Discover the Treasure: Memorizing Scripture
- Bill Bright Campus Crusade for Christ
- 2004 5 May
Whenever many adults hear the word memorize, they groan, "I could never do that." Yet all of us memorize many things in our daily lives: telephone numbers, account numbers, addresses, television commercial jingles, sayings by famous people. You have much more capacity to memorize than you realize.
We should memorize Scripture, if for no other reason than the Lord commanded us to learn His Word (see Proverbs 7:1-3). When you have stored Bible promises in your heart and mind, you will soon notice other changes in your life because the Holy Spirit will use the verses to teach you new things and to help you resist temptation (see Psalm 119:11). As a new believer, I memorized many verses. The verse 1 Corinthians 10:13 alone - "But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it" - has saved me from disobeying God on hundreds, if not thousands, of occasions. As we memorize God's Word, the verses become part of the inner workings of our mind, and the Holy Spirit uses them to guide us through situations we encounter during our day.
If you develop a systematic method, Scripture memory will just take a few minutes a day. Look for small slots of time that you normally waste, and fill them with memorizing God's Word. For example, instead of reading a magazine in the doctor's office, memorize a verse of Scripture. Use your break at work, or arrange to memorize Scripture with a fellow believer from your workplace, campus, or church. Memorize Scripture as a family. Memorize verses that you find in your quiet time with God or that you hear in a sermon. Memorizing verses that apply to your daily life will be easier since you will use them as you memorize them.
Reviewing what you have memorized is just as important as the initial memorization stage. Here are some suggestions for organizing your review.
- Write your memory verses on index cards, and carry them with you to review whenever you have a few free moments.
- Use a pocket-size notebook to write your verses and the dates on which you learned them. Review your list often.
- Build a chart of key verses that God has used in your life. Review them as you thank Him for how He has worked in your life.
- Keep a list of key verses from your personal or small-group Bible study. Memorize those verses to make your study more meaningful. Review them periodically.
- Post index cards with verses in places where you need them most. For example, tape a card with Philippians 4:8 - "Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" - above your television set.
Here is a list of some verses you could use to begin your memorization:
The power of memorizing God's Word:
I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. (Psalm 119:11)
The gospel in a nutshell:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
How to seek God's will:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
How to resist temptation:
But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
What to think about:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8)
The Great Commandment:
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples. (John 13:34-35)
The Great Commission:
Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. Excerpted from the book
Discover the Book God Wrote. Copyright 2004 by Bright Media Foundation. www.tyndale.com