So, before I was ready to commit to a daily habit of memorizing Bible verses, I had to really buy in to the importance of doing so. Honestly, it’s hard. It takes time and effort, so I know I’m not going to follow through if I don’t really think it’s worth it.
Of course, I accept the Bible as authoritative in matters of faith and practice, so I had to see what the Bible had to teach me. Do I really need to make memorizing the Scriptures a regular part of my discipleship? Just a cursory study convinced me that yes, memorizing bible verses is essential.
1) Jesus' devotion to the written word of God sets an example that demands to be imitated.
Like all first-century Jewish males, Jesus was brought up saturated in the Hebrew Scriptures. He likely memorized large portions of the Torah (the first five books of what Christians call the Old Testament), if not all of it. Jesus demonstrated his command and recall of the Scriptures throughout his ministry. Jesus definitively proves the importance of having the Scriptures memorized when uses passages to combat temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4).
2) The Bible is replete with explicit commands and exhortations to commit the Scriptures to memory
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11, ESV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16, ESV) This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8, ESV)
3) Memorizing Bible verses is a way we can draw near to Christ
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:7-8, ESV)
By internalizing the holy words of Jesus, the “author and perfecter of our faith” (cf. Heb. 12:2) we draw close to him, live in him, and our desires are conformed to his. In this we become more like him, and our witness gains credibility.
What other Scriptural reasons come to your mind for memorizing Bible verses?