minds with godly thoughts. And, we trust that He promises He will be with us and that His peace will guard our hearts and minds.
We inform our thoughts with the truth of Scripture because while our opinions and emotions are ever changing, God’s character and promises remain unchanging. He is our reliable guide who will not lead us astray. Allowing God’s truth to guide us instead of our thoughts and feelings doesn’t typically happen overnight. It takes diligent practice and dependence on the Spirit to help us. But, praise God that He is so gracious and patient with us!
Key Takeaway: As we memorize Scripture, God speaks truth and guides us as we trust and obey what He says.
3. Scripture memory builds our trust in God | Psalm 18:30
David declares in 2 Samuel 22:31 and Psalm 18:30 that, “the word of the LORD proves true.” God proves the trustworthiness of His Word through the Bible itself. We see God’s sovereignty, promises, and prophecies fulfilled throughout generations. It’s incredible to read! And as we memorize Scripture and apply it to our lives, we get to experience His promises fulfilled in our own lives.
One of the clearest examples of this is through the Gospel. Romans 6:23 says, “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” When we truly believe what God says about sin, we repent and believe in Christ and His Word proves true when we receive His free gift of salvation! We are new creations (Galatians 2:20), born again (John 3:3) and experience the reality of this promise through the Holy Spirit who indwells our hearts (Romans 8:9).
By the power of the Spirit, experiencing the trustworthiness of God’s Word doesn’t stop at conversion. James 1:25 says that those who remember and follow what God’s Word says will be blessed. We have countless opportunities to put our faith into action. And as we witness the work God does as we align ourselves to what His Word says, our trust in Him increases.
Key Takeaway: God’s Word is proven true throughout the Bible and in our own lives. Scripture memory increases our trust in Him as we live in light of His promises.
How to Start Memorizing Scripture
Scripture memory equips us, shapes us, and builds our trust in God and His Word. So, let’s talk about how to start memorizing Scripture so that we can experience these blessings.
6 Tips to Help You Start Memorizing Scripture
1. Be prayerful.
We must be prayerful as we memorize Scripture, asking the Spirit to write His Word on our hearts and live in light of what’s true. When we attempt to do this in our own strength, it becomes burdensome. But, when we are dependent on God as we memorize, we trust He will do a mighty work in us.
2. Choose a verse or passage.
Simply open the Bible and choose a passage! But, if you are looking to memorize passages that speak truth into specific topics, there are so many resources out there to point you in the right direction. My Scripture memory cards (pictured below) are a great option! But, books like The Topical Memory System and God’s Promises for Your Every Need are also helpful resources.
3. Figure out a system that works for you.
When will you dedicate time to memorizing Scripture? How often will you memorize new passages? How will you go about it? Writing your verses down where you can easily reference them, is so helpful. I write passages I’m memorizing in a small notebook and on notecards that I can easily carry with me wherever I go. I designed my Scripture memory cards as individual 3×5” cards so they could be carried in your purse, used as a bookmark for your Bible, displayed on your desk or bedside table.
4. Incorporate the passage in your quiet time.
It’s important to take time to meditate on the Scripture we’re memorizing during our quiet time. This means we actively study it to deepen our understanding of what God is saying in the passage. A great way to start is by reading the surrounding verses or entire chapter for context. And, we incorporate the passage in our prayers. How can you praise God for the truths in the verse(s)? What can you thank Him for? Does it prompt you to confess any sin? How do the truths of the passage impact your prayers as you bring your concerns and requests to God?
5. Apply it.
We talked about this a fair amount already, but again, trust what God’s Word says and pray for the Spirit to empower you to obediently live it out. James 1:22 says to be doers of the Word and not just hearers. When we memorize without action, we are only building up head knowledge.
6. Review it.
As you memorize more and more Bible verses, don’t forget to review the passages you memorized in the past. Reviewing keeps God’s Word fresh in our minds and God uses what we’ve memorized to minister to us and others!
I hope this post got you excited about Scripture memory! If you’d like more resources and exclusive content to help you grow in your faith, join my mailing list. To start, I’ll send you a free e-devotional!
Today’s Shop Picks
All scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.