Why Memorize Scripture?
By Rick Warren
— February 16, 2012
“Guard my words as your most precious possession. Write them down and also keep them deep within your heart.” (Proverbs 7:2 TLB)
As we discussed yesterday, one of the most powerful ways you can transform your spiritual life is to learn to memorize Scripture. The Bible says in Proverbs 7:2, “Guard my words as your most precious possession. Write them down and also keep them deep within your heart” (TLB).
You may not believe you can memorize Bible verses, but that’s just not true. You can memorize what you want to memorize. If you’re in the U.S., you’ve probably memorized the Pledge of Allegiance. You may have memorized the Lord's Prayer. You memorize what’s important to you: phone numbers, song lyrics, recipes, and baseball stats. How important is the Bible to you?
It's a matter of motivation rather than skill. David wrote in Psalm 119:72, “The law that you gave means more to me than all the money in the world” (GNB). When you understand how important and how valuable God's Word is, you’ll get serious about memorizing significant portions of it.
Why should you memorize God's Word?
- It’s the number one tool for resisting temptation. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, his only defense against this attack was the Word of God. If Jesus knew a better way to fight temptation, believe me, he would have used it.
- It helps you make wise decisions. I can’t count how many times I've asked God for guidance about something very specific, and he has brought a Scripture I’ve memorized back to mind, showing me what to do. The Bible says, “Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105 GNB). The more you know what God says, the more you are going to know how God thinks, because the will of God is found in the Word of God. The more you fill your mind with the Word of God, the more you will know the will of God.
- It strengthens you when you’re under stress. We all get stressed from time to time. And the Bible says this, “Remember your promise to me; it is my only hope. Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles” (Psalm 119:49-50 NLT). If you will memorize Scripture, your stress level will decrease dramatically and your confidence level will increase dramatically.
- It comforts you when you’re sad. The Bible is full of comfort. Jeremiah said, “Your words are my joy and my heart’s delight” (Jeremiah 15:16b GWT). I can't tell you how many times I have been down and read Scripture, and it gave me great comfort.
- It helps you witness to unbelievers. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (NIV). If someone asks you what the Bible says about an issue or what they should do in a situation, what do you tell them? If you have Scripture memorized, it’ll help you be far more effective in sharing because you can share the truth of God’s Word.
Talk About It
- What advice have you shared recently with a friend or family member? Was it based on your own wisdom or the wisdom of God’s Word?
- Are you regularly praying for God’s guidance for big and small decisions alike?
Here are 40 ideas for serving your community while spending 40 days in the Word!
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.