Did you know that one of the most beneficial habits you can practice in your walk with the Lord is to memorize Scripture? And yet with our busy schedules and ever-growing to-do lists, this habit can quickly get put on the back burner. Scripture memory always makes it to my priorities and goals list, but I find that I have to be very intentional about it.
One thing that really helps motivate me to make Scripture memory a priority is to remember the many benefits that come from hiding God’s Word in my heart. I don’t want to memorize Scripture just to have a head full of facts – that would do me no good. I want to build a stronger relationship with the Lord.
Here are just 10 ways that memorizing Scripture can help us do that:
1. Draws us closer to God
Psalm 145:18 says, “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.” When we call upon God in the truth of His revealed Word, He draws near to us. We can easily call upon God anytime and anywhere when we have His Word memorized. Whether we’re driving in the car, standing in the checkout line, or folding laundry, when we know Scripture by heart, we can pray God’s Word back to Him and experience His nearness.
2. Keeps us from sin
Our Lord Jesus was tempted in the wilderness when he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. The way he combated Satan’s temptations was to quote Scripture – each time he answered Satan with, “It is written…”, and then proceeded to quote passages from the Old Testament. God calls us to handle temptations the same way. Ps. 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Knowing and applying God’s Word will help us withstand temptation and keep us from giving in to sin.
3. Calms our fears
Psalm 94:19 says, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” What are God’s comforts? The promises and truths that He has revealed in Scripture. When we have God’s Word memorized, we can counsel our hearts when we feel frightened or anxious and rest assured that His truth will comfort us and replace fear with delight!
4. Transforms our Thinking
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” If we want to live transformed lives, we must renew our minds. How do we renew our minds? By memorizing Scripture! Imagine how having a treasure trove of God’s truth stored up in our minds could impact our lives. If you want to be transformed into a more loving, compassionate, gracious, productive, generous, godly person, it begins by thinking loving, compassionate, gracious, productive, generous and godly thoughts. And memorizing God’s Word on these topics will renew our minds to give us these kinds of thoughts!
5. Gives us wisdom for life’s trials
Proverbs 3 provides a rich description of the benefits of wisdom. Life can feel complicated and difficult, and we need God’s wisdom to navigate through the trials we will inevitably experience. Where can we find this wisdom that we so desperately need? In the pages of Holy Scripture! Proverbs 3:18 says, “She [wisdom] is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.” The way we “take hold of her” and “hold her fast” is by searching the Scriptures, committing them to memory, and praying through them regularly.
6. Sets us Free
One of the biggest reasons that we struggle with sinful strongholds is that we believe lies. If you are in bondage to any sin, Christ through His Word promises to set you free. Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed“ (John 8:34-36). Jesus sets us free from bondage to sin and lies with His truth – “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). By memorizing Scripture, you will have His truth readily available to set you free from the lies of sinful strongholds.
7. Helps us Share with Others
Have you ever tried to recall a Bible verse when talking to someone about the Lord? Were you frustrated that you couldn’t remember? By memorizing Scripture, we can “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15). Want to be prepared to encourage others with God’s truth at any given moment? Memorize Scripture! “The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary” (Isaiah 50:4).
8. Gives us Healthy, Happy Emotions
Did you know that no matter what kind of negative emotions you might be struggling with, God’s Word addresses them? There is nothing you are experiencing that hasn’t been experienced before. Here is just a sampling of how hiding God’s Word in your heart can address any emotional issue:
- Depression – Ps. 42 or 103
- Anxiety – Phil. 4:6-7
- Low self-image – Psalm 139
- Angry – Rom. 12:17-21
- Rejected – Ephesians 1:3-14
- Guilt – 1 Jn. 1:7-9
There are many, many more! If you want stable, healthy emotions, renew your mind by memorizing God’s Word!
9. Creates Happier Homes
When families memorize Scripture together, it helps to create a Christ-centered home. In Deuteronomy 6, Moses charges the Israelites to know and keep God’s Word. “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deut. 6:6-9). When members of a family know and apply God’s Word, it creates happy homes where each one seeks to love God and love one another.
10. Gives Us an Eternal Perspective
Memorizing Scripture helps to remind us that this world is not our ultimate home. When we have an eternal perspective, it is much easier to handle the day-to-day issues we face here on this earth. Colossians 3:2-4 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” We have so much to look forward to in eternity. Hiding God’s Word in our heart will help remind us of that regularly!
I hope you’ve been inspired to start making Scripture memory a priority in your life. As you do, I’m sure you’ll discover many more benefits than the ones I’ve listed here. Hiding God’s Word in your heart can transform your life!
100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart – If you want to begin memorizing Scripture but don’t know where to begin, I highly recommend this book! Robert Morgan has compiled a list of 100 crucial verses divided into different topics (i.e. Salvation, Holiness, Trusting God and Resting in His Word). Each verse contains a brief and practical commentary/devotional, quote, and memorization tip. Great for personal or family use!
His Word in My Heart – If you want to memorize larger portions of Scripture, Janet Pope’s guide will prove very helpful. She also shares her personal journey of how memorizing Scripture greatly impacted her life.
Topical Memory System – For a more detailed “how-to” guide, you might enjoy the Navigator’s Topical Memory System. The Navigators have been helping people learn to memorize Scripture for decades. This kit is designed to help you learn how to memorize Scripture and includes 60 different verse cards in 8 different translations.