Memorizing whole chapters and books of the Bible has many benefits. Memorizing single verses, while helpful, can often take the verse out of context and be misunderstood. There are a lot of great resources out there for aiding in Scripture memory. One that I find incredibly useful is ScriptureTyper. But when memorizing Scripture it is important to be doing it not just as a rote exercise, but to actually be thinking about what it is these verses are saying.
- In memorizing Scripture, we are putting God’s truth into our minds and hearts. As we go about our day, it becomes a useful tool in shaping our attitudes and actions. For example, in the book of Philippians there are some very practical exhortations such as “Do everything without complaining or arguing,” and “Do not be anxious about anything,” as well as “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves.” (NIV84) When something irritates us and we start to complain, the reminder that we are to do everything without complaining helps us to stop and re-evaluate our words. When someone is talking to us and going on about something in their lives that we aren’t that interested in, instead of thinking about what we’ll say next, we can remember that we are to consider others better than ourselves and not be selfish in monopolizing the conversation about our own needs. These tools help us to grow in our Christian walk to become more like Christ.
- Another benefit of Scripture memory is when having trouble falling asleep, we can recite our memory verses in our head as a way to pass the time until we drift off. Much more productive than counting sheep! 🙂
- Knowing Scripture helps us to pray as well. We can use the Scripture we have memorized to pray for others, as well as ourselves. Using the prayers that are already in the Bible is one way to do this. For example, Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3: “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being…” (ESV) What a great way to pray for our friends and family! We can also just use Scripture that isn’t specifically a prayer to pray also, such as using the above Philippians verses in a prayer: “Lord, help me to do everything without complaining or arguing. Help me to not be anxious about anything.” Etc.
What other benefits have you found from memorizing Scripture?
Where to Begin – also read Janet Pope’s book His Word in My Heart
10 Tips for Memorizing a Bible Chapter
How to Memorize Scripture
Four Tips for Scripture Memory
10 Practical Tips for Memorizing Scripture
4 Tips for Memorizing God’s Word
Bible Memorization Methods
More links (as always, use discernment with any website or blog and compare what they are saying with Scripture)
How can we have resources readily available throughout our day wherever we may find ourselves? Memorizing Scripture helps us to have the Word of God constantly available to us wherever we go, bringing it to mind as we have need throughout the day. Starting children with Bible memory at a young age is a wonderful way to instill it in their hearts and provide a foundation of knowing the Bible throughout their lives. But adults can also memorize the Bible and have this tool available to them. It may take more work as an adult than it does for a child, but it can still be done. There are a lot of resources and tools available for help in Scripture memory and everyone learns differently and needs to find the method that works best for them. It is helpful to memorize whole passages rather than individual verses, in order to have them in context. One method that a lot of people (including myself) have found helpful is to print out the verses and put them on index cards, to carry around and review throughout the day, while waiting in line or at the doctor’s office, etc. Or you can write them on the index cards as part of the memory process. There are also online sites that help you to type out the verses and learn them that way. I use Scripture Typer and have found it tremendously helpful.
“And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” (ESV)
There are many different ways that we can increase our Bible intake. Of course reading the Bible as well as studying it are the typical ways we ingest the Bible. Reading the Bible and studying it are two different things. Studying includes reading, but also includes observing, asking questions, determining the meaning and finding the principle in order to apply it.
Another way for us to get the Bible into our lives is to listen to it on audio. There are many great audio Bibles out there, some done in a dramatic style, that we can listen to as we drive on our commute, do our exercise, or work around the house.
Memorizing Scripture is a great way to increase our knowledge of the Bible. This also aids in meditating on Scripture. Biblical meditation is mulling over a Scripture passage, thinking through the phrases, chewing on what they are saying. Memorizing Scripture allows us to meditate on it without having a Bible nearby. A great resource to help in memorizing the Bible is ScriptureTyper.
Listening to solid expository preaching is another way to increase our Bible intake. There are a plethora of sermons available online that we can listen to directly on the computer or download to mp3. A couple preachers I highly recommend are John MacArthur on Grace to You and Alistair Begg at Truth for Life.