What comes to your mind when you hear “Scripture Memory?” Do you roll your eyes and groan? Maybe the last thing you need is one more item to add to your “Good Bible Study Girl” To-Do list. I don’t mean to take a flippant attitude toward God’s Word, but sometimes we have thoughts like this, don’t we?
When it comes to memorizing scripture, many of us have been there and done that. We remember reciting our verses in Sunday school to get the candy. Some of us gave up on scripture memory a long time ago because we can’t remember our phone number, much less memorize a Bible verse! Yet memorizing God’s Word is one of the most important things we can do to grow our faith.
I definitely don’t need one more box to check off of any list, but sometimes I do need something better to think about than my own whining thoughts. I need a way to take God’s Word with me when I go out into the world. I need weapons to fight against the lies and discouragement that Satan throws my way. That’s why I’m going back to scripture memory.
Memorizing Scripture is a Life-Giving Discipline.
Memorization is a practical way to store scripture in our hearts, treasure it, and keep it close. God’s Word grows our faith and strengthens us in the battle against sin.
Committing God’s Word to memory brings rich rewards:
- It helps transform our thoughts and renew our minds.
- We grow closer to God as we hide His Word in our hearts.
- God’s word empowers us and gives us wisdom.
- Scripture is our weapon against the lies and attacks of the enemy.
- It gives us encouragement and hope to share with others.
How to Get Started:
Keep a running list of encouraging, helpful, or challenging verses as you find them in your daily Bible reading or hear them in church. You’ll have a list to choose from when you want to start memorizing.
You’ll need something to write on. Index cards are great because you can slip them into your pocket while you’re on the go. I like to keep my verses in a little handy green notebook that fits in my purse. My friend Ellen Chauvin uses a spiral index card notebook that she can flip through and prop open. Use something small and portable, so you can take your verse out and read it during the day.
Getting Down to the Work of Memorization
- Read your verse 5 times out loud.
- Write it down.
- Try to say it 5 times from memory.
- The next day, read it 5 times, and say it from memory 5 times.
- Work on the same verse one or two weeks.
- When you start a new verse, review the last one several times a week.
- Once a week, review 3-5 old verses.
What better way to treasure God’s words than to memorize them? Scripture memory yields great rewards, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Keep it simple. How about starting this week with just one verse? Two verses a month add up to 24 verses a year, and that’s a powerful deposit of treasure into our hearts and minds.
Now it’s your turn: Does the thought of memorizing scripture overwhelm you or encourage you? What has your experience been?
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I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s Testimony Tuesday, Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup, Tuesday Talk with Ruthie Gray, Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStory, Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart, and Lyli Dunbar’s Thought-Provoking Thursday. Check out these communities for more encouragement.
Ifeoma Samuel says
Hi Betsy, these days I do write them down for easier reference and I also highlight a lot too!
Thanks for the encouragement to commit scriptures to memory.
Hugs and Blessings to you
Highlighting is a good idea, Ifeoma. Blessings to you as you read the Word.
I like the idea of keeping a running list of good verses so you have some to choose from. Great idea! Thanks, Betsy 🙂
Thanks for reading my words today, Christa. Blessings.
I love this! I need to commit to memorizing God’s Word, not just because of my mind, but because of my heart.
You’re right! So many reasons to do it. Thanks for visiting me today.
Kathryn Shirey says
I’m terrible at memorizing but these are great points on why it’s’ a good practice. I have started a verse box, writing down on index cards verses I come across that relate to my one-word this year, so I’ll have a box of verses to flip through as I need them to stay grounded through the year. Love the idea to commit them to memory, too.
Wow, Kathryn, that verse box sounds like a great idea. You’re encouraging me to look for verses for my word, “Wonder.”
I’m pretty bad at it… I can get the gist and a few key words, but the rest get sort of jumbled. But, I love the pretty scripture art ring I created to hang on my purse. I wrote a tutorial on Jana’s site for it. Hope you don’t mind me sharing the link… I guess you can deny the comment. 😉 Blessings, friend!
No, I thought that was a great idea, Liz, thanks so much for sharing it! (And now I know who “blog8628” is. Yippeee! Appreciate you friend. (I’m not that great at memory work either. I can memorize, but then it goes out the window in about 7 minutes. I have to review constantly. A ring like you say is a great idea!)
I really need to figure out how to fix that blog8628 business… Another techie fail for me!!
I’m your neighbor on Thought Provoking Thursday! How fun! AND I fixed my gravatar image…. Now if I could just get it to say my name…. sigh….
Love that new gravatar image, Liz!
Debbie @ Bible Fun For Kids says
It is so hard for me to memorize scripture, but like you stated, it is so important! Writing it out works best for me. Something that might work for others is to walk while reading the verse. This helps a lot for memorizing facts for homework. Thanks for sharing the post
Walking is a great idea, Debbie. Sometimes my body moving helps my mind to work too!
