Scripture by Heart: Devotional Practices for Memorizing God's Word, By Joshua Choonmin Kang

Scripture by Heart

Devotional Practices for Memorizing God's Word

by Joshua Choonmin Kang
Foreword by Dallas Willard

Scripture by Heart
  • Length: 166 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: January 08, 2010
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: 3536
  • ISBN: 9780830835362

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Why memorize the Bible?

In our information-saturated society, with so many details to take in, the idea of memorizing Scripture can seem overwhelming--like one more task on a checklist. But pastor Joshua Choonmin Kang has discovered what happens when we do spend time memorizing God's Word: we grasp a larger, truer picture of God. We more closely and more often imitate Christ. We worship God "in Spirit and in truth." We're better able to fulfill God's mission.

However, Pastor Kang also knows that memorizing Scripture isn't easy. The process itself, like the transformation it brings, doesn't happen overnight. Scripture by Heart is therefore his help for your growth in this important practice. He offers here

  • 30 short devotional readings that motivate you to memorize God's Word
  • spiritual practices interspersed throughout that teach you how to memorize
  • specific help for persevering when you feel stuck or overwhelmed
  • a step-by-step approach that roots Scripture in your mind and heart

There is no substitute for God's Word and no shortcut to having it dwell in us. But there is help here for the journey. Pastor Kang's words and wisdom can guide you into a new relationship with the living Word, and the God it reveals.

"Joshua Choonmin Kang helps us to appreciate and appropriate the power for transformation into Christlikeness that comes from knowing the Scriptures 'by heart.' He gives us encouraging words about the many good effects of memorization, and excellent instruction upon how to go about memorizing the Scriptures. If you will absorb his teachings and do what he says—adapting it to your personal circumstances and making it a persistent part of your day-to-day life—then you will experience the renewal of your mind and undergo the transformation of your life which everyone knows should come from following Jesus closely. Grace will see to it. The Word of God which is 'living and powerful' (Hebrews 4:12) will form you in the likeness of Christ."

from the foreword by Dallas Willard

"This is a wise book, practical, winsome, and above all communicating a vibrant love for God and his Word."

John Wilson, Christianity Today, January 2011

"If you need to be encouraged to memorize scripture, Scripture by Heart is a good prod. Its 30 short devotionals focus on the importance of memorization for spiritual health and, to a lesser extent, the how-to's of doing it."

Susan Olasky, World Magazine, March 13, 2010

"A great introduction to the joys and challenges of memorization."

Bible Study Magazine, July/August 2010

"Kang may have given us the best primer now available on the practice, significane, and hidden depths of 'treasuring God's Word in our hearts.'"

Christianity Today, February 3, 2010

"I encourage you to get Kang's book and let it help you with hiding God's word in your heart."

Journal of Christian Nursing, Volume 31, Number 2

"Kang does not mean simply memorizing an occasional verse or two. He means committing to memory long sections—entire books, even—of scripture. Kang believes that the practice of memorizing portions of the Bible can promote significant spiritual growth."

Beverly M. Bixler, Congregational Libraries Today

"Scripture by Heart comes from a pastor who has discovered the benefits to memorizing scripture—and who provides here some 30 short devotional readings and spiritual practices connected to the memorization process. From focusing and setting goals to setting memorization deadlines, this offers a fine connection between concentration and higher forms of thought."

The Midwest Book Review, June 2010

"Scripture by Heart is a good start to becoming more familiar with the Bible. This guide is more than a list of easy steps; it delves into why and how we should memorize God's Word."

Church Libraries, Spring 2010


Foreword by Dallas Willard


1 Bearing Fruit Through Meditation

2 Tasting the Sweetness of the Word
Practice: Take Small Steps

3 Understanding the Bible as a Whole

4 Forming a Biblical Value System
Practice: Don't Back Out

5 Sharpening the Mind

6 Acquiring Wisdom
Practice: Sharpen Your Focus

7 Dipping into Wisdom

8 Cultivating the Affections of Our Hearts
Practice: Find the Right Environment

9 Overcoming Anxiety

10 Enjoying Peace
Practice: Divide and Conquer

11 Strengthening the Heart

12 Improving the Power of Learning
Practice: Get It Right the First Time

13 Developing Concentration

14 Strengthening the Will
Practice: Use Index Cards

15 Cultivating Ourselves

16 Parenting Wisely
Practice: Arrange by Topic

17 Nurturing Disciples

18 Maturing as a Teacher
Practice: Make a Habit of It

19 Dialoguing Well

20 Offering Spiritual Counsel
Practice: Determine Topic, Reference, Word

21 Becoming an Evangelist

22 Living in Faith
Practice: Planning Our Memory Schedule

23 Overcoming Temptation

24 Finding Victory in Spiritual Warfare
Practice: Understanding What We Memorize

25 Prevailing Prayer

26 Preparing for Spiritual Difficulty
Practice: Meditation for Transformation

27 Transforming Trials
Practice: Memorize with an Eye on Use

28 Receiving Divine Guidance
Practice: Memorize for Recollection

29 Becoming God's Instrument
Practice: Aim for Mastery

30 Fulfilling Your Mission
Practice: When Memorization Bogs Down

Conclusion: Meditating on Psalm 1
Appendix: Favorite Passages for Memorization


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Joshua Choonmin Kang

Joshua Choonmin Kang (ThM, Talbot School of Theology; MDiv, Azusa Pacific University) is founding pastor of New Life Vision Church in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, California. He is a speaker and has written books such as Deep-Rooted in Christ and Scripture by Heart. Kang is also the author of thirty books in Korean, including God's Grace That Turns the Life Around, with over 1.5 million copies in print.