The Marvelous Payoff of Scripture Memory

No other single habit in the Christian life is more rewarding, with a greater practical payoff, than regular Scripture memory. Through this discipline, God's Word satisfies, cuts, lifts, reveals, and heals the heart.

Perhaps you started memorizing and stopped. Or you said, “I can't memorize.” But, we memorize all the time: everything from street addresses to Internet sites, from which key unlocks the shed to which supermarket aisle stocks my favorite cereal.

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NIV). Dawson Trotman was founder of the Navigators and the groundbreaker for Billy Graham's original counseling and follow-up program. I recall many times in messages hearing him admonish our conference: “You can do everything — including Scripture memory — or cut Philippians 4:13 out of your Bible. It doesn't work!”

Incentives for Memorizing and Meditating on Scripture:

  1. To know and love the Lord. Jesus memorized Scripture. What a simple way to be like Him! Jesus, the living Word, not only modeled the Word, but He also quoted verses from at least 18 Old Testament books, saying, “It is written.” Verses etch his character and actions onto my heart. (See Isaiah 61:1-3; Revelation 5:9-10; Luke 2:52; Hebrews 5:7-8)
  2. To sharpen one's witnessing and give boldness to share the gospel. (See 1 Peter 3:15)
  3. To make the Bible easier and more understandable in study times. The verses I've learned shine points of light on each page. (See Isaiah 30:21; and Psalm 119:130)
  4. To give flow and strength while teaching and speaking His Word. (See Isaiah 28:10; & 55:11,12; Acts 1:8)
  5. To equip for victory, when battling with Satan and temptation. As our knowledge of the Lord increases, the Word brings understanding, patience, insight, wisdom, and the character of Christ into you. (See Psalm 119:9,11; & 17:4; & 37:31; Colossians 2:3;
  6. To “prep” one for times of trial and suffering. (See Philippians 1:29; Isaiah 63:9; & Jeremiah 31:3)
  7. To model a habit of Jesus for one's family and those one mentors. If you're not memorizing, few will be challenged through your life to start. What a point of fellowship for husband and wife to share verses! What security we build into our kids as they leave home, when they have multiple verses tucked away in their hearts.