I'm thrilled to feature a piece from Glenna Marshall on her new book Memorizing Scripture: The Basics, Blessings, and Benefits of Meditating on God's Word. You will love this book. Glenna's writing is helpful, biblical, and realistic. I'm so glad she wrote this important book. I was thrilled to endorse it too.
I used to cringe when I heard other Christians talk about memorizing Scripture. I’m sure it was conviction, but in my estimation, the practice was best left to those I considered the “Christian elite,” like pastors, missionaries, and theologians. I was certain they were blessed with either a photographic memory or an extra measure of faith I didn’t have. Well, I don’t have a great memory, and I’m certainly not an upper-echelon kind of Christian with a theology degree (as if such a person exists). What I am is an ordinary Christian who reluctantly came to the practice of Scripture memorization in sheer desperation to fight ongoing sin in my life. I found that meditating on God’s Word was the strongest weapon I could wield in my battle against anger and bitterness. What I didn’t expect was that the regular practice of Scripture memorization would touch and transform every area of my life.
We’re exhorted in Psalm 1 to avoid sin by delighting in God’s Word, meditating on it day and night (Ps. 1:2). That word “meditating” translated means to mumble aloud to oneself, and essentially, that’s what we’re doing when we memorize Scripture. We mumble the words aloud to ourselves over and over, sending the words and phrases into the recesses of our long-term memories so we can recall them instantly.
But Scripture memorization is more than just reciting words. Because God’s Word is true and eternal and sharper than a two-edged sword, something transformative happens when you spend time rolling the words of God around in your mouth, heart, and mind. Through regular meditation on His Word, God renews your mind—changing the way you think, respond, make decisions, speak, and act. The ripple effect of delighting in God’s Word throughout your day will deepen your love for Him while diluting your love for the things of this world.
The more you think on God’s Word, the more you begin to think like God. His desires reshape your desires. Your thoughts are influenced by His attributes and commands. Memorization is a tool of sanctification in God’s hands, and living closely to His Word brings joy, growth, and contentment like nothing else in this life.
If you believe the practice of Scripture memorization to be tedious or out of reach, try it anyway. Pick a verse or chapter—or even a whole book—and begin chipping away at it, one phrase at a time. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain when you begin to store up God’s Word like the treasure it is.
To learn more about Glenna, or to find her other wonderful books, visit glennamarshall.com.