As with anything in life in which perfection is the esteemed goal, practice is required. When I was first learning ASL, I did not make it a priority. I was taking the class because truthfully I thought it would be easy. I was required to take two years of a foreign language before I could graduate, like every other high school student. The first few weeks I coasted through the class carefree. It did not bother me to show up to class unprepared until one day my teacher, who was deaf, decided to give us a pop quiz. “Great.” I thought. I was blindsided and my grade reflected what I already knew, I failed the quiz. Once I started taking the course seriously, an amazing thing happened, I started to really enjoy the class. I found joy in memorizing the signs and my skills became more natural. We often treat scripture this way too. We read the stories, we know what happens, we know just enough to get by. We do not see the value to know them by memory? Memorizing scripture can reshape how we live our lives and how confidently we share our faith.
Memorization is a skill that is built, take it slow. Start off small by memorizing one verse a week. This tip is something I got from the MacArthur Daily Study Bible (EXCELLENT resource by the way). In a year’s time, you will have successfully memorized 52 verses. Start with the ones you know and add to them continually.
Knowing scriptures by memory will help and benefit you in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples of what scripture memorization can do for you.
- Increase your knowledge. ~Proverbs 2:10 “For wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.”
- Comfort others by communicating the gospel. We all have Family members, classmates, coworkers, friends and neighbors who are struggling. Some hide it better than others, but the Holy Spirit working in you will open your eyes to discern who might need a word from the Lord. Scripture brings comfort, joy, encouragement, hope, salvation and freedom to those around you. ~John 8:32 “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Knowing scripture strengthens our faith and opens the door to share Christ’s love. We have confidence in the truth to share without fear of rejection or disbelief.
- Defeat Satan. Jesus Himself was tempted in the wilderness by Satan. The words of truth from the scriptures protected Jesus from stumbling. Read Matt. 4:1-11 Let those verses serve as a reminder, Jesus can conquer the schemes of the devil, so can I.
- Defeat Sin. Satan knows our areas of vulnerability. When we are equipped with the armor of God, coated with His words from the inside, we can then discern when Satan has tempted us to sin. The power of God’s word crushes all temptations. The enemy has no power over you. ~1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
- Brings us closer to God. James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Tips for memorization:
- Pick your favorite bible translation and stick with it.
- Write them down. Use index cards, journals, post it notes. Whatever works for you. I use index cards. I write where the scripture is found on one side and the scripture on the other. I test myself by alternating which side I look at. This helps with the scripture reference and also the verse.
- Ask a friend to quiz you. Who knows, with unbelieving friends, this could open the door to share the importance of the bible.
- Use them in conversation. Repetition is key for memorization. Pray for an opportunity to share scripture you are learning. The verse might present itself to coincide with a conversation, “Oh that reminds me of a bible verse I love.” Then the door has been opened to further assess and share your faith.
By taking the time to memorize scripture, God will take the time to lead us more in love with His word. The ability to memorize scripture requires work, but the more you do, the more natural and easy it will become.