“Whoever looks intently into the perfect law … and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” (James 1:25 NIV)
If you’re serious about being spiritually strong and mature, the greatest habit you can develop is memorizing Scripture. In fact, the Bible says in James 1:25 that it’s one of four habits that leads to a blessed life.
- Read your Bible. “Whoever looks intently …”
- Review the Bible. “… continues in it …”
- Remember the Bible. “… not forgetting what they have heard …”
- Respond to the Bible. “ … but doing it …”
You don’t want to be a spiritual baby anymore. It’s time to grow up and live the blessed life you’re meant to live. Hiding God’s Word in your heart is an important way to start.
You may not think you have a good memory, but you remember what’s important to you. You remember the phone numbers and dates that you care about. I’ve heard people say they can’t memorize anything, but they can quote songs from the 1960s and rattle off the statistics of their favorite baseball players.
Memory is a skill you can learn. It’s a muscle you can strengthen. In fact, memorizing Scripture will cause your brain to have a stronger memory in other areas. I guarantee it. Study after study has shown this.
Why is it important to memorize Scripture?
- You’ll always have God’s Word with you. When you need the Bible, it’s never around. When you’re tempted, you don’t have a Bible open or by your side. When you’re witnessing to someone who doesn’t know Jesus, is under stress, needs comfort, or is in a crisis, there’s usually not a Bible around. You need God’s Word in your mind so you can remember it and review it right when you need it.
- You can meditate on Scripture wherever you go. You can’t review God’s Word unless you remember it. If you’ve memorized Scripture, you can think about it when you get into bed at night or as you drive to an appointment. You can think about the Bible because you’ve memorized it. That’s called meditation. The only promise of prosperity and success that God gives us in the Bible (Joshua 1:8) says that meditating on his Word is the key.
Start memorizing Scripture today. Pick a verse a week. In a year, you’ll have memorized 52 verses. In two years, you’ll have memorized more than 100 verses.
Talk About It
- You already know the ways you learn and memorize best. What tools, tactics, or people can help you memorize Scripture?
- How do you respond when God brings Scripture to mind in certain situations?
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.