The Psalmist answers the question, “Why should we memorize God’s Word?” The answer is given in Psalm 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. The idea of ‘treasure’ is to ‘store up’ or to memorize God’s Word so we have immediate access to the truth God wants us to know and to obey.
Say for instance, you have a friend who promised to meet you for lunch. However, this is the third time he/she has forgotten to fulfill the commitment to meet you, and as a result, you were ‘stood up’ again! In a lot of different ways, you could get sinfully angry at your friend. But last week, you memorized two verses that help you to respond in a way that is pleasing to God. Those verses were: James 1:19-20 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. So instead of reacting in a way that is sinful, these verses you memorized pop into your mind, and you choose to ‘be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.’
This doesn’t mean that you can’t ask your friend, “What can I do to help you remember our meeting time?” You can and should ‘speak the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15). But to have the truth that man’s anger does not achieve the righteousness of God, helps you to prevent a sinful response and motivates you to handle a problem in a biblical manner.
A few T.I.P.S. (Thoughtful Ideas with Potential Success) to memorizing God’s Word:
1. Determine a specific area in which you need to be growing.
2. Select a verse (or a passage that contains several verses) that specifically addresses the area in which you believe God wants you to grow.
3. Write the verse out on card or send the verse and passage as a text message to your cell phone.
4. Review the verse 3-5 times daily for 1 week.
5. After the first week, review the verse/passage 2-3 times daily and quote the verse to someone 1 time everyday for the next week.
6. Keep quoting the verse to yourself every day for the next 2 weeks.
7. Look for 3-5 opportunities to share the verse/passage with someone else (e.g. in a specific situation where the verse would apply, share it with that person – i.e. quote it).
8. Take time and meditate on that verse/passage and think about how it can help you prevent a problem or solve a problem.
9. Continue to use the verse and share it with others in your everyday life.
The psalmist also wrote, Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. God’s Word reveals the truth we need to make choices that will bring glory to God. We need to memorize it, meditate on it, obey it, and proclaim it.
Imagine this: What if God’s Word was taken away from you, and you had NO access to it? How much of God’s Word do you know well enough that you could quote it, and the truth of God’s Word would be ‘lamp’ and a ‘light’ to you? How much of God’s Word could you share with others so they would know God’s Word and be able to choose to obey it? Memorizing God’s Word can be blessing to you and others around you . . . but you have to DO it in order to experience it.