Habits #3: Bible Memorization
What goes into your mind comes out through your heart. Jesus said you can tell a person by what’s in their heart – how they live their life.
Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden Your word in my heart (memorization) that I might not sin against You (result).” When we talk about Bible memorization, we’re not telling you anything you don’t already do. You already memorize things all the time. What we’re challenging you to do is open your mind to memorizing scripture. We’re not talking about memorizing the whole Bible. We are talking about some selected key verses that you hide in your heart that really can change your life.
Some promises from God’s Word…
- God’s Word GUIDES me. If you’re going to live God’s way, you ought to consult God’s direction. We can choose to live God’s way, or we can choose to live the world’s way. If you choose to live the world’s way, you have direction given to you from everywhere all the time. If you choose to live God’s way, you consult God’s love letter. You consult His map to know how to live God’s way. Colossians 3:16 Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. God’s word wants to guide us.
- God’s Word FEEDS me. The key word there is growth. God’s word is to feed me and to help me grow so that I might learn to grow on my own. There is a verse in the Bible that says Christians crave spiritual food. That you would learn at some point in your life to crave the teachings of God, that they would feed you. Jeremiah 15- “When Your words came, I ate them. They were my joy and my heart’s delight. For I bear Your name, O Lord God almighty.” God’s word feeds you, and when you’re not growing, the opposite of growth is to atrophy, to shrink, to deteriorate. If you’re not spending time in God’s word, you’re not going to be growing. There’s a promise that God’s word will feed you.
- God’s Word STRENGTHENS me. The Bible promises that God’s word will strengthen me. The key word is temptation. The Bible makes a promise that will help us have some victory over temptation. You will be tempted. Psalm 119 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word. I seek You with all my heart. Don’t let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” The Bible makes promises. Did you know that when Jesus was tempted by Satan, He responded to Satan by saying this, “It is written…” (Luke 4 ) Jesus Christ, the son of God, who walked the earth, used scripture when He was tempted! To have that promise that, when you are tempted, you say, “God is faithful. This temptation has come before. He’s going to give me the power to get out of it.” That’s what God’s word promises. That He will strengthen you.
Some goals for a growing Christian and God’s Word…
- DESIRE God’s word. You have to want it for yourself.
- DELIGHT in it. There’s a lot of people who desire it, but they don’t want to do anything about it. Enjoy God’s word.
- DEVOUR it. Learn it. Study it. Grow on your own. Open up your Bible and look up verses; highlight them. Ask questions of others around you: your parents, your pastors, your small group leaders.
- DISPLAY it. It doesn’t matter how much Bible you have in your head if the Bible doesn’t make it to your heart and your soul. These are the words of Jesus in John 13. He says, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” You will be happy if you display them. It’s great that you know it, now live it out.
- Determine if the benefits are worth the EFFORT. There is an effort to this. Habits are oftentimes difficult to develop. It may be difficult to memorize God’s word, but it’s important to know scripture. So you’ve got to determine are the benefits worth the effort?
- Gather some verses to MEMORIZE. Memorize things that are going to change your life: verses that challenge you; verses that protect, that talk about God’s protection; verses that are encouraging; verses about God’s guidance; verses about God’s promises. Anytime you see a promise of God in the Bible, that’s one you want to memorize. And when you know them and you hide them in your heart, they’re there with you for the rest of your life.
- Commit to a plan to develop the HABIT of memorizing Scriptures. Whatever that plan is. Maybe the plan is that you write it on your hand. Maybe the plan is you write it on a 3×5 note card. Maybe the plan is, tape it on your bathroom mirror. You determine the plan, and then be realistic about it. For some of you to say, “I’m going to memorize a verse every day,” that’s a nice goal, but it’s probably not realistic. Try with memorizing a verse every week. But you determine that plan.
One last thought: Memorizing God’s Word isn’t simply about information, it’s about TRANSFORMATION.