When I was a young Christian, Bill Gothard’s yearly Basic Youth Conflicts Seminar was popular throughout the United States. I remember actually attending only one night of a week long course; nevertheless, there was one theme promoted by Bill Gothard–which I heard from others that attended the full seminar–that had a significant impact on my life. It was the story of how memorizing Scripture changed Bill Gothard’s life.
In high school, Bill began memorizing large sections of Scripture. Although he had previously been a poor student, the discipline of memorizing Scripture helped his grades improve dramatically. Through college and graduate he became an excellent student, and went on to have a significant impact on Christian youth in his era. The memorizing of Scripture was of course, not just a benefit to his school work, but to his Christian life and character.
Inspired, I began to invest significant time memorizing and chapters and books of the Bible. While my pace of memorizing new passages of Scripture has slowed over the years, I have maintained the habit of starting each day by reviewing sections of Scripture I have memorized previously.
I believed my investment in Scripture memory improved my memory and made me a better student. More importantly, I have a storehouse of Scripture knowledge that is instantly available to draw on. Memorized Scripture provides me insight into all aspect of God and life. It is instantly available when I am counseling others or sharing about the Lord. It comes to my aid when I face temptation. It brings comfort in times of trouble. It cleanses my mind and leads me into ways of peace.
In addition, memorized Scripture helps with Scripture based prayer. Memorized verses are always available for recall and meditation. From meditation, it is a short step to responding in prayer, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide into praise, confession and requests for ourselves and others.
Scripture memory is a discipline that requires investment of time and effort. Establishing a life long habit take persistence. However, if you dare to take this sparsely traveled road, you will be richly rewarded for your journey.