Tips and Tools to Treasure Scripture
Written by Rev. Jim Woychuk
[Editor’s Note: Scripture memorization has been an important part of CBM’s ministry from the very beginning when Walter Jensen rewarded schoolchildren with a free week of camp if they memorized a certain number of Bible verses. Pastor Jim Woychuk explores why it should be a crucial aspect of a believers’ life.]
Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge;
For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips,
So that your trust may be in the LORD….”
- God’s words stored within the heart, fixed on the lips, resulting in faith in God.
- Holy letters learned from infancy, resulting in wisdom to believe the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (2 Tim. 3:15).
- Jesus’ teaching guarded in the heart and safely passed on to faithful believers who will teach others also (Matt. 28:20; 2 Tim. 2:2).
Treasuring God’s word follows all three of these scenarios and so many more! If you store up God’s word ahead of time, you’ll be armed for spiritual warfare, equipped for evangelism, prepared to counsel, comforted in crisis, made wise in perplexity, calmed in conflict, and made fruitful even in famine. Christians of all ages agree that memorizing Scripture is a spiritual discipline of highest value.
Here are some basic action prompts and pointers in this discipline:
- God commands it. Both the Great Command (Deut. 6:4-8) and the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20) assume it. Our Lord Jesus recommended it and Paul taught it (John 15:7; Col. 3:16).
- Meditating Scripture leads to fruitfulness, success, and renewed courage (Psalm 1; Josh. 1:8-9).
- Later, you’ll wish you had memorized more. You will probably never meet someone who says, I wish I hadn’t memorized so much of God’s word.
- It’s not a matter of brain power but of heart affection. We value words of important people. We hold on to words that give us vital information and instruction. Everyone can memorize; 12 year-olds just do it faster.
- Choose one more literal translation and stick with it. Don’t be a jack of all translations, master of none.
- Get weekly accountability, set goals and announce them out loud.
- Pay children whatever it takes to get God’s word in their hearts. Pay them in a currency you can afford and that they value. The world will pay them to flip burgers. We can use external motivation until the internal kicks in.
- Use tech tools. www.VerseLocker.com is a free app with great versatility.
- Share God’s word every chance you get. Recite with expression.
Memorizing scripture is a spiritual power tool. Like a chain-saw, maintaining your tool takes time and effort, but properly maintained, God’s word in your heart can cut through the thickest hardwood of unbelief, apathy, confusion, and anxiety. When we take the time to store it up, we’re part of God the Father’s answer to Jesus’ prayer: “Sanctify them through Your truth. Your word is truth.”
For more resources and encouragement in memorizing Scripture, check out www.scripturememory.com
Rev. Jim Woychuk is Senior Pastor at Grace Bible Church in Dayton, TN, where he lives with his wife, Susan, and their three children. He has degrees from Bryan College and Dallas Theological Seminary. He was previously the Director of Scripture Memory Fellowship in Dallas, TX and currently serves as their Board President.