1. INCREASING OUR FAITH
Scripture memory increases our faith and trust in God. We begin to look at life more and more from his point of view. Paul wrote, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). The memorized word of God helps us grasp this attitude of Christ as we walk through life, and builds our faith in God’s guidance and love for us.
Christian worker Bob Foster called Scripture memory “the daily habit of supplying the subconscious with God’s material to chew upon.” He wrote,
There is a vast difference between “I have a verse” and “It has me.” The one can be the parrot-like repetition of words… the latter is the transforming by the renewing of your mind.
2. VICTORY OVER SIN
Just as the psalmist wrote, Scripture memory helps us have victory over sin: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
3. INNER CLEANSING
Scripture memory has a cleansing effect. To get rid of unclean thoughts which can lead to unclean words and actions, we can substitute clean thoughts by concentrating on the words of God that we have memorized. Instead of suppressing evil thoughts, we replace them.
4. KNOWING BIBLE DOCTRINE
Scripture memory can increase our awareness of biblical doctrines, providing a practical foundation for the way we are to live.
God instructs us in the way we should go as he speaks to us through the Scriptures we know by heart. “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors” (Psalm 119:24).
Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7). Our prayer life is enhanced as we pray Scripture back to God.
Illustration by Britt Taylor Collins
–>7. BIBLE STUDY
Scripture memory helps us in our study of the Bible. We know more cross-references, and we can more easily tie various parts of Scripture together to increase our understanding.
8. FINDING PASSAGES
By memorizing key verses, we can locate specific passages on a particular teaching. Knowing Matthew 6:33, for example—”But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”—helps us remember that Jesus’s teaching about placing God’s concerns above our own physical needs is found in Matthew 6.
Scripture memory allows us to meditate at any time on God’s word. We’ll always have something scriptural to think about, even when it isn’t possible to open up a Bible. “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long” (Psalm 119:97).
10. EXPERIENCING THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures we have memorized to strengthen us and to help us experience the power of his presence.
Scripture memory helps us worship God. In our personal, joyful worship of him at any time of day we can praise God with Scripture. “Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws” (Psalm 119:164).
12. NOT WASTING TIME
Scripture memory helps us make good use of what might otherwise be wasted time, such as waiting in a long line at the grocery store or driving to work. We may even find that occupying our mind with God’s word keeps us from becoming impatient or angry.
Scripture memory helps us in counseling others. We will be able to say what the prophet Isaiah said: “The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary” (Isaiah 50:4). The Holy Spirit will bring to our mind verses that suit the particular need of the person we are talking with.
Scripture memory enables us to witness effectively. By knowing verses that present the plan of salvation we are equipped for evangelism at any time, just as the apostle Peter quoted the Old Testament words of Joel and David as he spoke to the crowd that assembled on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). We can also give biblical answers to people who ask us about our faith. We may not have a Bible with us in a spur-of-the-moment situation, but we are never without the Scripture portions we have memorized.
Anyone who teaches God’s word publicly should be able to quote Scripture to make his points and to answer questions from his listeners.
From Essentials of Discipleship (NavPress, 1980).
Discipleship Journal – – Discipleship Journal.