Memorize Scripture

My wife, Maddie, has always had a knack for memorizing scripture. Even with four kids and a full schedule, she’s up early spending time with the Lord with her nose in the scriptures, often committing passages to heart. I know when she is trying to memorize a particular passage because I find 3x5 cards with the verses written out in her cute handwriting adorning various locations in our home. These cards bring the passage to mind and remind her to meditate on it.

Maddie recently had the opportunity to give a talk to some of our gals on memorizing scripture. Her notes were so good that I wanted to share them here.

Let’s start with the fundamental question - Why is memorizing scripture important?

Why Memorize Scripture?

To Know God

Psalm 119:10, 12 - With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!… Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes! (ESV)

Communication is an absolutely essential ingredient for any serious relationship. In order to get to know another person, we must engage with them, listen to them, and speak to them. We must remember important things about them, and things that are important to them. Communication is really one of the fundamental ways that we know anyone. This is true of our relationship with God as well. God has made himself known to us by way of his word; reading, learning, and memorizing his word is how we know God and grow with him.

To Obey God

Psalm 119:9–11 - How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (ESV)

It would be quite unfortunate to be in a battle with no armor to protect us or weapons to wield. We would have no defense against the enemy’s attack, and no way to advance the line. No one would intentionally walk into a battle with no weapon.

Yet the bible tells us that we are currently in a battle; it is not a battle against flesh and blood (other people), but a battle against the powers of darkness that are ever present in our current, fallen, sin-infected world (Eph. 6:12). The scripture what is required to fight this battle well; it is the armor that protects us against the onslaught of the enemy, and the weapon we utilize to advance the line of the Kingdom (Eph. 6:11, 13-18) - we must be equipped with the armor and weapons of God.

Memorizing scripture helps us to fight sin, temptation, and complacency. It fuels our efforts to repel lies and discouragement. It provides us with a storehouse full of resources to be nourished by as we seek to wage the war well.

To Delight in God

Psalm 119:14–16 - In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. (ESV)

Working your body out is difficult. Lifting weights breaks down your muscles, and a hearty run will make your joints sore, and your heart rate increase. Yet, we work out not out of duty, but because being healthy and in shape is much more delightful than being out of shape. Working out regularly results in improved health, increased energy, relieved stress, and more.

Yet when it comes to spiritual disciplines such as scripture memorization, it’s easy to feel like the task is more of a duty than a delight. We tend to have spiritual nearsightedness. The reality is that, like working out physically, it does take effort to work out spiritually - sanctification can be challenging! Yet we are mistaken if we view memorizing scripture as a mere duty - God intends for his word to be a delight to our souls. The work of memorizing scripture results in spiritual health, a deeper and fuller understanding of God, and ready prompts for the worship of God.

To Declare God

Psalm 119:13 - With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. (ESV)

The more scripture that gets into us, the more that will come out. It’s a good aim for God’s people to be “talking Bibles”. When scripture is committed to memory, wherever we are and wherever we go, we will be better prepared to declare the gospel, encourage a friend with the truth of the word, and to give an answer to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Pt. 3:15).

Practical Tools & Methods

Here are a few items that might be helpful for you as you seek to commit the scriptures to heart.

  • Choose a specific verse or passage. Be deliberate. This may be a passage that speaks to a current situation or struggle in your life, or simply a verse that encourages you. If memorization is new to you, start small with a verse or two. 
  • Say the verse out loud several times. If you have a spouse or kids, read it to them each day. Read yourself every morning, and  at night before bed.
  • Sing the verse. There are some helpful resources available to help with this. Many of them are directed for children, but these can still be quite helpful for adults. You can find links below. 
  • Listen to the verse or passage. You can listen to the whole bible in audio on the ESV Bible App.
  • Write the verse several times.
  • Carry Scripture memorization cards with you or put them in your home or office. 
  • Schedule time to memorize and review. This can be a small amount of time, 5-10 minutes, but make it part of your regular routine. 
  • Review the scriptures you have previously memorized on a regular basis. 

I hope this post has encouraged you to lean into committing God’s word to memory. I trust your labor will be used for your growth and joy, and Jesus’ glory.

-Pastor Aaron  


ESV Bible App - this app has the whole bible on audio.

The Bible Song - this website has put most of the new testament in song form.

Living Water: Experience Scripture - this site also has much of the new testament in song form.

New City Catechism 
Catechism for Kids
Mobile App

A Catechism is a Q&A form of learning theology and the scriptures; these are not bible verses, but are nonetheless helpful in grasping key ideas and doctrines from the bible. The Mobile App has songs for kids designed around each question - we have found these to be not only helpful in memorizing the content, but also a blast to sing together in family worship.

No Comments