Does Frequency Matter?

Does Frequency Matter?

How often should I memorize Scripture? Is it okay to go months without memorizing at all? Does frequency matter? You might face these questions as you start on your Scripture memorization journey. 

The best way to find answers to these questions is by going to Scripture itself. Psalm 119:9-11 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” In Psalm 119, we see the psalmist valuing God’s Word by storing it up in his heart and recognizing his need for it. Without God’s Word, it is impossible to keep a pure way and be protected from the snares of sin. Because we are prone to wander so quickly without the help of the Lord, we must hide in His Word and do so often.

The first step to memorizing frequently is to recognize our own need for Scripture and value its truth for ourselves. If we don’t, memorization can easily become a chore that we must “check off” our to-do list. This mentality tempts us to put off Scripture memory until tomorrow. When we give in to inconsistently meditating on the Word of God, we are telling ourselves that there are other things more worthy of our attention. God desires that his people have high regard for his Word. We see this in Deuteronomy 17:18-20, as the king of Israel is instructed to highly regard God's Law. The passage reads:

And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.

These words are solidified by those written in Psalm 119 many years later. The king was to read the words of God daily so that he might fear God and keep His commandments (Eccl. 12:13).

Acts 17:10-11 says, “The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” The Jews in this chapter were called “noble” because they received and studied God’s Word daily.

At a time when God’s Word is always at our fingertips, it can be easy to procrastinate and have the mindset that we can always memorize later. But the more we give in to this mindset, the easier it becomes to make it a spiritual habit. Weekly memorization amid a busy schedule can easily turn into monthly memorization, with the possibility of dropping it altogether. We cannot afford to put off the spiritual discipline of Scripture memorization until tomorrow. We need God’s Word today! After all, the more we memorize and meditate on Scripture, the more we experience the transformation that comes from God’s living Word.

When brushing your teeth or eating breakfast in the morning, you most likely aren’t thinking about the frequency with which you do these things. They have become regular parts of your daily life. You understand their value and your need for them, so you make sure they happen. This is how the people of God should view Scripture memorization. Because of the surpassing value of God’s Word, and our desperate need for it, we cannot afford to wait until tomorrow or when we feel like it. Instead, we should seek to integrate it into our lives daily like the many believers that went before us. We, too, can be like the wise man in Psalm 1 who placed his delight in the law of the Lord and meditated on it day and night. For “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psa. 1:3).

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