Order A Complimentary copy of our new Devotional—Anchors for the Soul

Learning By Heart

An important anchor for your soul in any difficult time is engaging God’s Word and learning it by heart. God promises that you will be blessed and strengthened by doing it, whether in a hospital bed, financial predicament, broken relationship, or life’s darkest valley.

I am grateful to my mother for teaching and encouraging me to choose a passage of Scripture and “learn it by heart.” Significantly, she never talked about the memorization of Scripture, just learning by heart. She understood that learning God’s Word by heart was about more than storing information in our memory; today’s smart phones and computers do that very well.

Learning God’s Word by heart does involve memorization, to be sure, but goes beyond mere repetition of words. It involves internalizing God’s Word so that the Word becomes a part of us in our thinking, feeling, and acting. Learning Scripture by heart means Scripture becoming to us what it was to David, “more to be desired than gold… sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10).

Thus, David told of his resolve to TREASURE God’s Word in his HEART (Psalm 119:11). By this he followed God’s command to KEEP His words in his HEART (Deuteronomy 6:6). David’s son, the wise Solomon, urged his own son to STORE UP God’s commandments within him (Proverbs 7:1). Similarly, the apostle Paul instructs believers to let the Word of Christ DWELL in them richly (Colossians 3:16). Think about those words: “Treasure”, “Keep”, “Store Up”, and “Dwell”: each signifies absorbing God’s Word into us, learning it by heart.

Here are some ways you can learn Scripture by heart:

1. CHOOSE a verse or passage of Scripture that especially speaks to you and your need.

2. READ ALOUD the verse or passage to familiarize yourself with the words and their flow.

3. BREAK IT DOWN into small, manageable sections. Focus on learning one section at a time before moving on to the next.

4. REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT and let the Words of God flow through you. Repeat the passage multiple times throughout the day, being blessed by it as you drive your car, wait in line, or lie awake.

5. WRITE IT DOWN as this tactile action can reinforce the passage in your mind and heart.

6. VISUALIZE the words as you say them. For example, picturing the Lord as your shepherd, your rock, your hiding place, can help you learn by heart.

7. REVIEW by setting aside times in the day to go over the whole passage. Each time you do this enables God’s Word to settle deeper in your heart and mind.

8. APPLY God’s Word, meditating on it, praying over it, and looking for opportunities to share it with others.

The Bible in your heart is always more life giving than the Bible in your bookcase, smart phone, or computer!

recent posts

join our list

Sign up and receive our weekly devotionals, Selah podcast episodes, info on seasonal devotionals, and announcements.