The beginning of a new year is often a time to think about goals and aspirations.
But what kinds of goals should Christians be setting for the new year to come?
One helpful habit is Scripture memorization!
Scripture memorization is a spiritual discipline that many of us struggle with. It takes commitment, hard work, and repetition to store the Word in our minds.
But it’s a crucial habit to put into practice, and it’s a command from our Lord. We’re called to hide His words in our hearts so we can know His will for us (Psalm 119:11).
So, if you need some motivation to work on your Scripture memorization, here are a few good reasons to get started.
1. Storing verses in your heart will direct your thoughts.
As Christians, we’re called to reflect on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable” (Philippians 4:8).
It’s difficult, though, to control the direction of our thoughts every minute throughout the day.
If you spend time memorizing and meditating on Scripture, you will have a pure, lovely, true subject of thought to pursue whenever your mind wanders.
If you know the sinful paths your mind tends to take, you can prepare in advance by memorizing verses that address those particular sins. If you struggle with habitual worry, for example, start by memorizing Philippians 4:6-7.
2. Memorizing Scripture sets an example for your children.
God commands us to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6). We’re called to raise our children in the ways of the Lord and teach them the importance of Scripture.
What better way to instill a love for God’s Word than to model that commitment in our own lives? It’s a well-known adage that children don’t do as we say—they do as we do.
As our children see us spending time reading, memorizing, and meditating, they will understand more deeply the importance of communing with God through His Word.
3. Storing the Word in your heart prepares you to share the Gospel.
A new year is full of new opportunities and new people in need of God’s love. By memorizing key verses, you can prepare to meet and influence a wide variety of unbelievers for Christ.
The Roman Road, a sequence of verses in the book of Romans, is a good starting point in leading others to Christ with Scripture. This sequence includes Romans 1:20-21, 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10, 10:13, and 11:36.
You may know the core concepts of the Gospel already, but it’s always important to be able to point others to Scripture as we talk about Christ and His sacrifice.
4. Memorizing Scripture equips you to give comfort and counsel to others.
Who knows what highs and lows a new year will bring? Throughout the next twelve months, you and your loved ones could face joy, sorrow, surprise, loss, and an overwhelming need for God’s presence.
Storing up promises about God’s comfort will prepare you to face whatever He has in store for you. And the benefits can be extended to others, not just you.
As those around you journey through the coming year, you can extend words of grace to them and counsel them wisely with biblical precepts. You’ll be more equipped to love others in a practical way!
5. Knowing the Word will guide you closer to God’s will for your life.
Finally, with each new year comes a fresh desire to know God’s heart and seek His will. As we set goals and make plans, we need to step back and pray that God will show us His desires for us.
There is no better way to draw close to God than to reflect on His Word and put it into practice.
Following His will starts with obeying His commands (Proverbs 3:5-6), and we can only find His commands in the Bible! As you seek to apply His Word in your everyday life, you will find yourself growing increasingly closer to Him—and His will.
Do you still find it daunting to get started on Scripture memorization? Start with your favorite well-known passages like John 3:16 or 1 Corinthians 13 and work from there.
God will reward your efforts!