Mary Geisen says
Yes the thought of memorizing scripture overwhelms me. I have tried it before and for whatever reasons I have not stuck with it. Your breakdown of the benefits of memorizing scripture are a good starting point for remembering that God can be found in His word. When we know His word, we know Him too. That is a prefect reason if you ask me. I have noticed because I am more intentional in how I study God’s word I am getting better at remembering scripture references and even specific verses from time to time. Choosing to learn God’s word in this way has been beneficial for me. Thank you for your insight, Betsy.
That’s great that you’re getting more intentional about studying scripture, Mary. God is stirring me to do that as well. Thanks for your encouragement.
Sabra Penley says
Hi, Betsy. I need to get back to scripture memory, too. I was faithful for a couple of years, and I have to say those verses stay with me and the Lord brings them to my mind often. Even if I don’t remember the exact words, I know where I can find them in the Bible and I can share God’s heart with others.
One great online tool I’ve used is ScriptureTyper.com. It’s wonderful for those typists out there, because you can learn while you type the scripture. But even if you’re not a typist, it is a great place to keep track of verses you’re memorizing. It’s free. So you just open an account and every time you go in, your verses are right there in a list where you can pull each one up in the version of your choice.
Thanks for the encouragement to get back to it. Even just 5-10 minutes a day can have a powerful impact on our lives!
Thanks for the tip about ScriptureTyper, Sabra. I’ve heard of it, but never tried it. I was working on scripture memory for several years (for the first time really), but last year, I let it slide. Trying to take baby steps to get back to it this year.
I am learning the importance of scripture memory Betsy. I initially started it because while I was in the hospital recovering from the stroke, I could not even remember all of Psalm 23. I said to myself, if i ever get out of here, I’m going to learn the whole passage! As I begin to set a a consistent daily bible reading, I would come across a verse that spoke to me. I would write it out and stick it the front of my bible and read it it each day during my quiet time. Over time once I have it memorized, I write out the next verse or passage and repeat. it has helped both spiritually and helps my brain in recovering from the traumatic injury. Thank you for these wonderful reminders of why we need to hide and treasure God’s word in our hearts. Have a wonderful week and may God continue to richly bless you and yours!
Thank you, Horace. I think you’re right about how memorizing God’s Word has important spiritual AND MENTAL benefits. May the Lord bless your recovery from your stroke. You are more than a conqueror!
Betsy, I am a huge fan of index cards 🙂 My Bible is filled with them – I date them, including why I was memorizing the verse at that particular time. My children often tease me that I should have bought stock in index cards. But it truly works when memorizing Scripture. Blessings to you!
I love that idea of putting the date on the card, Joanne! I never thought of that. 🙂
Kristi Woods says
As you know, I’m memorizing scripture too, Betsy. It’s like ammunition for the battle! I’ve begun printing my #ScriptureBank2016 verses onto 8.5×11 paper, slipping them into a sleeve/binder, then flipping through it daily. I read them every day (well, weekdays), and write the current one as well as the past two verses each weekday. It seems to be working. Love this post of yours. In fact, I’m going to pin it on my Scripture Memorization Pinterest board. Good guidance!
Wow, that is a great idea. Just flipping through them daily! Like that.
I remember memorizing the book of James (in the KJV) when I was young. If I really think about it, some of the verses come right back to me. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve done any Scripture memory, yet I do see the benefits. I really like your tips.
Wow! The whole book of James. I’m sure some of it stuck with you. Interesting how our mind (and the Holy Spirit!) work.
Like you, I memorized scripture as a child. One scripture memorization was Psalm 23. But, as an adult, it’s slipped by the wayside. But, you give some very good reasons why we should learn scripture by heart. And, Jesus is a good model especially because he used scripture when tempted.
That Psalm 23 comes out for me when I need it. In the hospital (when I’m the patient or else visiting someone who’s sick). At funeral parlors, in church, so many places where I need to know God’s with me.
Michele Morin says
Scripture memory has been a life line for me — I have my dog-eared 3×5 cards that I carry around in my pocket. I’m not as disciplined about learning new passages right now, but am enjoying the process of review and meditation on the verses and chunks that need refreshing.
This is a great motivational post, Betsy, because we all need to be more intentional about this.
Michele, that is a wonderful thing: enjoying the process of review. I may do that next. Such a good idea. We need to keep that treasure stored inside fresh and accessible.
I love the idea of using a spiral index card notebook! That will be something I try. Thank you so much for the encouragement you offered today on memorizing scripture.
Hope that works for you, Renee. I liked Ellen’s idea too.
Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet says
I used to memorize scripture as a child, but have fallen out of practice since. I’m making it my goal this year to start doing it again … Knowing God’s word is such an important part of our walk and journey with Jesus. Thanks for the encouragement to keep working toward getting more of scripture into our hearts! <3
Yes, Lauren. Let’s keep storing that treasure in our hearts. Heaven knows, I need it. (And I bet you do too. <3
A agree that Scripture memory is an important discipline. I have found that songs that quote scripture are a perfect tool for this, because they are so much easier to remember. Thanks for your encouragement today.
