Most of us dread the thought of scripture memorization. Perhaps it brings back memories of grammar school and memorization of spelling words and times tables. It was work, and we felt of little value at the time. Memorizing God’s Word has excellent worth and reward. When Scripture is stored in your mind, it is there for the Holy Spirit to use at any time. It can serve as a warning against temptation or an encouragement to do the right thing. Psalm 119:11 states, “I have stored up your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” When the Holy Spirit brings a verse to your mind in times like that, it is a sword of the Spirit that Paul talked about in Ephesians 6:17, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” It’s one thing to know the difference between right and wrong but another to have the verse stored in your mind to use against temptation. Matthew 4:3-11 records Jesus using the sword of the Spirit. The devil tempted Him three times, and Jesus used the Word of God to fight against the tempter.
Memorizing Scripture strengthens your faith. Proverbs 22:17-19 states, “Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you.” The
re is some crucial phrase in these verses that I want to point out. “Apply your heart,” “sayings of the wise,” and “keep them in your heart” certainly mean memorization. Notice the reason for scripture memorization, “to have them ready on your lips,” and “so that your trust may be in the Lord.” Learning Scripture and committing it to memory builds your faith because it continually strengthens the truth. It has an uncanny way of coming to your memory when you need to hear it again.
Memorization prepares us for witnessing the gospel. When we take the time to hide God’s word in our hearts, the Holy Spirit brings it to memory when we need it the most. Mark 13:11 states, “Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” I realize this passage refers to being arrested, but the point remains: the Holy Spirit lives in you and helps you when you witness the gospel. He gives you the words to say, but that happens more frequently when you hide God’s word in your heart. It works the same way when you are trying to make a decision. The Holy Spirit will lead you to the truth in your heart and assist you in making important decisions in your life.
Memorization of Scripture stimulates meditation on the passage. As your mind goes over and over the words in the verse, you can’t help but think about something that is contained in those words that mean something to you. It is a way to help you remember, and as you think about the meaning behind the words, you begin to meditate on the passage.
Mediation is work, but it serves many benefits to our spiritual walk. No matter how much work, it has value to our spiritual lives.