Growing up, I was always told to memorize scripture, because you could need to know a part of the Bible, and not have a Bible near you. Well now, I have a Bible in my pocket on my smartphone 24/7. That reasoning doesn’t hold water anymore. But I feel like now, more than ever it is so important to memorize scripture. Why?
In Romans 12:1-2 it says:
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
If we want to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds” we need to be renewing our minds! And that comes by changing what you think about on a regular basis. The Old Testament refers to this as meditation. When the Old Testament was written, there wasn’t a way to order a copy of the Bible on Amazon, and there were very few written scrolls at the time. So the only way to know the Scriptures was to memorize it. And they memorized HUGE chunks of it. The average Jewish boy at the time would have the entire first 5 books of the Bible memorized by the time he was 12. So that meditation was on verses that they already knew by heart.
Yes, we can simply pull out our phones and read a verse or two to meditate, but lately I have been memorizing the book of James, and that has me thinking about chapter 1 multiple times throughout the day. So I am regularly thinking “count it all joy,” and “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” Doing this has helped me to really focus on the joy that comes from knowing God, and knowing that my circumstances do not get to define my attitude, but God alone gets to define how I live my days.
All of this change comes from the renewing of our minds, and focusing our thoughts throughout the day on Christ. It has been a game changer for me. Give it a try in your own life, and see the life change that happens as a result. If you want to start, I recommend the verses above, Romans 12:1-2. Set a timer for 5 minutes each day and focus on 1 part at a time. You can do it!
Other verses about Scripture memory:
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. - John 15:7
Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. - Colossians 3:16
I have treasured your word in my heart
so that I may not sin against you. - Psalm 119:11
How I love your instruction!
It is my meditation all day long. -Psalm 119:97
This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. -Joshua 1:8
These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. -Deuteronomy 6:6-7