After reading through my bible countless times and developing a really awesome prayer life, I still eagerly desired to grow deeper in my faith. This is when I decided I wanted to start memorizing scripture.
There are so many things we can do to deepen our relationship with Jesus. We can read our Bibles, pray, give, I mean the list goes on and on. When we really develop a true relationship with Him and learn to glorify Him through all we do, every moment produces growth.
Last year I got to a point in my walk with Jesus where I felt like every day I was growing more and more. I’ve found in my own life that I have little “growth spurts” in Him, where one week I’ll feel like our relationship has grown immensely and others where I’ve felt little to no growth.
The seasons where I’ve seen the most growth in my relationship with Him, are always the ones where I have a real intent focus on Him.
In the past, I’ve obtained this focus through really digging into the word of God and developing a passionate prayer life. Then in November of 2016, I really found a new way to ignite my passion for seeking Him, by memorizing scripture.
Why I started Memorizing Scripture
God Was Leading Me To It
I think back to the first sermon I ever gave at my church. It was so awesome to stand in front of my church family and lead them through the word of God.
But what really changed things from me was something I heard from my friend’s wife after the message. She said, “You should start memorizing scripture.”
I remember thinking about this daily. Soon it began to feel like every conversation I was having ended up leading to the topic of memorizing scripture.
That’s when I began to realize that God was trying to lead me into this. I didn’t really know why at the time but it became clear that it was something I needed to do.
So I started memorizing verses here and there, the ones that almost everyone seems to have memorized, but that wasn’t enough. I still kept feeling the urge to memorize more.
So one day when I was working, the idea popped into my head to try and memorize an entire chapter. The very thought of this seemed daunting but I just couldn’t resist the urge to at least try.
This is when my memorization journey really took off.
The first chapter that popped into my head was 1 Corinthians Chapter 1, I don’t know why this chapter honestly had little significance at the time. So I prayed and asked God to help me write that chapter on my heart. As I began to read verse by verse and recite it back little by little, I started to memorize the chapter.
That day at work I ended up memorizing the entire chapter. I was amazed that I was able to retain it all. When I had finished memorizing it, I prayed and asked God to write it on my heart so I would have it for now and forever.
I Wanted To Have A Better Understanding of Scripture
After memorizing the first Chapter of 1 Corinthians, I began to realize that the verses seemed to be constantly flowing through my mind. At this point, I began to have a clearer understanding of not only the chapter but the epistle itself.
This is when I began to first notice the true power of memorizing the bible verses. Not only was I able to use individual verses throughout my day to help guide me, I was also getting a much more developed understanding of the scripture.
This only grew the longing to memorize scripture that was already planted in my heart. Now I wanted even more. I wanted to try memorizing an entire book.
As I began to pray about what to memorize next, I began to think of what would be the most useful scripture to have constantly flowing through my mind, and what scripture I most desired to have a better understanding of.
Immediately after praying I knew that it was going to be the Gospel according to John. So I mapped out a plan to memorize the entire Gospel in one year.
I began to imagine how awesome it would be to not only be able to recite the entire gospel, but also to be able to have a fuller deeper understanding of it myself.
I Wanted To Be Able To Meditate On Scripture Day and Night
As I began my journey through memorizing John, I started off an extremely fast pace and got way ahead of schedule, memorizing 4 chapters in just three weeks.
This was awesome and I was super fired up to memorize the entire book. But soon I started to burn out and I began to lose my motivation. Fortunately, I was ahead of schedule to memorize John in one year, so I decided to take a week off from memorizing.
This week quickly turned into two weeks, and two weeks turned into months. At this point it was July and I was still only 4 chapters in. It seemed like being able to finish memorizing the remaining 17 chapters in just 6 months would be impossible.
But I wanted to finish what I started, so I began to pray about it and got back to it. This time I tried memorizing by listening to the bible. I was able to memorize an entire chapter quite easily every three days.
By the time I got to chapter 17 I realized that I could have the entire Gospel memorized before my wedding in September. So I refocused my goal and pushed through the final 4 chapters.
As I memorized more and more chapters then it began to feel like there was scripture that correlated with every decision I made. It made me think of Joshua 1:8 “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
I started to see the truth in this scripture pour out into my own life. Instead of making decisions based purely off of what I thought was best, I started testing every decision against the scripture on my heart, to see what the best decision to make would be.
As I began to let the words of scripture guide my decisions, I really started to see even more growth in my relationship with Jesus. This made me want even more.
I Wanted To Grow In My Relationship With Jesus
The biggest reason that I started and continue to memorize scripture, is purely based off of my deep desire to grow in my relationship with Jesus.
As I continued to memorize John, I only had two more chapters left and I was asked to bring a message on Sunday morning. I knew I wanted to talk about the power of memorizing scripture.
I decided I would just spend the worship service reciting what I had memorized. I was so confident in what I had already memorized that it wasn’t until a few moments before stepping on stage that I realized, I hadn’t recited any of it out loud to anyone.
I wasn’t about to let this momentary doubt stop me from sharing the gospel. I just began to think about all the times I had prayed after each day of memorizing, asking God to write it on my heart.
I also started to think about how beneficial memorization had been for my relationship with Jesus. I knew that if I inspired even one person to try and start memorizing scripture it would be worth it.
I got up on stage and recited the first five chapters of the Gospel according to John that morning. Though I stumbled a couple times, it was amazing to just let the word of God flow from within me to the ears of all who would listen.
After the service, I spoke to my friend’s wife and told her that my desire to memorize scripture was sparked when she first told me that I should try and start doing it. She said she didn’t even remember telling me to do so. I knew in that moment that God had truly used her to plant that seed in me.
I ended up finishing John and now I’ve moved on to other parts of the New Testament. So far I’ve memorized John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, James and 1 Peter.
The journey so far hasn’t always been easy, there are still some days when I just don’t feel like memorizing scripture. When this happens I just pray about it and if I still don’t feel it, I do something else with that time that keeps me focused on Jesus. Like listening to worship music or reading my bible.
My greater understanding of scripture, ability to meditate on it day and night and the growth that I have seen in my relationship with Jesus, have made my decision to start memorizing scripture well worth it.