Memorising God’s Word
5 January 2020 PM – Psalm 119:11 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Everyone can memorise. We memorise our address, our phone number, and our email address. Many have memorised the names and statistics of their sports heroes. People memorise words to music they like. Anything we repeat often enough, we memorise.
Memorising Bible verses is one of the most neglected spiritual duties. Excuses abound, but none is valid. Memorising Scripture could transform your life. If you memorise just one verse monthly, by the end of 2020, you would know 12 verses you do not presently know. If you learn one verse weekly, in that same time you will learn 52 new verses. Most of you are already familiar with many verses. That gives you a jumpstart.
I believe our greatest hindrance to memorising Bible verses is not our inability but our lack of motivation.
Transition: Psalm 119:11 tells us three important things about God’s Word that ought to motivate us to work at memorising Scripture.
1. Memorising God’s Word is Special
a. It is special because of its Author.
1) The Psalmist begins this verse with the words “Thy word”. He was obviously referring to God. God is the Author of the Bible. The words in this book are God’s words.
2) The Bible is God’s inspired word. (2 Timothy 3:16) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
3) Bible verses are not just the words of a wise scholar or great teacher. They are the words that God breathed to penmen who wrote them down for our instruction.
4) The Bible is trustworthy. (Psalms 119:160) “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” It is the truth that combats the lies that we are bombarded with all the time.
5) Truly believing that God’s word is inspired and trustworthy ought to motivate us to memorise as much of the Bible as we can.
b. It is special because of its power.
1) It has power to convict. (Hebrews 4:12) “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Like a sword, the Bible penetrates deep within us to bring us to repentance.
2) It has power to guide. (Psalms 119:105) “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” It also provides comfort, joy and peace.
3) It has power to increase one’s faith. (Romans 10:17) “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It has the power to transform YOUR life.
2. Memorising God’s Word is Possible
a. Your heart is a storehouse.
1) The word “hid” in this verse means to hide, to treasure or to store up. The Psalmist was determined to store up God’s Word in his heart.
2) When Solomon wrote, (Proverbs 4:23) “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”, he knew that the heart was a storehouse. What you place in your storehouse will determine what comes out in your character.
3) Jesus reminded us that our heart is a storehouse for both good and bad. (Matthew 15:19) “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” (Luke 6:45) “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Your thoughts have the ability to determine your behaviour and who you are.
4) God commands you to fill your heart with His word.
a) (Deuteronomy 6:6) “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:”
b) (Colossians 3:16) “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
b. Store up the Bible, one verse at a time.
1) Note that the Psalmist said, “have I hid”. He made the choice. He did the memorising. Hiding God’s word in your heart is not an accident. It is an effort. It takes work.
2) You can memorise by topic, by chapter or even by book. Personally, I believe by topic is the most useful.
3) What are the best steps to memorise Scripture? Here are some tips that can help you.
a) Know the context of the verse you are memorising.
b) Be sure you know what the verse means. This is critical. Understanding the meaning lets the verse sink deep into our hearts rather than just reciting words.
c) At this point, determine if you are working on paper or on an app. I use the app Remember Me (www.remem.me free Android, $3 for iPhone).
d) Keep the verse in front of you. Write your verse out on a card. Carry it with you or place it where you will see it often.
e) It is helpful to learn verses by topic. Place the topic, the verse reference and the verse on the card. It may help to put the topic and reference on the back. On the other hand, you may want to add a brief question about the verse on the back.
f) Read the verse several times to get familiar with it. Each time, read the topic and the reference with the verse. Each time you read the verse, be sure to concentrate and not just gloss over it.
g) One method recommends reading the verse and reference 10 times in a row with concentration. Then work at saying the verse and reference 10 times in a row without looking any more than necessary.
h) Another method is to learn the topic and reference and then learn one phrase of the verse at a time.
i) Listen to the verse repeatedly. Record it in a voice memo and play it back.
j) Try acting out the verse with motions.
k) Try putting the verse to a tune and singing it.
l) Try writing out the first letter of each word in the verse. Do this repeatedly.
m) Review, review, review, review and review!
4) The key to memorisation is “Repetition over time!”
3. Memorising God’s Word is Beneficial
a. It will benefit your personal life
1) It protects against sin. (Psalm 119:11), (Psalms 119:133) “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”
2) It aids Scripture meditation. (Psalms 1:2) “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalms 63:6) “When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.” (Psalms 119:148) “Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.”
3) It will help to keep your mind clean. (Psalms 19:14) “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
4) It will give you instant Scripture to draw from in time of prayer, decision, burden, or sorrow.
b. It will benefit your service for God
1) Memorising Scripture will greatly enhance your witness. It is God’s word that is powerful not your words.
2) It will enrich your teaching, whether it be teaching your children, teaching a Bible study, or preaching a sermon.
3) It will give you God’s authority during doctrinal debates or discussions. Helpful YouTube: How to MEMORIZE Scripture – 5 Simple Tools
Conclusion: I trust that the things we have examined will motivate you to begin memorising Bible verses. Rather than setting number goals, just begin daily to memorise and progress at a pace you can manage. Begin with verses you have marked in your Bible, or see me and I will give you a list of topics and verses. For encouragement, memorise with your spouse, your kids or with a friend.
Song: Thy Word Have I Hid 177