Why We Memorize & How We Memorize

For years, I have told people the importance of memorizing Scripture, but I have never taught people how to memorize Scripture.  I want to help you know why we memorize Scripture and how we memorize Scripture.

We must discipline our minds to have the Bible accessible even when the Bible is not available.

Scripture memory is a powerful tool.  While you don’t know what you will encounter tomorrow, God’s Word has wisdom for all situations.  Will we be prepared when the opportunities come?

Scripture memory positions me to speak God’s Word rather than my opinion.

Why We Memorize Scripture

Before you start memorizing Scripture, you need to know why you are doing it.  We are to discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness (1 Tim. 4:7), but here are some specific reasons why:

  1. The Bible instructs us.  Scripture teaches us to let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16).  His Word abides in us (John 15:7).  God’s commands are to be on our hearts (Deut. 6:6) and never to depart from our mouths (Josh. 1:8).
  2. Jesus shows us.  When faced with temptation, Jesus fought Satan with the Scripture he had memorized (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).
  3. Sin compels us.   We store up God’s Word in our hearts in order that we don’t sin as much (Ps. 119:11).  The one who has the law of God on his heart will not slip as often (Ps. 37:31).  I will memorize Scripture as much as I hate sin.

How We Memorize Scripture

While there are many methods out there, here are some principles I recommend for you as you get started:

  1. Delight to Memorize Scripture.  Unless you delight in God’s Word (Ps. 1:2), the process will be drudgery.  You must find joy in this process.  You must determine that it is for your good.
  2. Develop a Starter List.  There are 31,102 verses in the Bible.  So, where are you going to start?  You can start memorizing verses, chapters, and even books!  I recommend to establish fighter verses (where are the weak areas in your life that you need help fighting), strengthen abstract verses (what are those verses you know halfway but need to lock in), and include pivotal verses (what verses do you see as helpful as a believer).  
  3. Determine a Workable Method.  Find out what works for you.  I have found that audibly reading the verse, phrase by phrase, allows for better memorization.  Slowly add new phrases and repeat them out loud,  Ensure you include the reference in your repetition.  Some people really benefit from writing out the verse as well.  This is a method I often use: rewrite, read, recite, refer, repeat, and review.
  4. Devote to a Review Process.  When I first started memorizing Scripture, I had notecards attached to a keyring that kept my verses.  Each card had the verse on one side and the reference on the other.  Since then, I have started using the Scripture Typer app which keeps all my verses saved and systematically brings back mastered verses for occasional review so that I don’t lose verses I had once memorized.
  5. Dedicate to Faithful Accountability.  Depended upon how you are wired, you need to find suitable accountability to stay on track.  While you need people to push you to this good deed (Heb. 10:24), you can also setup reminders and helps to ensure you keep reviewing.

I pray you use this tips to help you find your own way.  However you do it, attempt to memorize Scripture and be amazed at how the Spirit will bring it to your mouth at just the right times (John 14:26).

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