Anyone who knows me knows I am pretty keen on memorising (and reading) the Bible. I am not alone in such thinking, in fact many Christians you might have heard of hold the same view.
John Piper quotes Dallas Willard saying,
“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”
There are many reasons to memorise the Bible. Here are a few that motivate me;
1. It helps me become more like Jesus
1 John 2:6
whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
2 Cor. 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.
2. It helps me resist the temptation to sin
Psalm 119:11 was my first ever memory verse,
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
3. It helps me to resist the devil
Jesus in the wilderness, Matt 4:4,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
4. It helps me tell other people the Gospel
In sharing the Gospel I try to interweave the words of the Bible with experience, questions or testimony. I always think it helps me make sure I am testifying about Jesus not me. Acts 5:42
And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
1 Peter 3:15,
in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
5. It helps my words bring life, hope and encouragement
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
6. It helps me to know more of God and his ways
I like to memorise verses which proclaim the greatness of who God is, Isaiah 40:28, 29
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
7. It helps me to live in the promises of God
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
There are lots of books, posts, blogs and papers giving other good reasons for memorising your Bible. What I have given here is a very simple set of reasons that motivate me to do it.
Next time I will talk a little about the practice of memorising, how you do it.