As followers of Jesus, we all know that we should be reading God’s word. You may have read my other post “7 reasons why memorizing Scripture is vital”. We also know that we should be studying God’s word. We have also been taught that we ought to be memorizing God’s word, but, many of us have convinced ourselves our memory just is not good enough. Let’s be honest, sometimes we need to stop and think just to remember how old we are or where we parked the car. If we become convinced that we cannot memorize parts of the Bible, how are we going to live out Psalm 119:11?
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You (Psalm 119:11, NIV).
Rather than working so hard to convince ourselves that it is impossible for us, let’s take some proactive steps to see how we can hide God’s word in our heart. Here are 7 Steps to Memorizing Scripture. If you will put these into practice, you will discover that you CAN memorize Bible verses and it will positively impact your walk with the Lord.
Step 1: Read the verse. Then, reread the verse.
When you come across a verse that you want to memorize, read and reread the verse several times. Start to get the flow of the words. Read it slowly. Look at each word. What purpose does each word play in the sentence? As you read the verse, you will start to get a feel for the impact this verse can make in your life.
Step 2: Study the verse.
Carve out some time to study the verse. Read what others say about that verse. Look at the truths that a few commentaries pull out of that verse. Work at pulling the verse apart to find what others say the verse means and how it applies to life. What is the context of the verse? Who wrote it? To whom was it written? How does it fit into the narrative of what God’s word is teaching in that passage? Is it a part of an Old Testament account? If so, learn the events that occur in that account. Is it a part of a parable of Jesus? If so, learn the gist of that parable so that you can tell the context as you quote the verse. When conversing with others, knowing the context of the verse you are memorizing will be extremely helpful in conveying the truth of Scripture to them.
Step 3: Meditate on the verse.
To meditate on a Bible verse means to let the words roll through your head and your heart over time. You know you are meditating on a verse when it is what your mind goes to when you are not thinking about anything else. Meditating on a verse is like having a song stuck in your head, but rather than a song, it is the verse you are memorizing. As you meditate, the Holy Spirit will show you deeper truths from the verse. What does that verse mean to you? How can you live out the truth of the verse? What changes are required to live out the truth of that Scripture? When you meditate on a Scripture verse, the truth of that verse sinks deep into your heart. When you start to apply the meaning of what the Bible is saying in that passage, it will be easier to memorize the words because the truth is changing you.
Step 4: Write the verse out.
Using pad and pen, or computer and keyboard, write out the verse several times. When you start producing the words, your eyes and your hands will help your mind cement the words into your heart. As you write it out, be sure to check that you are writing it out correctly. Making repetitive mistakes will only make it harder to memorize that verse. But, as you correctly repeat the verse in writing, you will find yourself knowing what the next word is without having to look. Do that several times and you will be close to memorizing that verse.
Step 5: Hang the verse up.
Find somewhere to hang the verse up where you will see it every day. A post-it note or paper from a small pad will suffice. It does not need to be fancy. Just a reminder to you to read every day in a obvious location (The fridge door, your desk or bedside table for example). This will keep the verse before your constantly.
Step 6: Review the verse.
For a verse to truly be memorized, you must review that verse over time. At first, you will need to review the verse daily. Then, you can move to reviewing the verse once a week. Finally, you can go to once a month. But, if you really want to remember the verse, you should start a review process where every verse you have memorized is reviewed at least once a month. Notecards are very helpful for this review process.
Step 7: Use the verse in conversations.
Probably the best tool in Scripture memory is to use the verse in your conversations. That may be as overt and intentional as: “Let me share with you this verse that God is using to speak to my heart. Romans 1:16 says….” As you quote the verse in conversations with others, you are forced to remember the verse and the reference. Then, you will have that verse in your arsenal of Scripture that you can use during the spiritual conversations that you have with others. It makes a significant impact on those who are searching to know what the Bible says about a certain topic. You quoting the verse will bring validity and power to the conversation because others will hear what God says rather than what you think.
What was the last verse you memorized?
If it has been awhile or never, why don’t you get in the habit of hiding God’s word in your heart? If you think that you can’t, try these steps and watch over the next couple of weeks how that verse will not only start to be etched into your memory, but the truth of the verse will begin to shape your life to be more like Christ.
You can memorize Scripture. Give it some effort. Work at it and you will be amazed at what you can remember, and God will use it in your life.