Want To Improve Your Life and Heavy Burdens? Memorize Scripture!

Psalm 37:30-31; 119:9-16; Matthew 4:1-10

I know of no other single practice in the Christian life that’s more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. That’s right. No other single discipline is more useful and rewarding than this. No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your counseling will be in demand. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified. woman-thinking-question_MD

God’s Word is filled with exhortations to implant His truth in our hearts. David says that a young man can keep his life pure by treasuring God’s Word in his heart (Psalm 37:31; 119:9–11). Solomon refers to this in Proverbs 4:4:

“Let your heart hold fast my words;
Keep my commandments and live.”

The words hold fast come from a single Hebrew term, meaning “to grasp, seize, lay hold of.” Scripture memory gives you a firm grasp of the Word—and allows the Word to get a firm grasp of you! Solomon also mentions writing the Word “on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 7:3) and having Scriptures kept within you so “they may be ready on your lips” (Proverbs 22:18).

SeekGodfirstNow, I know you’ve been challenged to do this before. But is it happening? Perhaps you have procrastinated because you have mental blocks against it. Maybe you tried, but you either did not see the value or could not get beyond the method that was demanded by some memory program—little cards, booklets, checkup techniques, hearers, etc. Perhaps that seemed elementary and insulted your intelligence. I understand.

Okay . . . forget the methods . . . but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Take your Bible, turn to a passage that’s been especially helpful . . . and commit that passage to memory—all on your own. Don’t learn just isolated verses here and there. Bite off whole chunks of Scripture. That way you can get the flow of thought God had in mind.


Here are seven helpful suggestions:

1. Choose a time when your mind is free from outside distractions . . . perhaps soon after getting up in the morning. Look for Bible verses that indicate God’s willingness to help you with your burdens, write those Bible verses down, and begin confessing them daily and claiming them daily.

2. Find easy ways to remember the  the verse(s) you claim, for example, Matthew 11:28-30 says,  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, then you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” You could paraphrase that verse and come with an easy way to remember that verse by changing it to say, “Christ said He’d help me, if I turn to Him, so I give my burdens to Him and wait for His help”

3. Then you need to Read each verse you claim and paraphrase through several times—both in a whisper and then aloud. Hearing yourself say the words helps cement them into your mind and helps you start to really believe the words, when you really believe the words, God will get involved and begin to do what the scriptures says if it is part of His plans and purposes for your life.

4. Break the passage into its natural phrases. Learn the reference and then the first phrase. Then repeat the reference and first phrase as you go to the second phrase. Continue adding phrases one by one.

5. Learn a little bit perfectly rather than a great deal poorly. Do not go on to the next verse until you can say the previous one(s) perfectly, without a glance at your Bible.

6. Review the verse(s) immediately after you have gone through this process. Twenty to thirty minutes later, repeat what you’ve memorized. Before the day has ended, firmly fix the verse(s) in your mind by going over it fifteen to twenty times. (You can do this as you drive or do your job or as you do anything.)

7. Use the verse(s) orally as soon as possible. After all, the purpose of Scripture memory is a practical one, not academic. Use the verses in conversation, in correspondence, in teaching, in counseling, in everyday opportunities. Relate what you’ve learned to your daily situations. You’ll be thrilled with the results and God will be thrilled with you for now you’re learning how to get help for your burdens, How to change your burdens and how to give Him the wheel in your circumstances so He can do some things in your life, fix some things in your life and change some things in your life so that you can begin to fulfill His plans and purposes for Your life.

-Charles Swindoll and Evangelist Wendy Evans Used by arrangement with Zondervan Publishing House.