I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
About Scripture Memorization:
Two brothers were walking through their Father’s extensive woods when they came upon a young tree with an incredible amount of fruit on it. Both brothers ate until they were full. Both brought a basket of fruit home with them. One canned it and enjoyed it for several months. The other planted a part of the tree in their yard and had fruit for years to come when the other brother had none.
Memorizing is like the actions of the second brother. We hear a good teaching, study a good pas-sage or have devotions on a good verse and it really challenges and feeds us for a while. But in the long run it doesn’t compare with memorizing it and having it there for God to bring forth when we need it. With memorizing we can use the verse, meditate on the verse, apply the verse and learn from the verse for years to come.
When we talk about memorizing, some Christians treat it as a modern martyrdom. Memorizing scripture is as appealing as being thrown to the lions. We quickly become full of excuses: “I can’t memorize”, “it’s too hard,” “I have a bad memory.” What would happen to these excuses if I of-fered (and could pay) $1,000 for each verse you memorized and could quote perfectly 2 months later? Virtually everyone except those with dementia or genetic brain damage could do it. Truth is there are many things in life that you are dependent on having memorized.
The value of memorizing the Bible …
1. Gives us greater spiritual power (Psalm 119:11, Matt 4:1-11, Eph 6:17)
2. Strengthens our faith (Proverbs 22:17-19)
3. Useful in service (Colossians 3:16)
4. Useful in witnessing (Acts 2:14-40)
5. Helps in guidance for a fruitful Christian life (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:24)
6. Keeps our mind fresher
Review, review, review – memorization isn’t magic. Only a few people can sight memorize or find memorizing easy. However almost everyone can do it with simple review. We review to get it into short term memory – then as we regularly review it (over 40 days), it goes into our long term memory. So review LOTS the first day, then once a day for a couple months, then once in a while after that
Say the references before and after the verse – This is the address so we can go back and find the context. Since it is harder to remember, when we say it before and after it will stick easier because we have reviewed it more
Make your goal “word perfect” – first because it is the “word of God” but also be-cause in time it will begin to fade. By doing it word perfect now, the minor errors later won’t hurt. Doing a paraphrase now leads to it being unrecognizable later.
Value of “cards” – It makes it easier to review. Dating allows review. If you put verse on back, you don’t unconsciously see first word and thus become dependent on it.
Let memorization stimulate meditation – In heaven you won’t be graded on how many verses you memorized. Memorizing is only a discipline that helps us grow in godliness. Without meditation & application of a memorized verse it is of little value!
Keeps our minds fresher as we age!
Currently the elementary students of the church are learning Ephesians 2:8-10. This week try to memorize as much of those verses as you can. The only “failure” is if you don’t try – all other progress will be considered success!!!
- Review, Review, Review
- Say reference both before and after
- Make your goal “word perfect” but don’t get down on yourself when it isn’t
- Value of using “cards”
- Use “dead time” not “prime time” (redeem time)
- Let memorization stimulate meditation
- What are some verses that you have memorized? What is the longest section you memorized? When are memorized scriptures most helpful to you?
- What are some times you wished you had memorized a passage of scripture? What is common in these examples?
- Given today’s culture – what general areas are most helpful to have memorized scripture for?