• Mark Alan Williams

Why I Still Memorize Scripture


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It's A Strategic Discipleship Tool

There’s a part of me that really dislikes Bible memorization. It’s hard to do and keeps

getting harder the older I get. I can’t say I’ve ever had the best memory, and it doesn’t

seem to be getting any better!

Video is from Discipleship Journeys with Jesus Journey 3, “Jesus Journey to a Wilderness”


But there’s another part of me that keeps pressing on, because I know the importance of

Scripture memorization.


So, to keep me motivated, and perhaps you also, here are…


3 Reasons to Keep Memorizing Scripture:


1. The example of Jesus!

You’ll remember that Jesus fasted, prayed and was tempted for 40 days in the

wilderness. You can see the account in Matthew 4:1-11. But in each case when

the devil tempted Jesus, His response was to quote Scripture that He had

memorized.


So, WWJD? He would memorize Bible passages. To see what that area looks like,

check out the video attached to this blog, which we recorded on location in the

Judean wilderness where Jesus fasted, prayed and was tempted for those 40 days.


If you and I are going to fight temptation, we must memorize Bible passages that

speak to our areas of temptation.


In this day of the internet, it is super easy to search “Bible verses on

________________” and then fill in the temptation:

  • Worry

  • Lust

  • Unforgiveness

  • Anger

  • Contempt

  • Cheating

  • And so on

Your search engine will likely come up with a great list of websites with

Scriptures on the topic.


To test this, I searched “Bible verses on laziness” and it up came with links to…

And there were more. Google search says it came up with: “About 615,000

results (0.48 seconds).”


2. The teaching of scripture

Along with the example of Jesus, the Bible encourages memorization in verses

such as:


Psalm 119:11 “Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”


Psalm 37:31

“The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip.”


John 15:7

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish,

and it will be done for you.”


Joshua 1:8

"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.” The best way to meditate on God’s Word is

to memorize it!"


3. It is the best spiritual discipline

Our natural inclination is to ask, “How little can I get away with?” and “Can I get

away with not memorizing the Bible?” But those are the wrong questions. The question, when it comes to our relationship with the Lord ought to be, “How can I best enhance my walk with God?” One clear answer is to memorize Scriptures.


According to renowned teacher Dallas Willard, it is the BEST spiritual discipline

to practice:


  • If I had to—and of course I don’t have to—choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life and take only one, I would choose Bible memorization. I would not be a pastor of a church that did not have a program of Bible memorization in it, because Bible memorization is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what they need. Willard, Dallas. The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship (p. 58). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.


CONCLUSION:

Growing up I was so blessed to be part of a church that had an AWANA youth program

where a major component was Bible memorization. I learned many verses during my

childhood and have learned more since then. I can testify to the power of God’s Word

hidden in my heart.


When our boys were young, we had a family theme verse we memorized together:


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for

building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

(Ephesians 4:29 NIV)


As you might imagine, we pulled that one out of our memories and “preached” it to our

fussing boys many times!


Am I a Bible memorization ninja? Not hardly. But I’m hanging in there with Bible

memory for the reasons listed above. How about you?


It's helpful to have a tool.


Discipleship Journeys with Jesus (DJJ), where the video above comes from, has

suggested Bible memory verses with each journey lesson. DJJ is a free tool for disciple

making that makes it far easier to “make disciples.” Thousands are being discipled using

these studies based on biblical journeys with Jesus. You can join with them.


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