Psalm 119:11 | Hebrews 4:12 | Mathew 4:4 | John 1:1,14 | Joshua 1:8

You don’t have to memorize the entire Bible, but…

These days it is easy to access megavolumes of information on a smartphone. With that kind of access, who needs to remember things anymore? You just punch up a search, and BOOM! There’s your answer…there’s your info…there’s your scripture.

What was that verse about hiding God’s word in your heart? Just pull out your Superbook Bible App, do a quick search for “word in heart” and BOOM! There it is, Psalm 119:11.

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:11 NLT

How nice is it that you can pull up that exact scripture using  just a few keywords, right? You have God’s Word at your fingertips. And that is powerful. In fact, it says somewhere in the Bible that is a weapon sharper than any two-edged sword. Where does it say that? (Checking the app…) Ah, yes…Hebrews 4:12.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Hebrews 4:12 NLT

God’s Word is not only powerful, it is essential for life. Think about it: God spoke the Universe into existence. God’s words made that happen. Jesus says it’s more important for living than food! Wait–where is that one? (Checking app…) BOOM! Matthew 4:4.

But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Matthew 4:4 NLT

Interesting fact about that last one: Jesus was using scripture to combat the devil’s schemes. HOLD THE PHONE…Jesus lived in the days before Bible apps! How in the world did he find those scriptures so fast??

Maybe he carried those tiny scrolls they attach to doorposts. And maybe he had the first concordance ever produced to help him know which scrolls to check. Maybe he even had that concordance tattooed on his calves and/or forearms so he could refer to it as needed!

Or maybe…not. The truth is: Jesus knew God’s Word. He embodied it!

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. […] So the Word became human and made his home among us.

John 1:1,14a NLT

If you want to be more like Jesus, you need more of the Word in you. You have the Bible app on your phone, but do you have it in your heart? 

Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. 

Joshua 1:8a NLT

It’s not enough to have access to scripture. You need to internalize it, make it your own. Start by reading scripture, then move on to memorizing key verses. Do it little by little, and ask God to help you. Then see how your heart changes when you fill it with the word of God!

Questions for Group Discussion

  • How much scripture do you know?
  • Have you read the entire Bible? Why is this a good thing to do? Do you think it makes a difference to read it Genesis-to-Revelation, as opposed to a chronological or topical approach? On what are you basing your answers?
  • What Bible commentary do you use to help with your comprehension of scripture? Ask your pastor if you need a recommendation for a good Bible commentary.

Application: Cognitive Offloading

Do your research! 

There is a name for depending on a device to free up mental space: cognitive offloading. When you forego memorizing scripture because you have it readily available on your smartphone, you are offloading that thinking to your device.

Do some online research on cognitive offloading–there are some interesting articles about it and its effects on us. When you get to a good stopping point, answer the questions below.

  1. What are the three most common examples of cognitive offloading mentioned in your research?
  2. Is cognitive offloading limited to depending on Internet access or electronic devices for information?
  3. What are some of the suspected negative effects of cognitive offloading as it pertains to accessing information?
  4. Are there any benefits to cognitive offloading in its broader sense?
  5. How has this research changed your opinion about memorizing scripture?
  6. Has this research changed your plans about memorizing scripture or reading the Bible?