MEMORIZE the Bible. Okay maybe not the entire Bible, but verses, passages, and longer portions. Yes, even chapters and books. (You can do it!)
Why is it necessary to memorize Scripture as we Dig Deeper into the Bible?
“Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization.”
–Dallas Willard, professor and author
First, memorizing Scripture helps us grow to be more like Jesus Christ.
We see in the Bible that as believers in Christ we are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). And in the book of John, we read that Jesus says our growth (sanctification) comes through the Word of God.
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. –John 17:17
What better way to KNOW His Word and experience growth than to memorize the Bible?
Secondly, we memorize the Bible because it is one of the most effective ways to meditate upon Scripture.
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 good success. –Joshua 1:8
In order to evoke growth and to transform us, the Word of God must be internalized. Meditating on Scripture is the filling of our mind with a verse or passage. It is letting those words soak in deeply. When we memorize the Bible, God’s Word is being internalized.
Additionally, memorizing Scripture goes hand in hand with reading it and writing it.
Speaking on the discipline of prayer, Dallas Willard once explained that in order for one to flourish in prayer, to develop an energetic praying life, they needed to practice it with other disciplines like solitude and faster.
The spiritual practices then, such as Bible reading and prayer, perform their best work in our souls when they are interwoven with one another.
Read the Bible + Memorize the Bible
Memorize the Bible + Write the Bible
And there are other benefits to memorizing the Bible.
You carry the Words of the Bible in your head. No Bible? No worry.
You have the ability to recite and review passages of Scripture any time and anywhere: driving, waiting, resting.
You are prepared to comfort, encourage, and build others up with God’s Word any time.
How to Memorize the Bible — TIPS
Review. Review. Begin each day’s session with a review of previously memorized passages.
Write out the verse or passage you are currently working on. The physical act of writing is good for your brain and aids in retention.
Say it aloud. “Saying a verse one hundred times in one day is not as helpful as saying it every day for one hundred days. The absolute key to successful Scripture memorization is repetition over a long time period.” ( Andrew Davis)
Meditate on it. Word by word. Soak in it.
Sing it. Search the internet for a Scripture song of your passage or give it your own tune.
Photograph it. With your mind. Or really. Take a picture of it and post it in a visible spot.
Memorize the verse numbers. In longer passages, include the verse number as if it were part of your verse. This practice will help you keep from dropping verses or phrases as you recite passages. It will also help you identity and pull out individual verses.
Have your Bible nearby each time you review. When you “can’t remember,” take a look. It doesn’t hurt. In fact, it will probably help in the long run.
Add feeling and interpretation as you recite your verses. This is actually a form of meditation and helps with internalization and recall.
Ask a friend to listen as you recite a verse you are working on.