I’ve not made Scripture memorization the priority that I should have in the past. As part of my attempt to rectify this, I bought Scripture by Heart: Devotional Practices for Memorizing God’s Word by Joseph Choonmin Kang. He’s a new pastor/author to me, but I saw that he runs with the Dallas Williard/Richard Foster crowd. That and the positive reviews on Amazon convinced me to give this book a try, and I’m very glad I did.
It’s divided into 30 short sections that are easily readable in a single 15-20 minute session, and those are often further subdivided into a devotional thought followed by practical advice for memorization. So not only to do you get a great biblical foundation for the importance of committing scripture to memory, you learn how to memorize Bible verses as well.
Each reflection is based on a portion of Scripture itself. I read the whole book in a matter of hours, but it’s one I plan to return to as a regular for devotional use. It’s clearly meant to be read over the course of about a month, and I think it would be best experienced that way. The thoughts are simple, but deep, and demand time to them really sink in.
A few thoughts from the book that struck me with particular force:
“To memorize the Bible, we have to pray the Bible first” p. 11
“Learning Scripture by heart throws open the door to meditation.” p. 17
“Our goal isn’t memorizing as many Scripture verses as possible. It’s conforming to the image of Jesus Christ.” p. 106
“Nothing is more essential for the minister of the gospel than spiritual training. Nothing is more essential to spiritual training than memorizing Scripture.” p. 120
Biblical success is “accomplishing something God has entrusted to us.” p. 125
“Patience is always a prelude to perfection.” p. 139
This is a fantastic book of devotions and practical advice for any Christian seeking to grow deeper in the discipline of memorization.
Buy it on Amazon