Do you jump for joy when you hear the words “Scripture Memory” or do you break out in a cold sweat? Memorizing God’s Word successfully takes commitment, persistence, and work. However, it is a discipline that will reap many rewards. When you hide the truth of God’s Word in your heart it is then available for His use. God will use it to guide you, comfort you, and transform you to be more like Jesus. Additionally, you will always be ready to give an answer to everyone for the hope you have in Christ. (See 1 Peter 3:15.)
1. Have a plan
- Decide on a time table for memorization. Will you memorize one verse a week or one a month. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Start simple and plan for success. If you are fairly new to Scripture memory, start with shorter, uncomplicated verses.
- Use a list of Scriptures someone else has compiled.
- Make your own list based on what God is doing in your life. For example: Is God calling you to witness? To live a holy life? Make a list of applicable verses.
- Memorize sections of Scripture one verse at a time.
2. Write out the verses – the act of writing helps plant the words in our minds.
- Use sheets of paper or index cards to write out each verse to memorize.
- Make more than one copy to leave in the areas of the house you spend the most time in.
3. Have a storage system – here are a few ideas:
- Index card box to file and store your verses for review.
- Blank cards the size of business cards and a business card file. (These files look a bit like small photo albums and come in various sizes.
- Card stock cut to fit a photo album with plastic sleeves.
4. Know the context
- Before you start to memorize read the entire section of Scripture surrounding the verse. Know the setting and occasion. Commit to using God’s Word properly.
5. Use various methods to memorize
- Write the verse. Write the verse and reference daily during the first week.
- Verbalize it. Say the verse silently to yourself and out loud. Start phrase by phrase, working up to the entire verse with the reference.
- Hear the verse. Record the verse in some way and play it back.
- See the verse. Use additional index cards or Post-it-notes to put it in prominent places. For example: bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, the laundry room wall.
- Create visual reminders. Draw symbolic pictures. For instance, for Ps 119:11 draw a Bible inside a heart to depict hiding God’s Word in your heart.
6. Word perfect
- Memorize the verse and reference word perfect. Don’t settle for low standards.
7. Review, review, review
- You must have a review system for long-term retention. Determine to review so many verses each week. Review new verses every week for a time, then less and less frequently. Use dead time, like holding on the phone, for review.
What has been your own experience with Scripture memory? Success or failure? Joy or discouragement?