Scripture memorization … having YHVH’s Word in our hearts…

Written by Schalk_and_Elsa on. Posted in Set apart living, Training in righteousness

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prov 23-7 headerlScripture memory is our most powerful tool in changing our habits of thought, and the internalized truths of God’s Word keep us mentally healthy. It’s the greatest secret I know to personal resiliency. It molds our thoughts, and our thoughts shape our lives; for as we think in our hearts, so we are.2

Consider the Scripture that was quoted above:

Proverbs 23:7
7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is.

This is a powerful truth! What we think within ourselves, we become. If we think negative thoughts all the time, we will become negative. If we think angry thoughts, we will become angry.

Where do these thoughts originate from? Our thoughts are the product of our experiences and misbeliefs and some are introduced to our minds by Hasatan. Wrong thoughts can be described as sin crouching at the door, that Scripture refers to. If we allow something in our minds, we may do it in future. We also learn from Scripture that we are to master it.

Genesis 4:6–7
6 Then YHVH said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

How do we master it? Y’shua gave us a beautiful example. When Y’shua was tempted by the adversary, Hasatan, He mastered him by quoting Scripture and He did it with boldness and accuracy. We are tempted too; Hasatan waits for a weak moment and confronts us with half-truths or misbeliefs. It is up to us to refute these half-truths or misbeliefs with truth. However, we can only do this if we have the truth in our hearts. This is what this article is about, having YHVH’s Word in our hearts and available for us when we are tempted with Hasatan’s lies. The way to have YHVH’s truth in our hearts in by Scripture memorization.

We mentioned Scripture memorization in a previous article “Speak truth to yourself” when we wrote about the renewing of the mind. In this article, we shall first look at the Scriptural basis for this and then at techniques we can follow to commit YHVH’s Word to memory.

We will first share with you why we believe we are to memorize Scripture.

Why are we to do this?

There are many good reasons to make sure we have YHVH’s word in our hearts. We have already mentioned the temptation of Y’shua, and how that is a perfect example as to why we need to know YHVH’s Word, but did you know that we are commanded to know YHVH’s Word (impress it on our hearts.)

We are commanded to

Exodus 13:9
9 “And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of YHVH may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand YHVH brought you out of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 6:6
6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.

Deuteronomy 11:18
18You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

The Merriam-Webster’s collegiate thesaurus explains the word “impress” as follows:

impress verb 

synonyms ENGRAVE

2, etch, imprint, inscribe

synonyms AFFECT, carry, get, influence, inspire, move, strike, sway, touch

related words enthuse, electrify, thrill; excite, galvanize, pique, provoke, stimulate

idioms make (or leave) one’s mark

3 to fix in the mind or memory by emphasis or repetition <the speaker impressed his principal thesis upon his audience>

synonyms drive, grave, hammer, pound, stamp3

The Hebrew word that was translated as “impress” means to “put on.” To put something on is a conscious effort not something that randomly happens to us.

We are also commanded to teach our children.

Teaching our children

We as parents, are commanded to teach YHVH’s Word to our children.

Deuteronomy 6:6–9
6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

When you read the verse, you will see that what is referred to here is discipleship. We have written an article about teaching our children titled Teach them to your children, why we homeschool. Discipleship means we are to teach them whenever a teaching opportunity arises. For this reason, we would have to know YHVH’s Word quite well.

The next reason to know YHVH’s Word is because knowing it, helps us to live righteously.

It keeps us on YHVH’s way

Knowing YHVH’s Word keeps us on His way and helps us to do what he requires of us.

Psalm 37:31
31 The law of his Elohim is in his heart; His steps do not slip.

Psalm 119:11
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

Psalm 119:165
165 Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.

You can also read the article What does YHVH require of us?

It will make our way prosperous

Knowing YHVH’s Word results in obedience which brings about blessing. This can be physical blessings, but also spiritual. This is no guarantee to physical prosperity.

Joshua 1:8
8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Psalm 1:1–3
1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of YHVH, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

It is wisdom to us

Psalm 119:97–99
97 O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine. 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.

This verse accentuates again that we have to have the word in ourselves in order to meditate on it. David said “for they are ever mine”

Proverbs 6:20–23
20 My son, observe the commandment of your father And do not forsake the teaching of your mother; 21 Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life.

It’s a cure for depression

We don’t realize it, but YHVH’s Word, if we have it in our subconscious mind is a cure for depression and anxiety.

Dr. Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania is perhaps the world’s foremost expert on optimism and motivation. In his groundbreaking book, Learned Optimism, he suggests that depression is primarily the result of wrong thinking. He writes, “Depression . . . is caused by conscious negative thoughts. There is no deep underlying disorder to be rooted out: not unresolved childhood conflicts, not our unconscious anger, and not even our brain chemistry. Emotion comes directly from what we think: Think ‘I am in danger’ and you feel anxiety. Think ‘I am being trespassed against’ and you feel anger. Think ‘Loss’ and you feel sadness. . . . If we change these habits of thought, we will cure depression.”52

Knowing YHVH’s Word protects us from deception

This brings us back to our very first example of Y’shua being tempted in the wilderness. Hasatan was trying to deceive Y’shua. If we don’t know YHVH’s Word we may be deceived. Y’shua also said “see to it that you are not deceived.

Luke 21:8
8 And He said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them.

