Strategies for Scripture Meditation & Memorization
At the beginning of each year, I like to reflect on the benefits of memorizing God’s Word and look ahead to specific passages I will try to “get into my bones.” The benefits of memorizing God’s Word are plentiful. Let me share three benefits and then five practical tips.
Meditation & Memorization: A Value Proposition
God’s Word is a primary “tool” God has given for transformation. God’s Word is the means that will help me towards:
- Loving righteousness and hating wickedness in the same way Jesus does (Heb. 1:6). When my soul loves righteousness and hates wickedness, life is good, regardless of the circumstances.
- Distinguishing good from evil – Every day, I have to face 100’s of decisions regarding good and evil. The Scriptures say maturity comes to people who have immersed themselves in the Word of God, and by the constant use of God’s Word have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil (Heb. 5:14). There is a sense of human flourishing when God’s Word, in my bones, is subconsciously directing me toward good and away from evil.
- Believing transformation can happen – Memorization can lead to meditation and meditation will lead to transformation.
Practical Tips for Memorization
Here are five practical thoughts that motivate me to press into memorization.
- Give it unhurried time – It takes time. Taking that time means I value God’s Word more than other things I could do with my free time. More than just time, though, memorization requires unhurried. So, I intentionally give other things up so that I am not always rushing.
- Do it for rest not because you’re rested – Memorizing Scripture looks at God’s Word with a perspective that says, “this will give me rest,” so that when we are really tired, instead of saying, “I am too tired, I can’t turn to his Word,” we say, “I am really tired, I must turn to his Word.” I want to consider memorizing the Bible a hobby, something I do in my spare time that refreshes me.
- Rehearse that the Bible is God’s Word – It is eternal, living, and active. It takes a reminder. Before I start memorizing, I hold the Bible and say aloud, “This is God’s Eternal Word, this is God’s Living Word, this is God’s Active Word. . .I want it to run through me deeply.”
- Slow down your mind – There is a sense of creating an unhurried state of mind, where I slow down, keep slowing down, s-l-o-w-i-n-g down my mind because I realize that I am thinking about eternal truths. As I slow my mind down, my capacity to grasp and remember Scripture enlarges.
- Seek God’s transforming help – Have an inquiring mind. I tell God I need him more than I realize. I ask him to give me a deeply humble and inquiring mind that can absorb the truths of his Word so they will lead me to communion with Jesus.