I’ve always struggled with Scripture memory. Growing up with computers, it didn’t seem necessary. Even with my day job, a lot of what I do is more about knowing where to find the answer than knowing it myself. As long as I can Google the answer, I’m good. As a result, I know lots of random things, but I’m not an expert in any one area.
This approach to learning hindered my spiritual growth. This behavior led to only knowing the gist of a verse. Not knowing where a verse is located in the Bible is no good. Or worse, is what I’m saying even in the Bible? When life’s storms come, disaster is bound to happen with this approach. We need to know what God’s Word says. That is the only way to sustain ourselves when hard times come.
Does that sound like you? Do you want to get better at memorizing Scripture? I hope so because this week’s tip is all about Scripture memory. We’ll look at why it’s important and then look at some memory tools.
What Changed for Me
I’ll be honest with you, I still struggle with Scripture memory. Now, I’m better than I used to be, but I’m nowhere near where I’d like to be. But before we dive into the details, let me first share how I started to enjoy the process.
In my spare time I like to read. Christian writing is a significant portion of my reading. I am particularly fond of reading dead guys who are a lot smarter than me. But, sometimes when I read these guys I’m left feeling like I could never be as spiritual as them. Knowing they didn’t have the technological advantages I possess, these men tossed around Scripture passages left & right in their writings, obviously knowing what each says.
These men of God dedicated their lives to learning and teaching the Bible. How could I ever live up to their example & attain such mastery of Scripture? I could never be like that, or could I?
That’s when it dawned on me. These men put in the work. I hadn’t. So, if I wanted to even get close to them I’d have to do the same. At that moment, Scripture memory became a priority.If you want to make progress in memorizing Scripture you have to put forth the effort. Click To Tweet
For me, it all boiled down to taking it seriously. Since I’ve started putting forth the effort, I’m making progress. Plus, I found a way to make it fun.
Does that sound like something you’re interested in?
Why Scripture Memory
If you want your faith to grow, Scripture memory is vital. It impacts every area of Christian life, from daily sanctification to battling sin, and from evangelism to caring for others. There is not a time when having Scripture memorized is disadvantageous.
Scripture Memory Renews Minds
The Bible talks a lot about meditating on God’s Word. In Deuteronomy 6 God told the Israelites to discuss Scripture wherever they went. God’s Word should dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16). And Romans 12:2 commands us to be transformed by the renewal of our minds.
How do we do these things?
It happens when we read our Bibles, but we should also carry the Word with us at all times. Meditating on God’s Word requires thinking about it throughout the course of your day. As you meditate, the Holy Spirit changes your heart and mind to mirror the image of Christ. This process is greatly aided by memorizing Scripture. With Bible verses memorized, we can literally carry God’s Word with us wherever we go.If you want your faith to grow, scripture memorization is vital. Click To Tweet
Scripture Memory Guards Against Sin
In Psalm 119:9 the Psalmist states, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” Two verses later he says, “I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” These two verses teach us a lot about the value of memorizing Scripture and its relation to personal holiness.
If we are going to please God with our lives, we must know how to guard ourselves against sin and Satan’s attacks. As we learn in Ephesians 6, our only offensive weapon is the Word of God. We equip ourselves with this mighty weapon when we spend time in Bible study and memorizing Scripture.
Look at Jesus when Satan tempted him in the wilderness. How did he withstand the onslaught? Jesus didn’t have a scroll with him. No, he had been memorizing Scripture since he was a child! So, when enticed to turn stone to bread, Jesus could quote Deuteronomy 8:3. And Psalm 91:11, 12 when taunted to throw himself down from the temple. When offered the world’s kingdoms he could respond with Deuteronomy 6:13.
If we’re going to resist our adversaries, we must be like Jesus and memorize Scripture.If we’re going to resist our adversaries, we must be like Jesus and memorize Scripture. Click To Tweet
Scripture Memory Improves Evangelism
When sharing the gospel, we need to be ready. A gospel presentation and testimony are valuable tools for evangelism. But more important than these is being equipped with the Word of God. We should have various passages memorized and know where they are in the Bible. There is nothing worse than telling someone, “It’s somewhere in the Bible,” because you cannot remember the verse’s location.
