So this is about the half way mark of my 31 Days writing challenge on Bible Quotes. For some reason, the past week my posts have not been written until 11 p.m. at night! Eeekkk! That was not intended and I need to stop this cycle because 11 p.m is too late. That being said, here we are, again; but instead of another day of Bible quotes, let’s just stop for a minute and consider five reasons why it’s important to memorize Scripture passages.
Why Are Bible Quotes Important
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Brandon Vogt wrote a beautiful post On Devotion and Memorization of Scripture. In part he states, “The first Psalm encourages us to “meditate” on God’s word day and night; deep meditation, in this case, leads to memorization. In Jesus’ desert temptation, we see both Jesus and Satan using memorized Scripture as weapons for spiritual warfare. Good and Evil forces alike understand the potency of Biblical memorization. When it comes to memorizing Scripture, Catholics can learn much from our Protestant brothers and sisters.” I absolutely agree. I mention in the introduction to The Catholic Child’s Teaching Bible that I did not want my children wooed away from the Church by the Word of God. Meaning, I live in the Bible Belt and a strong emphasis is placed on belonging to a “Bible Church.” Without knowing they know the Scriptures, I have seen well formed Catholic children attracted to churches where a strong emphasis is placed on the memorization of the Word of God…and they don’t even realize they already belong to a “Bible Church.”
A strong emphasis should be placed on the memorization of God’s Word; is there anything more beautiful to meditate on and recite? No, there’s not. In John 1 we read “In the beginning was the Word…” From the beginning God’s Word existed, before poetry and song lyrics were memorized, His Word existed and was being memorized. There cannot be anything more beautiful than to learn and recite the Word of God, to speak about and to God. So why don’t we do it? Good question.
Maybe instead of “Why don’t we do it,” we should ask ourselves, “Why don’t I do it?”
Here are Five Reasons to Memorize Scripture
1. The Word of God will always be available to us for meditation.
Timothy at the blog Catholic Bibles Blog recounts a beautiful moment where he was reciting to himself the portion of Matthew’s Gospel he had been memorizing while unloading the dishwasher. He says of his new desire to memorize the Scriptures, “I have experienced an increased sense of connectedness to Christ, even while I still struggle with keeping the right balance in terms of my use of new media. There is a great feeling of peace and joy that I feel that comes from knowing that I value the Word of God enough to give it a primary place in my heart and mind. For those of you who may feel God is calling you to something similar, I think you’ll find that it serves as a form of “active lectio divina” – a way to meditate on God’s Word even amidst all the daily tasks and roles we have to fulfill.”
2. Our struggles in this world are not with flesh and blood but with powers and principalities…our weapons should reflect that truth.
Shaun McAfee states, “Nothing will prepare you to fight against darkness like memorizing Ephesians 6 and meditating on spiritual armor, or coping with temptation like 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.” When you memorize a verse, which is God’s Word, your embed God in your heart and in your mind.
What is this “Spiritual Armor?” Read Ephesians 6
–the belt of truth buckled around your waist
–the breastplate of righteousness in place
–as shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace
–take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one
–the helmet of salvation
–the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God
3. We can follow Saint Paul’s admonitions in Colossians to “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” and “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.”
Paul lists quiet a few reasons there: so we have something good to think about, so the Word of God can dwell within us, so we can teach and admonish one another in wisdom, so we will have gratitude in our hearts and the words to praise God in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
4. We can best live out the Spiritual Works of Mercy if we have the Word of God treasured in our heart.
–instruct the ignorant
–counsel the doubtful
–bear wrongs patiently
–forgive offences willingly
–comfort the afflicted
–pray for the living and the dead
5. We can better share Christ and the Gospel to unbelievers, non-Catholics and those who do not know their faith. Our conversations suddenly become less about our word and more about The Word.
I’ve shared how we memorize Scripture and Catechism questions in our home, Scripture Memory, Catechism and Prayers. If you would prefer a digital method, I found two free apps in the Google Play Store, Bible Memory: Scripture Typer and Bible Memory: Remember Me. I have not tried these yet, it’s late, but downloaded them both and will try them tomorrow.
Bible Quotes Resources
My large print Bible
(This is my go-to Bible. It’s large print and just feels nice in my hands.)
Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament
(I use this Bible when I’m looking for some more information about the text.)
The Catholic Bible Concordance for the Revised Standard Version
(You want to know where a word is in the Bible? This is the book for you!)
The Great Commentary of Cornelius A’ Lapide
(I use this commentary for more information as well.)
A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture
(I like this commentary because it also has reflections and applications.)