Joining us this week is Dakota Lynch, General Director of Scripture Memory Fellowship.
Why is Scripture Memory Important?
There are so many great reasons to memorize Scripture, but one of my favorite reasons comes from Psalm 1:1-3. Everyone wants to be that fruitful tree that’s sending down roots and bearing fruit, but sometimes we forget to look at the formula in verse 2. This kind of fruitfulness is a reality for those who delight in God’s Word and meditate in it day and night. And the first step towards meditating on Scripture in this way is memorizing it. We can’t meditate on something we haven’t first memorized. Memorizing Scripture and meditating on Scripture enable you to be even more fruitful in your walk with God.
Another great reason to memorize is found in Psalm 119:11. In this passage, we see that knowing God’s Word is a prerequisite for living it out. So memorizing Scripture enables us to obey Scripture. We see that again in Joshua 1:8: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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.” This is a long verse, but it’s worth noticing the pattern here: God’s tells Joshua that His Word should not depart from His mouth and that he should meditate in it day and night. Why? So that he may observe to do according to all that is written in it. Once again, we see that knowing God’s Word – memorizing and meditating on Scripture – is such a key part of living it out and experiencing spiritual success.
So we memorize Scripture for fruitfulness, for obedience, and then finally, I would add that we memorize Scripture for faith. Romans 10:17. When we’re walking through the valleys and challenges of life, sometimes what we need more than anything else is a fresh dose of faith. And according to the apostle Paul, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
Obstacles That Stand in The Way of Scripture Memorization
I think the main obstacle that we face is a lack of urgency. We’ve spent time talking about the benefits of memorizing Scripture, and yet most of us already recognize that Scripture memorization is a beneficial thing. The problem isn’t that we think it’s unimportant; it’s that we think it’s dispensable.
I’m reminded of my friend Jimmy from church. This guy is an avid runner, and just about every week, he comes to church talking about how much he enjoys running and how good he feels after a run. And here’s the thing: I believe him. I know that running comes with certain health benefits, and yet that has never resulted in me running 8 miles a day like Jimmy. The problem isn’t that I doubt the benefits of running; it’s that, in my heart, I doubt the consequences of not running. I assume that I’ll be okay either way.
And I think that’s the problem so many of us face when it comes to memorizing Scripture. We understand that there are benefits to memorizing Scripture, and yet in our hearts, we’re not quite convinced that this deserves to be a priority. But I would fall back on Psalm 119:92. For the Psalmist, knowing God’s Word wasn’t an added luxury; it was the one thing that helped him navigate the valley of the shadow of death. Without it, he said “I would have perished.” This wasn’t something he could afford to live without.
So I think the first obstacle we face is a lack of urgency. And yet for so many others, the obstacle isn’t that; it’s this idea that we can’t memorize Scripture because we think we have a bad memory. I know for me, that was one of the first major hurdles I encountered in my own Scripture memory journey. Our culture is not accustomed to memorization like people were in Bible times, and so sometimes people are intimidated at the thought of rote memorization, and they avoid memorizing Scripture because they just don’t think they can.
And yet even for people who make it past these first two obstacles, a lot of people just don’t know where to begin. Do we memorize a whole chapter? A whole book of the Bible? The Romans road? Should we memorize verses on a certain topic like fear or prayer? And even once we decide what to memorize, it’s been so long since we memorized anything that we don’t know how to go about committing a passage of Scripture to memory.
These are the three most common obstacles people face: a lack of urgency, the idea that we can’t memorize, and not knowing where to start.
How To Get Passed Those Obstacles
As I mentioned, the first obstacle that I faced was this idea that I was incapable of memorizing Scripture. And getting past that started when I read a book called, ‘A Call to Die.” This is a 40-day devotional book that begins with an invitation to memorization Scripture. And I remember reading that invitation to memorize and thinking to myself, “No thanks, I think I’ll skip that part” because I was convinced that I had a bad memory. But the author must have saw me coming a mile away, because the very next paragraph said, “I hear people whine, ‘I can’t memorize Scripture.’ That’s ridiculous. These same people know every word to their favorite songs, and I know a couple guys who can recite the entire dialog from ‘The Three Amigos’ word-for-word. The first thing you need to realize is, yes, you CAN memorize Scripture.”
That really hit home for me, because it broke down this idea that I could opt-out of memorizing Scripture based on my bad memory. And so for anyone listening who might be facing that obstacle, the first step is acknowledging that this is possible. Memorizing anything isn’t necessarily, but memorizing Scripture is tremendously worthwhile.
When it comes to the obstacle of “Where to start,” the best solution is to follow the Three W’s of memorizing Scripture
- What will you memorize?
- When will you finish?
- Who will hear you recite?
How Scripture memorization helps Christians as they understand Biblical Stewardship
It’s impossible to have a biblical worldview without actually knowing what the Bible says. So for those who want to steward their finances from a biblical perspective, there’s really no better way to begin than by memorizing some key passages of Scripture on this issue. And, as we all know, the Bible has quite a bit to say about money.
Some further key reasons to memorize Scripture include:
- It increases our knowledge of God and His Word.
- The Word teaches us God’s plan (not man’s plan) on money, finances, stewardship and generosity. Memorizing it helps us to put feet to what the Word says!
- It equips us to Biblically handle life. (Prov. 3:5-6)
- We have choices. Do we follow what the world teaches about money, stewardship and generosity, or God and His Word?
- It provides us with Biblical wisdom for decision making (Ps. 119:97-100)
- Not just action, but wisdom from God on what and how we ought to do and live life, especially with our income and assets!
More About Scripture Memory Fellowship
Scripture Memory Fellowship (once known as Bible Memory Association, or BMA), exists to help Christians plant the Word deep in their hearts. They have a 70-year track record of helping memorizers of all ages. They also offer books and journals that you can buy, as well as free resources you can read, watch, and download.
Visit their website here: ScriptureMemory.com
You can also download their scripture memorization app here!
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