Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Help for Memorizing Scripture

This article comes from the Archives of my more Scholarly Website: ThirstySoul.

One of the most essential things for a healthy life in Christ is Scripture memorization. It is a discipline that cannot be neglected. Our hopes, joys, dreams, and life are bound up in the nature and character of God. The only place that we can go to learn more about this God and what He has done, is doing, and will do for us, is the Bible.

If you are reading this article, then you must have the conviction that it is true that Scripture memorization is essential for our joy in Christ. How happy would we be if we could just open our minds and know all of Scripture! But memorization is hard work, and it is tedious. Furthermore, the Bible is daunting. It is a very large book. Where do we begin? What verses will we put into our arsenal to combat the flesh, the devils, depression, and sin? The very thought of trying to get started discourages many from even trying.

My goal in writing this is to encourage you. I know firsthand that knowing the Bible is a difficult task. I myself feel inadequate. I should know more than I do. However, I believe that many, perhaps including myself, know more than we realize. You are not in as bad of shape as you might think.

If you are a Christian, and have had any exposure to the Bible, then you know some verses. Somewhere buried in your brain, you have pieces of verses, complete verses, and perhaps even paragraphs of Scriptures tucked away in a file gathering dust. The problem isn’t that you don’t know them, it’s that you’ve forgotten that you know them. Your brain just needs some spring cleaning. Let me tell you how this works for me.

Let me give you a pop quiz. Have you ever heard this before, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Or how about, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” You probably know those two verses. You’re probably thinking about how familiar they are. Yet, you could not find them without a concordance, and they may have become so vague that you could not have called them up for yourself if you needed them. Nevertheless, they are buried there in the recesses of your brain, just waiting to be used.

Here's something that can help. In your daily reading of Scripture, which is also essential, read with pen and paper in hand. As you read, I guarantee you that you will run across verses that you already know. You will think, “Oh, that’s where that verse is.” At that point, use your pen. Jot down the “address” of that verse. In the examples above, you’d write Philippians 4:13 and Romans 8:31. That’s it. Do not write the verse itself. The next day, look at what you’ve written. You’ll begin to associate Philippians 4:13 with the verse you have memorized. Then, just to be certain you’re right, look up the verse. This will become more important as your list grows. Do not become frustrated if you do not quote the verse exactly. You’re learning some important things. You’re learning where it’s located, and you’re getting the idea of what it teaches. Exact memorization will come with time.

To begin this exercise, sit down with a good concordance. Pray that God will bring verses to your memory that you know partially or fully. Then, use the concordance and look the verse up. Write down the address. You’ll be shocked the next day when you find how many you already remember.

As your list grows, and as you read, you may run across verses that you do not have memorized, but that you’d like to know. Follow the same procedure. You’ll come to know that verse in a matter of a few days. Be diligent! Hang in there, I know that you can do it, and you’ll be glad that you did.


Mrs.Trogdor said...

Thanks for the tips! I never thought of memorizing scripture that way.

Anonymous said...

I have a terrible time with memorization...always have since day one. However, if it is a song...that is a different matter. Somehow the music will allow me to better remember..now if only those song writers would get busy and put more of scripture to music!!