Songs do help, don’t they? Once I made my own up, and it always stuck with me for that particular verse. 🙂
Tiffany Parry says
For several years I’ve kept a note file on my iPad called “Holy Spirit Whispers” – whenever a verse ministers to my heart or captures my attention I’ll copy it there. It’s proven to be such a source of truth and encouragement for myself, as well as a resource to share God’s word with others. These are verses that are sealed to my heart for various reasons and it’s such a joy to reflect on what God has done through His word. Thank you for sharing great insight with us, Betsy.
What a wonderful idea, Tiffany. Thanks so much for sharing that, friend. Great idea to have it on the go in you iPad!
Thanking God for my childhood and Godly mom and grandparents – I have hidden a lot of scriptures in my heart….it’s the addresses that always fail me! Glad we’re neighbors today!
Right? Those pesky addresses are hard to remember! But that treasure stored up in our hearts is still valuable.
Linda Stoll says
Verses I memorized as a little kid still linger on in King James English! The Spirit is faithful to bring them back again and again …
I know what you mean, Linda. I have a few verses in my mind from the King James, like “This is the day the Lord has made.” Just sounds better than the current NIV version! 🙂
This is so true! I have always said verses out loud 5 times a day when I am memorizing. It really does help!
Good for you, Sarah! Thanks for visiting here today.
Hey Betsy! Fortunately for me, if God wants me to know a verse He makes sure it shows up everywhere, lol. He is a good good Father who is always faithful to make sure I get what He is trying to tell me. Knowing His word allows me to know Him more, and always want more of Him. Blessings to you!
That is pretty funny about God making sure a verse shows up everywhere! He’s done that for me before too!
Hi Betsy! Yay! I made it to your site 🙂
I am not much of a Bible memorizer, but I have been a Scripture Lector at my church for over 20 years. I find that passages are just embedded in my mind after preparing and reading them for the congregation for so long.
There’s no question that having those passages and lines in our hearts is a ready defense and comfort in times of trouble; and a joy to pray in good times. The repeated reading (5 times) and then repeating is much like the way I would practice for Sundays.
Wow, Ceil. That is great that you’re a scripture reader at church. 20 years is time to get some good truth engraved in your brain, I bet! 🙂
Ruthie Gray says
I love Scripture memorization! And YES – 3×5’s are my BFF (that and my iphone notes ;). I have 3×5’s everywhere. And you’re right – we need Scripture for when our minds wander and need better things to focus on. As we meditate on the Word, our minds become renewed and we think on things above, putting on the mind of Christ.
I’m usually in the habit of memorizing but need to write down a new verse and get it in my brain. The Word is our life and defense!
Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Talk, Betsy, I’m a bit late getting around this week! Love your graphics – where do you get your pics?
I love those 3×5’s too, Ruthie! Simple, low-tech. Just my spend. The physical act of writing helps me too. Can hardly memorize without it!
I get my pics from a friend. Some I take myself. (It’s pretty obvious which ones are from my photographer friend, and which ones are mine!)
Marva | sunSPARKLEshine says
Hi Betsy, I’ve tried scripture memorization off and on and never really stuck with it. It’s something that I want to do more with my kids so this will help me get the Word in for myself so that I can set an example for them. Thanks for always encouraging me to dig deep in God’s Word.
By the way, I love the new look of your site and can’t wait to explore some more.
Blessings, my friend!
Thanks so much for the encouragement about my site. I don’t even know how to work some things yet, but I guess I’ll learn! And yes, memorizing with kids is a great motivator.
Dolly @Soulstops.com says
I like to write it on cards so I can see them on a regular basis. Definitely need God’s Word to keep my heart and mind on the right focus 🙂 Blessings to you 🙂
Blessings to you too, Dolly. I like those cards too. Simple. Low tech. 🙂
Thanks for sharing such great tips Betsy! I’m looking to begin memorizing scripture in order to enrich my prayer life, and I just love the method you’ve shared here.
Yes, Tega, it will enrich your prayer life for sure. I have several verses right now that I’m carrying around on an index car! 🙂 Blessings.
Rev. Peter says
Thank you for your wonderful post!
If you want to do Bible memorisation with a long-term strategy, I recommend the app Remember Me. It makes memorising not only fun but also makes sure you will never forget the Words of God that you have learned.
It’s so easy to use it’s now even part of Google Play for Families!
That is a great tip. Thanks for sharing. I’ve never heard of that app.
Betsy, you have a way of making me want to do things I’d formerly resisted. I have so much scripture written on my heart from my growing-up days, but very little from adulthood. The busyness of life has convinced me that I “can’t” memorize, or that I’m “too old” to memorize. And, then you come in, and the Spirit whispers to me — “listen and learn.” I want to have ears to hear. Thanks for always having a gentle message of truth. (( xoxo )) — p.s. Going to start today. 🙂 p.p.s. The verse mapping will be helpful with this. 🙂 ((hug))
Oh Brenda, thanks so much for your encouragement. You have no idea how much this commend means to me. 🙂 Yes, I know what you mean about thinking you “can’t” memorize! Sounds familiar because those are the thoughts that go through this 52 year old brain too!