Memorizing scripture is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your Christian walk. When I was a “baby Christian” I marveled at “mature” Christians and how they always seemed to share the perfect Bible verse at just the right moment.
Scripture is our handbook for navigating life on this side of heaven. It is beautiful, poetic, perfect and life-giving. In fact, the Bible says its Words are:
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb. – Psalm 19:10
Every page, every chapter, every book of the Bible is filled with truth and wisdom for every aspect of life. Unfortunately, many believers can quote more lines from movies they have seen than from the Bible.
Why is this?
Scripture is our handbook for navigating life on this side of heaven. It is beautiful, poetic, perfect and life-giving. #scripture #biblestudy Click To Tweet
Reasons We Don’t Memorize Scripture
1. It can feel overwhelming
The Bible is huge, but you don’t have to memorize the entire Bible. Start with short verses and work your way up to longer ones. In time, you’ll find that you have memorized quite a few. I recommend starting with some short, but encouraging Bible verses including:
1 Chronicles 16:11
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
1 Corinthians 8:6
yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
1 John 5:3
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
1 Thessalonians 5:17
2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 Click To Tweet
2. We think we don’t have time
We find time to do plenty of other things: catch up on Facebook, binge watch our favorite TV shows, have coffee with friends, but many don’t find time to memorize scripture – it’s important, but not that important. Choosing to make scripture memorization a priority in your life is the first step to memorizing scripture. Choose to do it and schedule a time (even just five minutes each day) and you will do it.
If you need to add a reminder to your calendar to do it and commit to it, then do that until it becomes a daily habit.
3. It’s too hard to do
We can memorize lines from our favorite movies. We remember our birthdates, social security numbers, phone numbers (OK, well, since the advent of the cell phone, I don’t remember as many as I used to). We can remember all sorts of things, but few Christians take the time or effort to memorize scripture.
We can remember all sorts of things, but few Christians take the time or effort to memorize scripture. #biblestudy #scripture Click To Tweet
Your mind acts much like a muscle, and memorizing things is an exercise, a mental exercise, but still an exercise. Memorizing scripture works in your mind, the way running or physical exercises does to your body. Memorizing makes your mind stronger and the more you do it, the better you get at it.
Reasons to Memorize Scripture
1. Jesus, Himself Memorized Scripture
Jesus, the Living Word, knew scripture and spoke it regularly. It was in His Heart and he spoke it like we breathe air – it was a natural part of His daily life. If Jesus memorized scripture and we aim to be like Him, why wouldn’t we follow His example and memorize The Word?
2. The Bible Commands Us to Memorize Scripture
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 tells us:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Scripture is to be a fiber of our daily life. We must know Scripture first before we can teach it or apply it. The command to know Scripture in your heart is life-giving.
3. Scripture Memorization Helps Us to Resist Temptation
Scripture is the most effect weapon we have against temptation. Ephesians 6:17 says “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” When faced with temptation, speaking scripture can battle the enemy and give you victory in Christ.
Even Jesus, when tempted by the devil while in he wilderness, drew the sword of the Spirit and the devil fled (Matthew 4:1-11).
An in Psalm 119:11, we are reminded:
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
4. Memorizing Scripture helps to Live Pure and Righteous Lives
Memorizing Scripture, praying scripture and meditating on it is like taking the world’s strongest vitamin to prevent illness – spiritual illness. It helps us to remember God’s commands for us and resist temptation as described above.
How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
5. Memorizing Scripture Renews Our Mind
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t write it down, it doesn’t happen. I’m a prolific list-maker.
God knows that we cannot remember or keep his commands without being reminded of them frequently. This is one reason he told us to renew our minds in the Scriptures daily. He already wrote down what we need to know!
According to Romans 12:2, keeping Scripture at the forefront of our minds will help us receive spiritual transformation from Almighty God.“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”
6. Memorizing Scripture Helps Us to Build Up Fellow Believers
One of Scripture’s stated purposes is to encourage and give us hope. For this reason, Paul exhorts in 1 Thessalonians 4:18 to be ready to encourage other believers with the truth.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. – Romans 15:4
When given the opportunity to encourage others, having the right scripture at the forefront of your mind, can be a tremendous blessing to both them and you.When given the opportunity to encourage others, having the right scripture at the forefront of your mind, can be a tremendous blessing to both them and you. Click To Tweet
7. Memorizing Scripture Helps Us to Witness to Unbelievers
We are urged in 1 Peter 3:15 to always be ready to give a defense for our hope in Christ. We should memorize Scripture so we can walk unbelievers through the salvation message and help them understand their sin and need for a Savior. Speaking God’s words instead of our own will give our message more authority and will harness the power that is in the Word of God.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, -1 Peter 3:15
8. Memorizing Scripture Gives Us Insight Into Who God Is and His Will
The more intimately we know God and His Word, the more we will know and be able to discern His will for us. Romans 12:2 tells us that when we renew our minds and are transformed, we will be able to “discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” So the more scripture you memorize and have hidden in your heart, the more you will be able to discern God’s will for your life. How’s that for amazing?
9. Memorizing Scripture Gives Us Wisdom
The Bible is a book of wisdom. Our handbook for life. The more we read the Word and the more we write the Word in our hearts by memorizing it, the more wise we become.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
How to Memorize Scripture
1. Choose a verse
(See suggestions above) or select one from your current Bible reading. If God points out a verse to you during your Bible reading time, it’s a good indication that that verse is one you should memorize.
2. Read verse in Bible in it’s context
Read the surrounding passages to help you understand the context of the verse and why it actually means. You may want to read it in other translations, as well, although some find this confuses them as translations vary. Additionally, reading commentaries may help you better understand the verse and its setting.
3. Read it again
Read the verse again quietly (in your head) and out loud as well as in a whisper. Reading it multiple times will help you to retain it.
4. Pray the verse
Discuss the verse with God in prayer, and continue to seek His help for success in Scripture memory.
5. Say it out loud
Work on saying the verse aloud as much as possible.
6. Write the verse
Writing scripture has so many benefits. It helps you memorize it as you are using a different learning modality.
7. Find a Buddy
Call a friend and ask her to listen to your memory verse. Even better, memorize together. Perhaps choose a verse each week and check each other over coffee or over the phone. Fellowship over Bible verses can help you both grow spiritually.
8. Review! Review! Review! and Review again
Repetition is the best way to engrave the verses in your heart and on your mind.
More Tips for Memorizing Scripture
1. Draw the Verse
If you are a visual learner, like me, drawing a verse can help you understand it and meditate on it. You can even print a coloring page with the verse and color it. Employing creativity to scripture memorization – be it drawing, coloring or painting can greatly help you with memorizing verses.
2. Play it Out Loud
Record yourself saying the verse and listen to it (most phones have an option to record voice messages). You can even find most verses recorded online. Search for “insert the bible verse here mp3”
Hearing things repeatedly can aid memorization.
3. Post it Everywhere
Grab a pack of Post-It Notes®, write the verse you are memorizing on ten to twenty of them and post them everywhere you will see during your daily routines – the bathroom mirror, coffee maker, latptop, dashboard of car, etc.method. This has an added benefit of writing scripture and the repeated writing will help you even more.
4. Create flashcards
I swore by flashcards when I homeschooled my children. Create some of your own using printer paper or index cards. Write the verse on one side and the verse on the other. Or write one half of the verse on one side and the other half on the back. Quiz yourself or have a friend or family member help you.
5. Use a Bible Memorization app
Hey, you probably have your phone with you most of the time, why not use it to help you write the Word in your heart?
Here are some great ones to check out:
What is your best tip for memorizing scripture? Did we miss one? Share it below in the comments.
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