In Matthew 4:4 Jesus tells us that we “do not live on bread alone, but on the word of God.” He also calls us to a continued movement towards being completely set apart (sanctification) from the world; this life and movement comes from truth of God (John 17:17).
As believers our main goal is to abide in Christ one way to do this is by maintaining a constant connection to the word of God, which is the sword the Spirit wields in our battle (Ephesians 6:17) as we walk through life. As we maintain this connection the word is used to encourage us, convict us, help us in temptation, give us the ability to proclaim clearly, and guide our prayers. The main way to maintain this connection is through meditation and meditation can best happen through memorization. This is a vital discipline for us as we seek to walk in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:16).
This is a guide to help you as you tackle what for many of us seems like a daunting task. Yet we can be assured that this discipline will bear fruit in our lives if we are dedicated to its practice.
Memorize Verses for Sharing the Gospel
Romans 3:10, 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 8:1, 10:9 - John 1:12, 3:16, 5:24, 10:10, 14:6 - Acts 3:19 - Ephesians 1:13, 2:8-9
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 - 2 Corinthians 5:21 - James 2:19 - 1 Peter 2:24-25, 3:18
Memorize Chapters Not Just Individual Verses
This can be intimidating, but it isn’t as hard as you may think. The reality is that when memorizing individual verses it is easy to miss the context or to take a passage out of context. By memorizing chapters you will gain the flow and context that are wrapped around typically memorized verses. Start small don’t try to memorize Psalm 119 as your first effort we will provide some suggestions later.
Choosing Your First Chapter
The first thing to consider is that this should be done with prayer. Asking the Lord to guide and lead you.
1. Not too long- don’t bite off more than you can chew. It is better to start small and be successful then to start large and feel like a failure if something gets in the way.
2. One that is impactful – read through a few chapters or keep this idea in mind as you study in you your city group or life group. Pick a chapter that is challenging you, encouraging you, or stirring your passions.
3. Don’t do it alone this is best done in the context of accountability. Life groups are a great place to do this. You can assign sections and then use this as the basis of conversation when you meet.
Suggestions: Psalm 1; Psalm 13; Psalm 23; Isaiah 35; Ephesians 1; Philippians 3; 1 John 1
Be willing to carve out 10 to 15 minutes or have a set aside time (driving to work) where you can focus on the Scripture.
Priority of reviewing old verses – Give priority to the retention of old verses over the learning of new ones. This can happen at the beginning of everyday.
Repetition over time – Saying a verse 100 times in one day is not as helpful as saying it every day for 100 days. The key to memorization is repletion over a long period of time.
Photographing the verse with your eyes – Read each new verse ten times, covering each word as though taking a picture of it with your eyes.
Say it out loud – This speaks for itself as you recite it out loud and add emphasis where it is supposed to be it helps your brain remember (you don’t have to do this publicly…..just saying).
So read a verse ten times then on the next day recite the previous days verse then move on to the new verse. On day three repeat the previous days verse then all together then the new one ten times. Just keep this up and you will find these ringing in your head all the time!!
Once you have finished try to recite the chapter once a week at the least or whenever you can like while vacuuming or taking a shower.