Christian Growth toward the Great Commission: Scripture Memory
Mike’s Note: This is a series of posts that started with the overview post, which you can find here.
“I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified” – Chuck Swindoll
When it comes to growing in our walk with Jesus to the point of fulfilling the Great Commission, there’s almost not a topic I like more than Scripture Memory! I unabashedly tell you that I love memorizing Scripture. My first mentor, Brad Miller of the Navigators got me started in 1991 and I haven’t stopped since! There has been almost nothing else that God has used in my life and my walk with Jesus more than Scripture Memory. Let me say right off the bat that if you’re not memorizing Scripture regularly, do it now! Seriously, do it now. Here’s why:
1. God uses the Scripture that you’ve memorized to mold you into the person of God He wants you to be
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:18, ‘And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.’ As we memorize and meditate on Scripture , we see this very process taking shape. Old habits and old sin tendencies fall away when Scripture comes into our hearts. As we are confronted with our sin nature, we literally are being changed through the very words of God.
2. God uses the Scripture that you’ve memorized to keep you from situations you shouldn’t be in
Have trouble with pornography? Memorize Ephesians 4:22-24 and watch God bring that very verse to mind to help you combat sin. Have an issue with envy? Memorize James 3:13-14 and see God transform the way you look at others. Whatever it is you struggle with, God’s word probably says something about it and you can memorize Scripture to mold your mind in the way God wants it to go.
3. God uses the Scripture you’ve memorized to make you more effective in ministry
Opportunities to share about Christ sometimes come when you don’t have a Bible handy, or even if you have an electronic Bible, the situation may not be right to pull it out and start using it. Actual verses from the Bible have their own deep power. And when they some both from our hearts and the Bible, the result is a sense that they are precious enough for us to have memorized. That’s powerful!
If we believe that the Bible contains the very words of God, we can easily see how hiding these words in our hearts would help us. As the psalmist writes in Psalm 119:11:
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
How does Scripture memory enhance your walk with Jesus? I’d love to hear stories!