Memorize Scripture. Not only will you have your gospel presentation down, but you’ll have an arsenal of verses ready to address various topics. Be confident in your evangelism because you know God’s Word.
Scripture Memory Comforts Others
When friends and family are hurting, there is nothing like comforting them with the Word of God. Unfortunately, we do not always have a Bible with us to look up that much needed verse. During these times we can call upon the reservoir of Scripture we’ve memorized to help them.
As Christians, we are to share abundantly in comfort (2 Corinthians 1:5). We cannot do this if we do not have God’s Word hidden in our hearts. While Romans 8:28 is a great verse for anyone that’s hurting, we should have more verses ready to share that speak to their situation. Memorizing Scripture gives us that edge.
Scripture Memory Tools
When it comes to scripture memorization, several tools and methods are at your disposal. And you don’t have to memorize it in a certain translation. Use whichever one you read. Here’s a handful I find useful.
Note cards are a classic tool for memorizing Bible verses. The method is quite simple. On one side you write the address, and then the verse(s) on the opposite side.
With your note cards made, you can carry them wherever you go, whether in a back pocket or purse. Whenever you have a free moment, pull out a note card, look at the verse, familiarize yourself with the passage, and then recite it without looking at the note card. The method itself is very straightforward and simple to use, but involves lots of rote memorization.
Note cards are great for visual learners.
Audio Bibles & Voice Recorders
If you’re more of an audible learner, audio Bibles might be more your speed. The process here involves hearing the passage over & over again until you can recite it from memory.
With an audio Bible you can hear someone else read the passage, and repeat it as needed. As you listen, try to recite the verse with them. Even when I’m not actively memorizing Scripture, I like to listen to audio Bibles (like Streetlights Bible) so I can still become familiar with God’s Word and passively learn Scripture.
Another method is to use a voice recorder (like the app on your phone), and record yourself reading the passages you’re memorizing. There’s something about speaking it, hearing it, and repeating it all in the same voice.
This method works well in tandem with note cards, as you can listen to the audio while reviewing the note cards.
If you prefer a more hands on approach, journaling is a good way to memorize Scripture. Here, the idea here is to write out your passage in a journal or notebook. Continually write the verse until it becomes familiar to you. As you write, the goal is to complete the next line without looking at the previous one. The verse becomes engrained in your memory the more you write it.
The act of writing joined with seeing the repetition of the words makes this a solid memory technique.
Use an App
My favorite way to learn new Bible verses is with an app on my phone. My phone is always with me, and instead of pulling it out to play a game, I can challenge myself to learn a new verse.Instead of playing games on your phone, use that time to memorize Scripture Click To Tweet
A memorization app utilizes a lot of the same ideas as the above tools, but does so in digital form. Instead of manually writing out a verse in a notebook or note card, you can import verses into the app. Once imported, you can use the app’s varying methods of memorization. Most apps involve either a flashcard system or multiple levels of typing out a verse until it is memorized.
My go-to app is Scripture Typer, and it works on both iOS and Android devices, as well as in the browser. With it you can learn up to 50 verses for free, or pay $9.99 for a pro license which offers unlimited verses & increased functionality.
Highlight Your Bible
While not exactly a memorization tool, I like to keep a list of all the verses I’ve memorized in my physical Bible. For this, I use one of the blank pages in the back of my Bible and keep a running list. I then highlight these passages with a specific color, which, for me, happens to be green. Now, as I’m reading the Bible, I can see the verses I’ve memorized & review, as well as note others I’d like to memorize in the future.
This serves as a nice visual of how much of the Bible I’ve memorized over the years.
You Can Do It
Do you feel like Scripture memorization can be a reality for you? Can you see its benefits for your spiritual growth?
This week, I challenge you to learn at least one Bible verse. Spend every day this week meditating on that one verse and commit it to memory.
If you’d like some accountability, join BibleStudy.Tips’ Scripture Typer group as we commit to learning Scripture together.
Weekly Study Prompts
If you don’t have a verse in mind to memorize, here are a few to choose from.
- Genesis 1:27
- Hebrews 11:7
- Romans 5:1-2
- Psalm 138:8
- Ephesians 5:15-17
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