Four things happen when we choose to make time for Bible memorization. The first thing that happens is distinct from the other three; it is understanding the atmosphere we set by reading Scripture. When we pick up the Bible and choose to demonstrate our expression of faith, we are boldly declaring to the principalities and powers that God’s Word is our authority—the Bible is the voice from our ever-present help and Refuge. We are evidencing a reality where eternity is at stake, and where the entire universe is compelled and conformed exactly to what God has revealed in the Scripture set before us. We are stating through our actions that Satan is defeated, God’s wrath upon his elect is satisfied in Jesus Christ, and therefore God’s people on earth can experience the supernatural work as Scripture is absorbed in us…even as we sit at our cluttered dining room table. And so, what happens now that we’ve picked up the revealed Word of God and the Holy Spirit is working with us to apply it?
Bible memorization teaches us who we love
First, by memorization, we take in God’s Word and store it in our hearts to love who God is. We store up the Word in our hearts so that we do not sin against God, according to Psalm 119:11. And what we’re really storing within ourselves is doctrine pertaining to what God has revealed of himself. When we know the truth of who God is, we will love him all the more. By love and by grace we can grow in intimacy with our Creator. This intimacy is the treasure of faith—as we increase in the propositions of faith, verses memorized and applied, we increase in our understanding of why the Bible is so vital to spiritual growth. Our minds are set to live out these deep, treasured words (the word phroneo according to Col. 3:2). God gave us His Word so we would be condemned in our sin, convicted by mercy, loved by grace, and saved to live out faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. We cannot know and treasure this knowledge of God apart from Scripture. By storing it in our hearts the Spirit moves through us to apply the riches of this knowledge, then we see it and know we are a changed people.
Bible memorization provides spiritual defense
Second, Bible memorization provides us with the only God-given object of defense. When things are rough or when things are swell you can think on these things like Philippians 4:7–9, whatever is noble, excellent, worthy of praise to God. When we have a dozen verses of Scripture embedded in us, we are then able to meditate and saturate ourselves by the fruits they bear in our hearts. We are passive in receiving the Grand Deposit of Faith, and therefore we must be all the more on guard in growing it, by taking in the truths and doctrines of our faith. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:20, we have become stewards of this treasure. If we are stewards, then we must protect it and dispense it to those in need. Imagine how different your life might be if you had such tools at the ready for yourself, your friends, and your family? Imagine having a Word stored up and at the ready when those around you speak up concerning peace, dirty jokes, security of salvation, gluttony, humility, lust, patience, joy, or the preeminence of Jesus Christ. When we regard our memory and etch it with God’s Word, we grow both in our humanity and our spirituality. And the beauty of the Spirit’s work in us is that He will so often regard our memory for us in times of necessary defense.
Bible memorization gives us a sure gospel call
Third, through bible memorization we acquire something of which we can give others when we have nothing else—something we give without parting. If we take to heart what God has said in his revelation to us, and believe there is a spiritual war being waged concerning those around us, then out of a Christian love and duty from the Word, we must have something we can give to rescue and ransom others. We read in 1 Corinthians 4:1–2, “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” See also 2 Timothy 2:2. These verses provide us with a charge, when we store God’s Word in our hearts it is not only for us, but the Word is to go out from us. Living faithfully in the Word is necessarily living faithfully with the Word. The words we memorize are to be words we share for the glory of our Almighty God. When a friend or co-worker is engaging you, and you have a simple verse, doctrine, or story of the verse’s application, then you will know exactly how to use what God has etched within you. Since it is God’s Word it is a sure way to share His gospel.
Let us not grow weary in the battle for our minds. Let us not forfeit our stewardship of these supernaturally revealed words from God. Take a stand for your faith, and take a shield for your friends and family, by etching Bible verses upon the tablet of your heart. In a month you will see a fruitfulness you could never have imagined possible—a supernatural, spiritual fruitfulness, like streams in the desert of this world.