Do you remember back in Sunday school as a kid or after you first became a Christian….you were encouraged to make a practice of memorizing Scripture? You were told about all the benefits and how it would strengthen you in your faith. You knew in your heart it would be a good thing to do. But how many of us actually followed through on that? Probably not many.
I can’t speak for you but when it comes to me, even after 12 years of serving as a pastor, and many years of Christian education before that, I feel like I don’t have that many verses memorized. Sure, I can paraphrase a lot of verses, and I am very familiar with the Bible, but I really wish I knew more verses by heart.
Well, I want that to change that. For the past month or so I have started to memorize more verses. My hope is that by the end of 2020 I will have scads of verses memorized and that it will be a practice I carry with me for the rest of my life.
Now, I shouldn’t have to make a case for Scripture memorization. You know it will only serve to strengthen you and aid you as you strive to follow Jesus. But if you want a biblical case for Scripture memory, Psalm 119 is a good place to start. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (119:11). Knowing Scripture by memory serves as a buttress against sin and temptation and it will be a reminder of how to live as God intends for us to live (Isaiah 30:21). The reality is that we are all lacking in wisdom (James 1:5) and God has given us His Word that we might walk in truth (3 John 4).
My method for Scripture memorization is pretty simple. I find a verse that I think is relevant and applicable to my life and then I copy it down on a cue card. (BTW, I am not saying that some Scripture verses are not relevant; I am simply saying that it is better to memorize John 3:16 than 1 Kings 2:28). The simple process of copying it down by hand actually helps you in your goal of committing the verse to memory.
Let me give you a little disclaimer. The verses I pick are often ones I am already somewhat familiar with. That makes the memorization process a little easier. So don’t be afraid to pick those kind of familiar verses…..it’s not as if that is cheating. It’s a good thing to take verses that are a little blurry and make them crystal clear in your mind.
Also keep in mind that if it’s all about duty and not delight, then you’re probably not going to stick with it. But if you see this as a way to better know you Lord and Savior, to be reminded of all God’s precious promises, and as a defense against sin and temptation, then you are bound to succeed.
So far I have about 12 verses copied down on cue cards, and I try to review those verses daily. I have also started to include the family in this activity. Yesterday morning during our time of family worship, we reviewed Romans 15:13 and Romans 12:1-2. Why not make this a family affair?
So…..if you desire to get into Scripture memorization (and you should), then there are all kinds of ways to approach it. Figure out what works for you, and pray for God’s grace in your endeavors.
May God richly bless you in the new year and as you strive to know Him more.