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Frontline Ministries - Scripture Memory Tips
Scripture Memory Tips
by Massimo Lorenzini
Godís Word is indispensable to a God-honoring life. Hiding Godís Word in your heart is essential to righteous living (Psalm 119:11). But without an intentional, disciplined effort to memorize Scripture systematically, most of us will find it difficult to recall important Scripture verses at will.
Charles Swindoll said "I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture...No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified" (Seasons of Life p. 53, emphasis added).
Scripture memory is something we can do, but often the challenge is in finding the will and taking the effort to do so. You will have good weeks and bad weeks in Scripture memory. The key is not to focus on only having good weeks, but to stay in the process even when we do have bad weeks. In other words, donít ever quit! Determine that Scripture memory is something you will do for the rest of your life, even if youíve allowed it to slip for a time. As the following passage implies, we must continually present ourselves to the Lord as a living sacrifice rather than a one-time presentation because . . . we tend to get off the altar!
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2, NKJV).
Why memorize Scripture?
- First and foremost, we are commanded to learn God's Word and meditate on it (Deut 6:6-7; Josh 1:8; Col 3:16).
- It transforms our minds to think God's thoughts after Him (Rom 12:1-2), enables the Holy Spirit to guide us (Prov 6:20-22), and it gives us a working
knowledge of the Bible (Ps 119:105).
- It gives us victory over sin. (Ps 37:31; 119:9-11; Matt 4:1-10)
- It gives us confidence in witnessing (1 Pet 3:15; Acts 18:28).
- It equips us to counsel others (1 Thess 2:13).
- It helps produce spiritual growth in our lives (1 Pet 2:2; Acts 20:32).
- It helps us to overcome worry. You can experience God's perfect peace by knowing His promises and having them written on your heart (Phil 4:6-7).
- It helps us to discern doctrinal error (1 Thess 5:21-11).
How do I memorize Scripture?
Use as many avenues as possible. The greater the variety of interaction with the verse the better.
- Set aside at least 5-10 minutes a day to do nothing but Scripture memory.
- Say the verse/s out loud several times.
- Say the reference before and after.
- Add voice emphasis on certain words and phrases.
- Memorize word perfect (close enough isn't good enough).
- Pray and ask God to enable you to memorize His Word.
- Read the verse in the Bible context.
- Try to gain a clear understanding of what the verse means. (You may want to read the verse in several translations and consult a commentary to get a better
grasp of the meaning of the verse.)
- Assign a topic to the verse and include that on the memory card (e.g., God's sovereignty, assurance of salvation, etc.)
- Meditate (reflect) on the verse (who, what, where, when, why, how).
- Personalize the verse (How does this apply to my life? Insert your name in place of pronouns like you, he, they, etc.)
- Visualize the verse (the words themselves and the meaning of the words).
- Think through the logical flow of thought in the verse/s. Notice what the subject of the passage and what is said about that subject. Notice the verbs and how
they relate to the subject. Notice the order of events or ideas. Visualize the passage being acted out.
- Think about memory tools for the verse/s. Try to think of things that jog your memory about the passage. For example: "The meek shall inherit the earth."
There's a cliche that says "meek as a mouse" and I imagine a mouse scurrying along the ground and it reminds me that earth goes with meek. Don't worry
about silly ideas, the sillier the better because it is more memorable.
- Use the verse in prayer (Pray to God incorporating the verse into your prayer).
- Write out the verse a few times. Writing helps solidify the words in your mind.
- Make an audio recording of yourself reciting verses several times through to listen to as you drive your car or get ready in the morning.
- Write verses down on post-it notes and place them in places you will see them (on you computer monitor, refrigerator door, etc.).
- Use 3" x 5" cards to write the verse/s down. Put the reference on the back and the verse/s on the front. Write down the topic of the verse at the top corner.
- Make two stacks of cards: 1) One stack for verses you know but need to review occasionally; 2) Another stack for verses you're still working on memorizing
that you go over daily.
- Quote a new verse out loud at least seven times a day for one week, then twice a day for a week, then once a day, then once a week, then once a month.
- Use a partner to quiz each other frequently on your verses.
- Remember why you're doing this! See Psalm 119:9-16, note especially verse 11.
- REVIEW! REVIEW! REVIEW! Repetition is the best way to engrave the verses on your memory.