I recently heard someone telling a story about why it is important to memorize the Bible. She was telling her son that they needed to help his younger sister memorize a certain Bible passage for her birthday present. He wasn’t very convinced that would be a better present than Chuck E. Cheese.
Then his mom told him how her grandmother had a disease that took away her memory but it didn’t take away the verses she memorized when she was a little girl and a grown up. Even when she was in her 90’s, she was able to remember this Bible passage and it was a comforting reminder to her that God was with her and caring for her–even when she couldn’t remember many other things.
- How comforting to know that those verses we memorize are with us for a lifetime to comfort, encourage and even correct our thinking.
Other reasons to memorize God’s Word?
- We are commanded to all through the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. cf. Joshua 1:8 and II Timothy 3:16-17.
- It is basic to being able to meditate on God’s Word. Meditating on God’s Word is often likened to what a cow does in chewing on its cud when it brings up food from one of its stomachs and chews on it some more. So much of God’s Word needs chewing on. We can’t just read it and take it in at face value alone.
As we think on it and chew it over in light of other parts of the Bible and our own lives, we realize more and more that God has more to say to us than we thought when we first read it. Meditating on God’s Word is not simply an intellectual exercise, it is a life-changing activity.
How to improve our January 2022 Challenge
Last week, we were going over some ways we could have done our January Challenge better. There were many. The next collaboration we do will hopefully reflect the things we learned from this first one we did.
One way to make it better would have been to give you smaller bits to memorize at a time over a longer period. But since we live in blog land, you can do it at your own pace and go back to finish up the challenge. So if you are like I am and didn’t get to finish the challenge. (I was writing too many posts!) I encourage you to go back and work on the memory work. There is nothing as encouraging and instructive as Romans 8.
Tips on memorizing
- Whether you print it out and highlight sections to help you memorize it or write it out in longhand, you will have it handy to work on. I have done it on 4×6 or 5×8 cards before. Find what works best for you.
- For some, walking helps…it is a great activity to do while walking. I love translations with paragraphs and I memorize a paragraph at a time.
- If I don’t understand the meaning of a section, I look it up in a study Bible or commentary or find someone who knows more about Bible interpretation to help me. I don’t do well at cold memorization. I need to understand the meaning or possible meanings. I also need to understand the meaning in its context. That’s why I enjoy memorizing longer passages much more than individual verses. So what if it takes longer than a week to memorize your project? What you now have is something to fill your mind with glorious truth. We need that more than anything these days!
- Work your way through each section a paragraph at a time.
- Review, review, review! That is how you keep it in your mind and heart.
- If you find it impossible to memorize a passage after trying, choose key verses from the passage you are studying, to memorize. They will help you remember the truths you have learned from this study.
So as you face the challenges of 2022, realize that having the Bible memorized and in your heart will help you. It will be in you mind and heart, ready for you to meditate on. You won’t need to find a Bible to read the words. You already have them in your heart and mind to chew on and think about.
Imagine lying in bed at night with these words flying through your brain!
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” when accusatory words come at you from satan (I’m not talking about conviction of actual sin from the Holy Spirit) as he accuses you, tells you, you will never change, throws past failures in your face. etc. You can repeat back to him that God doesn’t condemn you, that God is interceding for you, that God is for you, not against you…and many other truths you have learned Romans 8.
To summarize, here are 3 reasons to memorize God’s Word
- Because we are commanded to.
- Because memorizing is basic to meditating and having our lives changed.
- Because memorized Scripture lasts a lifetime.
Of course, there are many other reasons too. These are just three I thought I would share today…not for purposes of guilting you at all! Just to encourage you to fit in some memorization projects during this year to left your spirits and encourage your soul. Doubly so if you are a caregiver.