Memorizing 365: Lessons from a Verse a Day

Memorizing 365: Lessons from a Verse a Day

In 2022, I set a goal to memorize 365 verses in 365 days. My reason was simple: If Scripture memorization was as important as I was making it out to be, should I not give it the daily attention it deserves? At the very least, shouldn't I give it the same attention as other tasks I believe to be less important?   

As N.A. Woychuk once said, "God specifically commands us to memorize His word so that we can have it in our hearts. This is His will and plan for us. We cannot escape it. We dare not say to Him, ‘I don’t have time,’ or ‘I just cannot memorize.’ The second reason why we must memorize Scripture is because we cannot really ‘live’ without it.”1 I knew I was falling short, and it had been well over a year since I last challenged myself to memorize daily for weeks (or even months) on end. I thought to give it another try. Besides, I wanted to see how possible it was to memorize Scripture with such consistency.   

As you may have heard it said, it takes twenty-one days to make a habit. However long it actually takes for a habit to form, it's generally agreed upon that the first few days are the most challenging. But sooner or later, your strengthened habit becomes almost an instinct. To my surprise, this was how Scripture memorization became for me. Yet, why was it surprising? Creating a Scripture memory habit was like any other. Only it produces both physical and spiritual benefits.  

It wasn't long before I started to experience the change taking place in my life. My end-of-the-day discouragement suddenly found its rest in Scripture, clearing my mind of worries I would otherwise let burden me for hours. I experienced a sustaining grace in my spiritual life that stabilized me. My busy days didn't experience victory over my spiritual life. The verses I hid in my heart carried me through difficult and joyous moments alike. Some of those changes were more unexpected than others, however. For example, that entire year, I found myself restless as I tried to fall asleep on the evenings I forgot to memorize (and this often kept me awake until I remembered).   

Even though the challenge itself has ended, I completed it with a renewed desire for Scripture and a better understanding of why to hide it in my heart daily. The lessons I learned are ones that I'll cling to for years to come:  

5 Things Memorizing for 365 Days Taught Me:   

1. As Eating Food is to the Body, Memorizing Scripture is to the Spirit - Food is meant to sustain us physically throughout our lives. We won't receive as many benefits by staring at our food as it sits on the shelves in our fridge. Similarly, God's Word is meant to give and sustain our spiritual lives. We experience that to the fullest when we hide it in our hearts. As we mature, the hope is that we will eventually even delight in what we eat---both physically and spiritually. 

2. If I Say No Today, My Chances of Saying No Tomorrow Are Greater - The best day to memorize Scripture is today - the present! As with any habit, procrastination and inconsistency only make the journey more difficult. But choosing to start today and stick with it means my likelihood of continuing tomorrow is greater. This concept is similar to a snowball rolling down a hill - once it's gained momentum, it's much harder to stop.  

3. My “Lowest” Points in a Day Can Only Get So Low When Scripture Memorization Is Involved - As strange as that sounds, my days of trial and darkness, when faced with Scripture, could only become so dark. God's Word always shined a warm and comforting light upon my soul in the areas where I needed it most. It provided a rock-solid foundation to build my life upon.

4. Single Verses Are Powerful Tools - Focusing on one verse a day really allowed me to experience the power of a single verse. I also found that in moments of my temptation, I was more likely to recall a singular verse that I had memorized instead of an entire chapter. God's Word entered the scene daily - to convict, exhort, and encourage. Whether I was memorizing topically or for a larger goal of memorizing a Bible chapter, each singular verse made an impact on my life.  

5. No Day is Too Dark for Scripture - Although I committed to memorizing a verse a day for an entire year, each day within it held an important question: "Am I going to memorize Scripture today?" To reach my goal, the answer had to be yes - 365 times in a row. Throughout the year, I had difficult days and amazing days. I had days filled with confusion and others filled with laughter. But in each one, Scripture was there with me. And in each one, I decided that no day was too dark for Scripture to be a part of it. I didn't always feel like memorizing but saying "yes" each time was worth it.   

I was then challenged to ask the question, if consistent Scripture memorization can have that effect in 365 days, how much of a difference can it make over a lifetime? There is no limit that we can put to the effects of Scripture in the life of an individual fully immersed in it. This rings true even more in the life of a child of God who was brought to life by the words of His mouth. As Charles Spurgeon once said, "It was God's Word that made us; is it any wonder that His Word should sustain us?"

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.” -Jeremiah 15:16 

N.A. Woychuk, You Need to Memorize Scripture (Scripture Memory Fellowship), 11-12. 

Charles Spurgeon, “The Best Christmas Fare,” Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Accessed April 26, 2024,  


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