rebelling against low expectations

Why Memorize Scripture? (and three tips to get started)

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We’ve all been told to memorize Scripture. We all know that it’s something we should be doing. Some of us have even set memorization goals and worked towards memorizing verses, chapters, or even whole books of the Bible.

But have you ever asked, why?

I know I have. In fact, when I was seventeen years old, I struggled with that question. (Which was a surprise because I had spent most of my school career immersed in a national Bible memorization program.)

When I was middle school and high school, I participated in the National Bible Bee, a program encouraging young people to study and memorize Scripture through a fun Summer Study and National Competition. I absolutely loved it. I met a lot of great friends and made great memories through the local and national competition events. More importantly, I developed a passion and love for Bible study and memorization.

But when I was 17 and a senior in high school, life moved on and I became busy working jobs, finishing school, and planning for the future. I was beginning to wonder if all my time in the Word of God was really worth it. I mean, it was great for middle school and high school, but was it worth it in real life? I started to get frustrated and struggled to see the purpose in it. Why was Bible memorization so important?

Even though my heart wasn’t really in it, I decided to go through with one last year of the National Bible Bee. I made it to the final round and it was time to recite my last passage, Ecclesiastes 12:1-14. I had studied it inside and out, but as I started to recite it there in that last round, the full impact of the words I had so diligently memorized hit me and the Lord spoke to me through them.

The passage starts off by saying, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth before the difficult days come…” It goes on to describe some of the hardships that we face in life and how eventually life ends in death.

The passage finishes: “This is the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgement, including every secret thing whether good or evil.”

And as I recited those words, the Lord answered my question. Was it worth it to spend all that time in the Scriptures? ABSOLUTELY YES. God had given me a gift. A gift to know Him. Life is hard, confusing, and temporary. But God is eternal, He knows all the answers, and we simply have to fear Him & keep His commandments.

Today, I’m 22. I still wrestle with questions and I definitely don’t have life all figured out. But when I look back at my middle school & high school years, I am so thankful that I spent time memorizing Scripture. Because I was faithful to memorize Scripture, He is faithful to speak to me through it. He spoke to me in that last round of the competition and He speaks to me every time I recall His Word to my mind.

That’s why Bible memorization is so important.

Memorizing Scripture is important because it allows God’s Word to live inside of me. God uses it to speak to me at the times I need it most. No matter what circumstances I’m facing and no matter what questions I might have, I have His truth guiding and directing my path every step of the way. I am equipped to “fear God and keep His commandments for this is man’s all.”

So I want to encourage you: take time to memorize God’s Word. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when it seems like there are hundreds of more important things to do. As a young person, you have been given a gift; the opportunity to know God while you’re young so that you can have a solid foundation on which to build your life. When you have God’s Word in your heart, you have His truth with you for your entire life. Don’t miss the opportunity to memorize God’s Word while you’re young.

Three tips to Start Memorizing Scripture

  1. Pick a passage and set a goal
    Start small. Maybe a verse every week. You’ll be surprised how much you know by the end of the year.
  2. Set a specific time to work on it
    Stay consistent even when you don’t feel like it. And don’t quit even if you miss a day. Keep trying until you find something that works.
  3. Get someone to quiz you
    Having someone to recite your memory work to really helps keep you accountable & on track with your goals.

And if you’re looking for a fun way to help motivate you in this process, check out the National Bible Bee!

The Summer Study starts in June and takes you on a journey through the Scriptures through both study and memorization. You will be given 14 memory passages that go along with an 8-week Bible study. This is something you can do on your own or with a group of friends–head over to biblebee.org to get involved today! Registration for this year’s Summer Study is opened through May 31st.


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About the author

Hannah Leary

Hannah Leary is the co-host of the National Bible Bee Competition and the winner of the inaugural National Bible Bee Game Show. She can’t think of a better way to have spent the days of her youth than in studying and memorizing the Word of God. She currently ministers in her local church and community and is passionate about encouraging and equipping young people to get into God’s Word and to build a biblical foundation for their lives.

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