We’ve spent the entire month working on building up our spiritual strength and I have one more area I want to encourage you in- Bible Verse Memorization. Please don’t run for the hills! Memorizing Scripture is not a burden to add to your already busy life, but the perfect way to hide His words in your heart. It doesn’t have to be intimidating. I guarantee you CAN memorize Scripture and when you do, you WILL reap the many benefits! Hear me out-
Do you have just one minute per day to work on memorizing Scripture?
You already have other things memorized- important dates (i.e., birthdays and anniversaries), phone numbers, some passwords, addresses, song lyrics, sports statistics, etc.
God gave us an incredible brain and we can use it to memorize His Word!
Bible Verses about Memorizing Scripture
What does the Bible say about memorizing Scripture? Plenty!
•“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Colossians 3:16 NIV.
Early Christians did not have access to the written New Testament, but Paul still instructed them to let the Word “dwell in them richly.” To do this, they memorized the stories and teachings of Jesus they heard and passed them on from person to person.
We are told to let Scripture “dwell in us richly” too, with the purpose of planting it so deeply within us that it automatically flows from our hearts and into our thoughts and speech.
•“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2 NIV.
The world bombards us with messages contradictory to the Bible. Memorizing Bible verses keeps us focused on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. (Phil 4:8)
•“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.” Deuteronomy 6: 8-9 NIV.
God wants us to make His Word an integral part of our everyday lives. We need to work at keeping it front and center of our hearts and minds.
•“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
Keeping God’s word in our hearts is a deterrent to temptation. What a perfect reason to memorize Scripture!
Why Memorize Scripture?
We have Google and Bible apps at our fingertips, so why bother with Bible verse memorization?
Here are a few great reasons:
•Have you ever experienced burdens of illness, grief or anxiety that completely knock you down? When we memorize His words of comfort and peace, they are in our hearts, alive and ready to embrace us with His love and consolation. We don’t have to move a muscle or depend on Siri or Google. It’s already as close as our next thought.
•Do you awaken at night, mind racing, unable to fall back asleep? Scripture has a lot to say about His comfort and presence in the night. When you memorize these verses, your mind is “stayed on Him” and sleep can come again.
•Do you have favorite verses that help you through a personal struggle? Memorizing them instantly equips you in the battles you face and keeps your focus on God.
•Romans 15:4 tells us that the Bible’s purpose is to teach and encourage. The more we know, the greater our confidence and hope. Memorizing verses help to instantly remind us of God’s character, promises, and unending love when we need them most.
•Do you feel woefully inadequate in sharing your faith with others? Peter urges us to always be ready to give a defense for our hope in Christ. (1 Peter 3:15) Memorizing Scriptures that have led to our own understanding of the Gospel message can lead us to share them with others quickly and easily. Take some stress out of sharing your faith!
How to Memorize Scripture
1) There are “lists” out there that would tell you what verses every Christian “must memorize”. But I recommend choosing verses that are meaningful and helpful to you.
Last week we talked about praying the Bible. That’s how I got started memorizing Bible verses. I found verses that spoke to the worship of God’s attributes, my desire to live out the Fruits of the Spirit, the personal confession of sin, prayer, my need for better sleep, etc.
2) Start small. My verse memorization didn’t happen overnight. I started out learning one at a time and in brief spurts of time- about one minute per day. My end goal was to recall these verses day or night, not just during my prayer time. I was persistent, but not stressed about my progress.
3) Writing out what we are trying to memorize is a proven help in the process. Try keeping a whiteboard or notepad handy.
4) Speak the verse aloud; even if it’s just a whisper. Visualize your words going back to Him. He promises you that His Word “will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 NIV. He has marvelous plans for the words that you write on your heart!
5) Practice daily and be consistent. Repetition is a key to memorization no matter what avenue you use. Don’t get discouraged! There are no “prerequisites” needed or time frames to memorizing Scripture. Let it come from a heart centered in the right place and the devotion to accomplish the task.
6) Scripture Memorization Cards
It can be helpful to use note cards to make your own Scripture memorization cards (or use the Scripture cards available on my free Resource Page if they fit into your plan.)Take them with you on a walk, in the car, put them in your purse, use them as bookmarks, etc.
Similarly, sticky notes placed on your bathroom mirror, near the sink where you do dishes/wash your hands, in your car, etc. keep your verses front and center during your day.
Fun Ways to Memorize Scripture
There were times I had to get creative and have a little fun with the process.
•When I was trying to memorize Psalm 139:23-24 (“Search me, O God and know my heart…”) I kept getting stuck on the second line- “see if there is any offensive way in me…” It wasn’t until I pinched my nose as if I was smelling something “offensive” that I imprinted it on my heart!
•Sing the verse to a simple song (Happy Birthday, the doxology, “Holy, Holy, Holy”…) I taught a children’s class the Minor Prophets using song and I can still recite them to this day!
•Try speaking the verse aloud in distinct tones of voice, in a whisper and loud, fast and slow.
•Use the first letter of the words – When I was trying to learn the Fruits of the Spirit- Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control- I would get stuck after the first four. I could say them when I was just reciting them, but when I wanted to meditate a bit on each aspect, I got stuck. It wasn’t until I noticed the first letters of the next words were K, G, and F, G that I could memorize them completely.
Memorizing Scripture Verses
The power behind Bible memorization comes from the Holy Spirit. Isn’t that comforting?
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 NIV.
The Holy Spirit lives to teach you and helps bring truth to your mind when you commit to memorizing the Bible. He will take these truths and make them alive and personally meaningful to you. He helps us take them past “head knowledge” and imprints them on our hearts.
We’ve been speaking all month about building spiritual strength. Bible verse memorization is another tool to help us do that. Memorization is a mental “exercise” that gives us the power and strength to recall His Word instantly when we need it.
Keeping His Words in our hearts means we live out and are obedient to His Word. Memorizing Scripture helps us put them into practice.
Bible Verse Memorization takes a bit of your time and persistence, but it’s not an insurmountable task. Pray each day that His Word will be written on your heart and mind. It will give you spiritual strength and allow you to pass it on to others!