Connie (my wife) has been witness to many of my puzzled looks. She will be talking to me about something she told me a few hours, or days, or weeks prior and I will just give this blank look, basically saying, “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Have you ever told me about this before?” Then she jogs my memory and it slowly comes back to me, and I now remember that we have had this conversation before, I just forgot about it. This happens often with outfits she wears, places we’ve visited, etc.
I don’t have a good memory. But, the purpose of this blog post is not about my bad memory in reference to life situations and conversations. The purpose of this blog is to highlight the importance and necessity of Scripture memory, and the way that many have moved away from memorizing the Bible.
When I was in Olympian Club, the most awesome Children’s Ministry program ever, memorizing Bible verses was, what seemed to me, the primary drive and focus of the program. We memorized verses every week, got prizes and medals and trophies for the verses we were able to retain the memory of. We would have quizzes weeks later to see if the verse had stuck in our memory. Also, we had to memorize the reference (where the verse is in the Bible), the verse word for word from the NKJV, and then end with the reference again. It was hard work! But today as I’m blessed to teach the Bible, I go back to those verses over and over again that I have memorized, because they have become a part of who I am as not just a Bible teacher, but as a person and man of God.
Why have we moved away from Bible memorization? It seems like the older students get, graduating from Children’s Ministry and coming to Youth Ministry, memorizing the Bible takes a backseat (unless of course at a youth camp, conference, or retreat). I realize this will be out of context from the verse, but I feel like saying with James 3:10 (HCSB) “…my brothers, these things should not be this way!” This isn’t what James was talking about, but the situation he was dealing with was distressing enough to exclaim like that, and I think the lack of having Bible verses memorized is something that should cause us all to say that this is not how it should be!
What makes memorizing the Bible so important?
- You don’t always have access to the Bible right when you need it.
- We are supposed to be ready in season and out of season to proclaim the Word of God (2 Timothy 4:2), but if we don’t have it memorized and we don’t always have access to a physical or electronic copy of the Bible, how else can we proclaim the Good News?
- It is necessary to be prepared to give an answer for the reason for the hope that we have as Christians (1 Peter 3:15), and that answer comes from God’s Word.
- Satan attacks us at our weakest moments when often we don’t have a Bible nearby or solid Christian friends close by to counsel or encourage us. Jesus used Scripture memory to defeat Satan (Matthew 4:1-11), so we can too.
- Satan knows Scripture, but he twists and distorts it (Matthew 4:1-11). We must know what the Bible says and be able to bust it out at any time we need in order to be more than conquerors through God who loved us (Romans 8:37)