This past Sunday you heard several people (Pastor Mark and Zachary, Derek and Aiden Collazo) recite long passages from Scripture. It was a beautiful way to highlight the importance we put on God’s Word, the Bible, which is God’s revelation and communication to us. We often hear about the importance of Scripture memory, but why is that? I want to give you a few benefits of memorizing Scripture, and challenge and encourage you to memorize the Bible as well.
The Benefits of Scripture Memory:
1. Your Sanctification.
2 Corinthians 3:18 states, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” God uses the Word to conform us into the image of Christ. And God uses the Word so that we will “be transformed by the renewal of our minds” (Romans 12:2). In other words, if you want to know God and be like Jesus, you will have to be immersed in God’s Word. Dallas Willard, the spiritual formation writer and expert, 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. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization”
2. Your Victory over Temptation.
Psalm 119:9 states, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Verse 11 of that same chapter says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Jesus modeled this for us when He was being tempted by Satan as He was fasting in the wilderness for forty days. Jesus combatted Satan’s temptations with the Word of God that He had memorized (see Matthew 4:1-11).
3. Your Ministry to Others.
When you have God’s Word memorized, you will be a useful tool to help others. It might be to encourage, comfort, counsel or challenge them. But you will more easily have the right and true words to minister to others when you have memorized some Scripture. At a much-needed time in the life of another person, you will be used by God. As Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”
4. Your Witnessing to Unbelievers.
When you know God’s Word, you will have the skill to explain the gospel to someone who needs Christ. You will also be much more likely to answer the questions they might have.
5. Your Decision-Making.
All of us face critical decisions in our lives and need wisdom for the way we live. Having God’s Word memorized gives us a foundation and guide to make those godly, wise decisions. Psalm 119:24 says, “Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.” God’s Word is our wisdom. Perhaps that’s why the well-known seminary professor, Dr. Howard Hendricks of Dallas Seminary once made the statement that if it were his decision, every student graduating from Dallas Theological Seminary would be required to learn one thousand verses word perfect before they graduated. He knew they would need it in life and in ministry!
There are many benefits to Scripture memory. That’s why the famous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once said, “The Bible in the memory is better than the Bible in the bookcase.” Church, let me encourage us to memorize God’s Word. It will pay off!