Scripture Memorization


Overview
Memorizing scripture has been a central part of life with God for as long as His written word has been available. But it is not the rote memorization that matters; rather, knowing passages by heart allows us to meditate on God’s words and allows His words to shape the way we view the world. We are constantly using words to interpret the world around us; having God’s word at the ready helps us to see things the way God does. For more from the Bible, look at Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Psalm 119, Matthew 12:34-37, 2 Timothy 3:14-17.

For a 3-minute video introduction to this practice, visit www.fbcslo.org/formation

Practicing
A lot of people feel that they simply cannot memorize, but this is for the most part untrue. Many of us have not practiced memorization, and so it may take some time to get used to it—but the human mind is remarkable in its ability to retain, learn and commit things to memory. Mostly, we just need to get ourselves used to it. The best way to memorize is using some kind of plan, and with a group. Well-meaning though we may be, sticking with a practice of this kind—where a lot of hard work is needed before you really start to see the benefit—is a lot easier to do with others. It’s also easier to do if you have a clear idea of how you’ll go about it ahead of time. So, for example, you might choose to work on memorizing at a certain time each day—during breakfast before work, or on lunch break. Or you could laminate the verses you’re working on and post them in the shower. Consistency is best, and you’ll find that memorizing in the same places, and same times, and same ways each day will usually work better than working on it whenever you think of it. Memorizing is about repetition, and there’s no replacement for it. It is more effective to repeat a verse ten times every day for a week, than to say it seventy times in one day. Your mind needs the time to absorb what it’s learning. So, for example, you might try reading a verse aloud ten times, and then trying to say it from memory ten times. If you need to look, that’s okay— it’s part of the learning process. If you repeat this practice each day, one or two times, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the verse begins to stick. There are many good verse memorization plans available; NavPress publishes the Topical Memory System, and Desiring God has released their Fighter Verse set (www.desiringgod.org). We’ll also be including a memory verse in each week’s bulletin, which will go along with the message. We’d recommend you memorize those with us. Once you’ve memorized a verse, carry it with you. Repeat it to yourself while you have down-time, when you’re driving, taking a break, exercising. Consider each word; ask yourself how it applies to different circumstances that come up throughout your day. The more you practice this kind of ongoing meditation, the more likely it is that these verses will help you at just the right moment.

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