Pastor Marc’s Weekly Article: Scripture Memory

Scripture Memory heading over highlighted Bible verse from Proverbs 3:5.

Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

 – Psalm 119:11 (NASB95)

As Pastor Paul is preaching through the book of 1 Peter, we are encouraged to memorize the verses discussed in Sunday’s sermon. Not only that, he threw down the gauntlet of memorization with a challenge to memorize the entire book.

When we look at the whole of 1 Peter — 5 chapters, 2,500+ words, 11,400+ characters –  with all those black letters scrunched together on the page it can seem like a daunting task.

I think the question Pastor Randy asked me the other day might shed some insight on the issue. “How do you eat an elephant?” You may know the answer… “One bite at a time.”

Effectively memorizing scripture requires that same method. We break it down into bite-sized portions and just keep feeding our souls one word, one sentence, one paragraph at a time. Until, over time and with diligent work, we accomplish what once felt insurmountable. And you know what? As you practice consistently taking the word of God into your mind and heart, your hunger for it will grow. Your knowledge of God will increase (Psalm 119:130-131). Your relationship with Him will deepen. Your ability to counsel others will only become sweeter.

I hope that bit of an introduction to Bible memorization whets your appetite to give it a taste (1 Peter 2:2-3)!

Yet, scripture memory isn’t primarily based on how we grow from it, but it is based on God calling us to be obedient children (Psalm 119:97) – showing our love for Him by obeying his commands (1 John 5:2).

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. ”

– Deuteronomy 6:6-7

In God’s care for the people of Israel, He gave all they needed for life and godliness – His words. With God’s word also came His command to remember, teach, talk, write, and do these things in the fear of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:1-7) Memorizing and remembering, “…these words…shall be on your heart…,” are the starting blocks in our obedience. The acts of obedience passed from generation to generation flow from a heart filled with a knowledge of God’s word.

At this month’s church staff meeting Pastor Paul asked the question, “Why did God give His commands?” As we allow God’s word to infuse our hearts, we meditate on His commands and experience His loving kindness in our lives. We come to recognize that His commands are for our good (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).

As believers, we find great hope in what God has revealed to us! This hope should draw us toward memorization of the Word so that we are constantly reminded of God’s goodness. We are constantly being renewed in our thinking  We recognize His holiness, His love, His protection, His provision, His warning, His guidance. (Just to name a few things.) This leads to us being able to live a life of holiness as “we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Suggested steps to get into the habit of memorizing scripture:

  • Choose a larger passage of scripture. (1 Peter)
  • Break it down into bite-size pieces. (Verses)
  • Get a partner to help you. (Joining a Transformation Group would be a great way to do this.)
  • Use an App to help you. (VerseLocker)
  • Pray for God to use His word in your life.
  • Be doers of the Word.
  • Repeat daily!

I encourage you to start memorizing God’s word today.

“Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.

– 1 Peter 2:2

Marc Boeker

Here are just a few other reasons you should memorize Scripture:

It heals and comforts us.
If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction. – Psalm 119:92

It saturates our hearts with truth.
Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. – Psalm 119:11

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. – Isaiah 55:8

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. – Colossians 3:16

It offers spiritual success.
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. – Joshua 1:8

“But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. – Luke 8:15

It equips us for spiritual warfare.
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” – Ephesians 6:17

“It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4

It fuels our witness.
But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. – 1 Peter 3:15

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