How To Memorize Scripture

How To Memorize Scripture
By Rebecca Livermore

Are group members having difficulty memorizing Scripture? If so, try the following:

* Ask God to give them a driving desire to memorize His Word.
* Do a Bible study together that stresses the benefits of knowing God’s Word.
* Decide what to memorize. You might want to begin with a plan such as the Topical Memory System (NavPress). You can also select key verses from Bible studies and quiet times.
* Before beginning to memorize the verse, have group members explain it in their own words. Make sure they understand its meaning.
* Teach them to say the reference each time they repeat the verse, both at the beginning and the end. That way there will be one less person saying, “Somewhere in the Bible it says …. ”
* Repetition is the most productive method for memorizing. Engage as many of the senses as you can. Have group members read the verse out loud. Have them write it on an index card to carry with them. Sometimes it’s helpful to write one phrase of the verse, or even one word, per card, like flashcards. Once group members have several verses under their belts, have them record the verses on a CD or cassette tape to use for review. Which brings us to the next point.
* Review, review, review. Have group members review a newly learned verse daily for six weeks. Then they can move the verse card into a weekly review box. After another six weeks, they can move that same verse card into a monthly review box. Set aside one month to review all the verses learned that year.

Why Memorize Scripture?
By Navigator Staff

Use this study in your group to build convictions about the value of memorizing God’s Word.

* How can Scripture help you practice the principle found in Psalm 119:97,148?
* According to Romans 12:2 and Colossians 3:2, how can memorizing Scripture change a person’s life?
* In what way can Scripture memory help you obey the commands found in Colossians 3:16 and 1 Peter 3:15?
* In Matthew 4: 1-11, how did Jesus demonstrate the importance of knowing the Word?
* What does Philippians 4:8 tell us to think about? How can Scripture memory help us do that?
* According to Psalm 119: 11, how did David fight against sin in his life? In what practical way can you implement that strategy?

Integrating Scripture Memory With Application
By Don DeJong

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
(Psalm 119:1l)

Christian leaders have long used this passage to encourage believers to memorize Scripture. But in practice, many have not helped people to hide God’s Word in their hearts so much as to hide it in their minds. When the psalmist wrote about hiding Scripture in his heart, he meant that he was depositing that truth in the center of his person.

Hiding God’s Word in our hearts goes beyond reciting verses from memory.
It is unfortunate that some Scripture memory techniques offer only the recitation approach: saying it over and over until it comes automatically.

Some people believe they are just not capable of memorizing Scripture: “I’ve tried; I just can’t do it.” Or “It’s not my thing. I don’t remember well.” But those same people perform many daily tasks, often complicated ones, from memory. Perhaps this is because the tasks are directly related to their lifestyle.

Keeping this in mind, you can help the people in your group memorize Scripture effectively by relating the memory process to their lives. Here are some suggestions.

* First, select Scripture verses that are relevant to the everyday lives of the believers in your group. For instance, as a member learns what it means to obey God’s Word, he or she will find new opportunities to demonstrate to others at work or in recreation how his or her life is changing. An obedient Christian should be prepared to “give an answer” to people who ask about the changes they observe. So 1 Peter 3: 15 is a good verse to memorize as the group starts out.
* Second, complement the group’s memorization process by teaching the passage in the group. Teaching the passage to be memorized helps members sift it through their minds, contemplating how it applies to them individually and in their roles as ambassadors for Christ. They must learn the contexts of the passages they memorize as well, in order to apply them to their lives correctly.

* To help small-group participants learn the passages they are committing to memory and apply them to their lives, I’ve used the following schedule. Each week we devote about fifteen minutes of our group time to these discussions.

Week One

Group members memorize the selected passage and recite it during one of the three meetings that follow.

Week Two

As a group, identify the context of the memory verse. What is the author talking about in the passage where the verse is located?

Week Three

Discuss the focal point of the verse. Why is it included in this particular passage? How does it relate to the context of the passage?

Week Four

Apply the verse to life. How has the verse affected the thinking and lifestyle of the group members?

Once the group completes the four-week cycle, it is important to review previously learned verses each week.

The results of this approach to Scripture memory are encouraging-group members not only memorize Scripture, they hide God’s Word in their hearts.

This article “How To Memorize Scripture” compiled by Deena Davis is excerpted from Discipleship Journal’s Best Small-Group Ideas Vol. 1.