Hi friends! I am SO excited to begin a new series on my blog this month. I'll be running a new series on Mondays and a new one on Thursdays but both of them go together!
On Mondays we will be diving into a series on memorizing God's Word. We'll be talking today about why it's important and how it changes our lives. And over the whole month of April I'll be sharing more about the power of God's Word and hiding it in your heart.
On Thursdays we will be doing a Bible study on the treasure of God's Word from Psalm 119. I'm breaking this incredible chapter of God's Word into 4 weeks and each week I will draw out different characteristics of God's Word and how it blesses us. I can't wait to dig into this chapter with you.
So if you're ready and excited like me, let's get started! <3
I have grown up memorizing Scripture.
I remember sitting at our kitchen table as a little girl memorizing Psalm 119:11 while my mom sang it to the tune of "Jesus Loves Me."
When I was eleven and twelve I joined the AWANA program at church. AWANA was focused on studying and memorizing Scripture and I would enthusiastically memorize each passage every week.
But when I was fourteen I experienced Scripture memorization in a whole new way.
As many of you know, I had signed up that year for the 2011 National Bible Bee. On June 3rd I received my study materials--including Scripture cards for 500 memory verses that I had to memorize before testing in August.
I remember I chose one of the passages from Genesis to be the first passage that I memorized for Bible Bee.
Five years later I would memorize a passage from Revelation 22 as the last one I memorized for Bible Bee.
But in between those five years I memorized over 6,000 Scriptures and hid them in my heart, including several whole books of the Bible.
First of all, this article is not a pitch for Bible Bee. (That'll come at a later date, you can't escape it completely.)
I did not write this article to explain to you how Bible Bee changed my life, and I did not write this article to explain why I think you should sign up this year.
I wrote this article to share with you how memorizing Scripture changed my life.
And how I believe it can change yours too.
Although I grew up memorizing Scripture, I never really thought about how much I could memorize until I began Bible Bee. I didn't think that I could store hundreds of verses in my heart in just a few short weeks.
Some of my favorite memories from my years in Bible Bee are the moments when I would sit in my special study spot and recite through all of my passages--a task that could take up to two hours at a time.
As I continued to hide verse after verse in my heart, something began to change.
I didn't just read my Bible every now and then. I was actually hiding the Bible in my heart and the more I recited each verse the more the verses became alive to me.
When I would be afraid of something or feel fear creeping up, my thoughts would go to the verse in my heart, Psalm 56:3-4, "When I am afraid I will trust in You."
When my anxiety would start to stress me out, I would be reminded of Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything."
When I became very sick in August 2015 and was taken to the hospital, my heart kept whispering Psalm 18:32, "It is God who arms me with strength."
When I would wonder if giving up certain things in my life to walk closer to Jesus was worth it, I would tell myself Philippians 3:8, "Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord."
When I was faced with a strong temptation to do something I knew I shouldn't do, Matthew 26:41 would tug on my conscience, "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation."
When I would struggle with forgiving someone in my heart, I would be challenged by Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
These verses weren't just words that I read every now and then in my Bible, but didn't know well enough to recall when I needed them. They were verses in my heart that were changing everything about my life because they were there when I needed them.
Memorizing Scripture changed my life because memorizing Scripture made the Word of God come alive to me.
Memorizing Scripture changed my life because memorizing Scripture gave me wisdom, encouragement, and comfort when I needed it most.
And it can do the same for you.
Psalm 119 is one of my favorite passages in the whole Bible because it is all about the wonderful, matchless Word of God. Psalm 119:11 tells us that "I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You."
When you have God's Word in your heart, you have the power to fight against the attacks of the devil. You have the power to fight fear, temptation, hurt, sorrow, and any other dart the devil aims your way.
I can't count the number of times I have heard people say to me, "That's great you've memorized so much Scripture! I just don't have that kind of memory though. It's not really my thing."
At the cost of saying something unpopular that you may not want to hear...those are lies and they do not speak truth.
Here's the thing: Scripture is the very Word of God. And the very Word of God will one hundred percent change your life. But if you are not daily in the Word of God and if you do not have the Word of God with you in the moments you need it most, you will not experience that power.
If God has given us the command and the encouragement to hide His Word in our hearts, I guarantee you that you can do it. I may not like praying for my enemies and I may not feel like I can do it. But God has commanded me to do so in His Word, so I must pray for them. You may not feel like memorizing Scripture, but you can do it in His power just as in His power I can pray for my enemies.
First of all, let me be clear. I'm not telling you to go memorize 500 verses in three months. I'm telling you to set a memorizing goal that works for you. Maybe that's one verse a week. Maybe it's one verse a day. I don't need to know your memorizing schedule. I just want to encourage you to memorize.
You won't always have your Bible with you when you need it. Maybe someday you'll be somewhere you aren't even allowed to have a Bible.
But if it's in your heart, no one and nothing can take it away from you.
So, yes, memorizing Scripture changed my life, because that's what the Word of God does.
Memorizing Scripture will change your life too.
Why do you believe it is so important to memorize Scripture? What Scripture verses have you been memorizing lately? Do you recall a time when a verse you had memorized came back to you at just the moment you needed it? Share your thoughts in the comments!