Does these words sound familiar to you? It should, as we are confronted with those who claim to know the future often. They claim to have revelations from YHVH as to where we are in YHVH’s timeline. Be careful; anybody can take Scripture out of context to prove almost anything. We are to know YHVH’s word in such a way that we know the context also in order for us not to be deceived. Doing a survey of the books of the Bible will help us with this. A survey is like a summary of a book, its context and contents. We have previously written more extensively about this in the series about Bible study, Bible Study – Part 2 – Getting to know the books of the Bible. This article goes into detail on how we are to do a survey and why. We mention this again when we go into the how to of Scripture memorization.

These are just a few reasons why we are to know YHVH’s Word. When I started writing this, I was still a bit skeptical as to the importance of Scripture memorization, we have been doing it with our children, but have really not grasped the importance until now. Having read these Scriptures really convinced and inspired me. I really hope it had the same effect on you.

It is foundational in our walk as believers.As we quoted earlier:

Scripture memory is our most powerful tool in changing our habits of thought, and the internalized truths of God’s Word keep us mentally healthy. It’s the greatest secret I know to personal resiliency. It molds our thoughts, and our thoughts shape our lives; for as we think in our hearts, so we are.2

R.J. Morgan also wrote:

If our “little gray cells” are such an important thing about us, and if the Holy Scriptures are the very thoughts of God Himself, then Bible verses represent the most healing, clarifying, bolstering, uplifting data we can insert into our brains. The power of Scripture is unlike anything else on earth. It’s a force to be reckoned with, containing intrinsic power, high enough to give us insight, deep enough to give us peace, wide enough to mold our personalities, and strong enough to bear us through horrendous days.

Someone once told me that Scripture memory accelerates the transformation process in our lives. It’s like a special additive that exponentially increases the efficiency of sanctification. By internalizing Bible verses, we’re mainstreaming God’s thoughts into our conscious, subconscious, and unconscious logic.2

Now that we are convinced that we are to memorize YHVH’s Word, let’s look at how we will do this.

How to memorize Scripture

The very first step is to choose a topic. For example, If you have a problem with anger, find Scripture that will help you with that. If you were to quote Proverbs 29:11 to yourself every time you feel like losing your temper, you will have success in that area.

Proverbs 29:11
11 A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.

If you have depression, learn Psalm 42 or any other Scripture relating to depression. Philippians 4:6 is a good one if you struggle with anxiety. The same is true for any other issue you are struggling with. YHVH’s Word is full of wisdom that can help us. The book I read about Scripture memorization by R.J. Morgan, titled “100 Bible verses everyone should know by heart.“, suggests 100 Scriptures he believes every believer should know. It is an easy to read and practical little book packed with anecdotes from people who memorized Scripture and benefitted from it.

Here are ten practical suggestions that can help you from this book.

10 tried-and-true suggestions

1. Make up your mind you can memorize just one verse. That’s all. Just one. (Of course, if you can memorize one verse, you can memorize two.)

2. Work at it every day. Make it a simple part of your daily routine. It might be at the breakfast table, at the shaving mirror, in the drive-to-work traffic, while jogging, during your daily workout, at the end of your morning quiet time, during your evening bath, or just before you turn your light off at night. Let it piggyback on some other activity, the habit which is already established, like your daily power walk.

3. Keep your current memory verse on whatever screens you use, such as your handheld phone or your computer screen. Post it on your refrigerator. Slide it under the glass of your desk or tape it to the dashboard of your car. Use sticky-notes everywhere. This is akin to the Bible’s advice of writing it on the doorposts of your house and on the walls of your rooms.

4. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

5. Say the verse aloud over and over. Repetition moves the verse from sensory memory to short-term memory, and from short-term memory to long-term storage, and from long-term storage to everyday use. In other words, first you have the verse, and then the verse has you.

6. Read each verse in its context and study it. Write it out. Check out different translations, and memorize it in the translation you use the most. This is where the survey, we mentioned earlier comes in. It will help us understand the context in which it was written.

7. Learn the reference as part of the verse.

8. Review, review, review.

9. Figure out some homemade mnemonics and mental associations, either for the verse or for the reference. I remember Proverbs 19:11 because my dad was born in 1911 and this verse reminds me of him: “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense” (NIV).

10. Use your verses. Preach them to yourself, quote them for others, and turn them into prayers to YHVH. Say with the psalmist: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11 NKJV).2

Conclusion

Contemplate Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of Elohim is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

We have seen in this article how many wonderful reasons there are to commit YHVH’s word to memory. We have also given you some suggestions on how to do this. The next step is up to us. I challenge you to do this and would love to hear about its impact on your life. YHVH’s Word can transform us if we are willing to let it.

Remember, whenever we store away a verse in our minds, it becomes a concealed weapon. It’s a light, a lamp, a vault of gold, a hive of honey, and a two-edged sword. It’s available day and night for practical purposes. It helps us “fix” our thoughts, and we fix our thoughts by fixing them on Y’shua via His praiseworthy Word.2

Psalm 19:14
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O YHVH, my rock and my Redeemer.

References

  1. All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD, and Y’shua for Jesus.
  2. Morgan, R. J. (2010). 100 bible verses everyone should know by heart. Nashville: B&H.
  3. Merriam-Webster, I. (1996). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate thesaurus. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

 

 

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Comments (2)

  • V Macias

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    Thank you! These learning techniques are working for me. Shalom.

    Reply

  • The process of sanctification | Set Apart People

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    […] for us to get out of slavery and return to YHVH! Once you have done this, go one step further and memorize some of your favorite passages to use when the enemy comes against you. Renewing your mind with Scripture is essential in […]

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