Monday, October 14, 2013

How to Memorize Scripture

God calls us to have His Words and promises written in our hearts!

I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me. Psalm 119:8

Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:18-21; Psalm 63: 1-8; 119: 9, 11, 72; Matthew 4:4; Philippians 3:10; Col. 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:21-25; 1 Peter 2:2; 3:15

We can come up with all kinds of reasons why we should not or need not memorize Scripture. Perhaps, you are saying or thinking, "I can't because I have a bad memory," or "I just do not have time;" "I have tried this before and I could not do it," or "why should I?", or "I am not a pastor or in leadership." Someone told me once, "I do not need to because Jesus told me I do not have to." I can tell you that I do have a bad memory, and I certainly do not have the time while I pastor, travel, run an international ministry, and then there is my precious new baby. And, I can also certainty tell you that Jesus would never, ever tell you something that contradicts His Word.
Yet, we are called by God Himself, even commanded to learn, know, ponder on, and memorize Scripture (Josh 1:8; Psalm 1; 15; Is. 8:12; 1 Peter 3: 13-22; 4:12)!

The way to spiritual maturity and the glory of our reward is not in finding shortcuts, but exercising temperance and commitment through learning, experience, and overcoming adversities.

It is a long and difficult process (Acts 14:22; Rom. 2:7). The question is, How can you make memorizing Scripture a reality in your life? See what God Himself has to say; read any or all of these passages below, and in prayer, go over them and match them to these bullet points and ask Him how you are doing with this.

The Basic Plan
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. Psalm 119:9

         The "nitty-gritty" for ease in memorizing is to simply select a short passage-a verse or two. Pray, read it, and then read the chapter in an easy-to-understand translation to see it in context. Then re-read your passage at least ten times in the translation you are using, such as the KJV, NASB, NKJV, RSV, NIV or the ESV. Then, write it out on a small card and re-read it at least ten times. Put it away for a few hours or a day, then pick up the card and re-read it aloud several times. You should have it memorized after a week! It does take a little effort, but it is not as hard as most people think. There is no reason to dread or stress in order to know God's Word.

The simple basic plan:

  1. Select a short passage to memorize.
  2. Pray over it.
  3. Read it.
  4. Read the chapter to know its context.
  5. Re-read the passage at least ten times.
  6. Write it out on a small card.
  7. Go over your card at least ten times, reading it out loud.
  8. Put it away and in a few hours or a day, pick up the card and re-read it several times. In a few days, you should have it memorized!

The Big Tip

Now, to make it even easier and more fun, do the above and also use a recording device such as a tape recorder, MP3 recorder, or a smart parrot. This is what I do because I have a terrible memory and learning disabilities I have had to overcome. So, for me, this was the worst of the worst of my stress and dread, but I learned to do it and have fun doing it. By the way, this is a phenomenal memorizing method for any literature, notes, text, readings, etc. Read it, record it, and then play it back anywhere you are-while driving, at the mall, or wherever. You can do this with your notes, study material, information you have to memorize, even terms and words for science, a foreign language, or math formulas. I have found this one of the best ways to study, and it works!

           The key to memorization is this: STUDY! REVIEW! and PERSEVERE! Repetition is the best way to engrave the verses into your mind.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

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