Memorizing Scripture may have more benefits than you think!
It renews your mind, enabling you to know God’s will.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV)
I had never connected this verse to memorizing Scripture until now. But, how better to renew our mind than by memorizing Scripture! That is filling our mind with God’s Word, not something we read once, but something we know by heart! Reading the Bible is important, but memorizing Scripture is important, too!
The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance the Scripture you need at a particular time.
Dallas Willard, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California wrote,
“Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs.“
For example, when people have hurt my feelings by what they said or what they did, the Holy Spirit has brought to my remembrance a verse memorized long ago.
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 NIV*
it has practical advantages
Chuck Swindoll stated, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends!”
Do you ever have trouble going to sleep because you can’t quiet your mind, and you can’t stop thinking about all you have to do? I still remember the 23rd Psalm from memorizing it in childhood, 60 years ago! Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I recite it and meditate on the verses. Nothing is more calming and quiets your mind like reciting and meditating on the 23rd Psalm. I bet many of you learned it as a child, too.
Sometimes the KJV is easier to learn and easier to remember, too. I was just trying to remember Psalm 119:105 and realized that I remember it in the KJV, but not in the NIV. As soon as I said, “Thy word”, it all came back to me!
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV
Another Scripture I rely on when I’m worried or afraid is Psalm 91. (It really isn’t that hard to memorize!)
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91 NIV (1984 edition)
My Top 5 Tips for Memorizing Scripture
- Write it and doodle while you repeat it out loud several times. (I like this idea!)
- Learn one verse, and then add another verse to it. Keep adding on one more verse. Always go back to the beginning and recite everything you have learned so far. You can learn long passages this way. (This is how I memorized Psalm 91.)
- Play a memory game. Using dry-erase markers, write the verse on a dry-erase board. Read the verse a few times, then erase 2 words at a time. Keep saying the verse until all the words are erased.
- Go for a walk and recite all the verses you have learned so far.
- Make the wallpaper on your phone the verse you are learning.
Well, I hope you’ve been motivated to start memorizing. I know I have!
Some passages to memorize:
- Philippians 4:6-8
- John 7:37-38
- John 8:31
- Romans 10:9-11
- Psalm 56:3-4
- Psalm 86:11
Do you have any memorization tips?
What passages do you recommend memorizing? Please share!
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
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*Some NIV references are from the 1985 edition and may read a little differently than the latest NIV edition.