If I could get you to do only one thing today it would be this

According to the USA Today you will make 35,000 decisions today alone. I hope one of those decisions will be to do this.

Memorize Scripture.

WHY?

It is my firm belief that every person can and should memorize Scripture.

Every person can. The reason I hear most often for not practicing this spiritual discipline is, “I can’t.” They don’t mean that they have a mental inability to do so. More likely is that they know someone who can memorize Scripture more quickly. Or they have heard someone who has a bunch of passages put to heart where, in comparison, they do not. The reality is you can. Maybe not at the same pace or with the same breadth as another, but you can.

And you should. I don’t mean should in the religious sense like “Good church people should do this.” I say you should do this because I have experienced tremendous blessing from this discipline. I am not a paid salesman. I am a satisfied customer.

No other discipline has so powerfully been used by the Spirit to help me fight temptation. Jesus resisted the enemy in the wilderness with Scripture (see: Matthew 4:1-11). “Oh yeah, I just threw down the Jesus trump card.” Seriously, though, I have found that temptation to pride, unbelief, bitterness, lust, materialism, jealousy, or entitlement does NOT wait until I can get to my Bible. It approaches whenever it wants. As I have his Word hidden in my heart, I find it easier to fight sin in those moments.

The Bible asks in Psalm 119 (see: 9-16), “How can a young person stay on the path of purity?” Answer in verse 11: I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

WHEN?

Where are you going to find TIME to do this? You won’t. I didn’t. Personally, I do not have an extra 20 minutes a day available for this.

I use my commute to run through my verses. I have them printed on a sheet of paper folded it up in my back pocket. I turn off the music or sports talk and walk through my verses. The majority of my memorization time is spent running through previous Scriptures. If I have need to look at new verses I can utilize time at the start or end of my commute (or stop lights) to do so.

HOW?

My method to Scripture memorization is the “The Beginner’s Guide to Marathon Running” approach. When I started training for my first marathon I couldn’t run more than 3 blocks. How was I ever going to traverse 26.2 miles? But, I did. The next few days I ran a little bit further and a little bit further and a little bit further. And I repeated this for weeks. Soon I was running a few miles. Then I can remember hitting six miles, almost one-quarter of a marathon. I could do this! And, eventually, I did.

And you can too. Take it one verse at a time. Then repeat. Soon you will be surprised (and encouraged!) by what God has done.

QUESTIONS:

Have you tried this? What has been most challenging or most rewarding for you in putting God’s Word to heart?

How do you do this, or what is your method? God any tips to share?

Posted on by Cor in FAITH

20 Responses to If I could get you to do only one thing today it would be this

  1. Joey

    The verses I remember best are those set to music. Granted, it’s rare to find Bible verses that are set to good music, but still, songs run through my head much easier than words on paper.

    For example, even if I’ve seen a comedy routine 20 times, I still can’t repeat it back word-for-word. I can give you the general joke, similar to how I can tell you in general terms what happens in John 17. But I can’t recite the joke.

    Play a song 5-10 times, though, and I’ve got it down. Well, I’ve got the chorus down anyway…

    • Cor

      Hey Joey,

      I hear you. Most of us need some type of melody or something to put these things to memory.

      I’ll see what I can come up with. ; )

  2. Heidi

    I had a great group of friends in Arkansas that met weekly for accountability/encouragement to memorize scripture.

    We all memorized the same verses each week using these tools.

    http://www.nebiblechurch.com/Documents/PDF_files/biblememorysystem-1.pdf

    http://www.navigators.org/us/articles/items/How%20to%20Memorize%20Scripture

    • Cor

      Thank you so much for sharing. Really cool!

      Do you feel like some of those verses come to mind at opportune times?

      • Heidi

        yes, absolutely! we targeted memorizing verses that would specifically encourage us as mothers and they still echo in my mind in my daily interactions with my kiddos. :)

  3. Ryan

    Memorization comes somewhat naturally to me and I enjoy it. I think it comes from a lot of memorizing a lot of marching band music over the years. I try to spend part of my morning memorizing, so that way it seems to stick with me more through out the day. Having God’s truth fresh in my mind ready to combat the world’s lies is the most rewarding part for me.

    The most challenging thing for me is retention. But I will read a new passage that excites me and I decide to memorize it. Then I will read another one and decide I want to memorize that one, but that happens before I have the first one solid. I need to find a better system for reviewing. Suggestions?

    • Cor

      Love it, Ryan! I couldn’t agree more. It’s so great to have God’s truth fresh in mind as we go throughout the day.

      I feel your struggle with retention. Much of my time is dedicated just to that. I have found that to go after bigger chunks of Scripture has helped in this manner. I used to try to memorize 50 different verses from all over the Bible. I felt so scattered. So I don’t do that anymore. I take a chunk, like a chapter and try to memorize that. The satisfaction I get when finished usually propels me on to trying to get it down solid. But, it’s not a perfect method. It’s just what I do.

  4. Joy

    I agree with Joey. I have memorized a lot of scripture that is set to music. It is also an excellent way to teach kids bible verses.

    • Cor

      Hey Joy,

      Thanks for this comment. Did you do this yourself? Or was there a some other tool that you used?

  5. Roger Messner

    Running…

    Memorization…

    #convicted

    I have often said I never want to get and then surviive cancer. Because it seems that once someone survives cancer…they start running. I mean for the lovethey have already out run death tke a day off.

    For running, or any physical activity, I have argued that I have a physical job so that should be enough.

    For memorization, scripture in particular, I have argued that I am a “concept guy” which in actuality an excuse to continue to be lazy.

    Between this blog post & living by the “chain of lakes” where people are regularly running I am beyond convicted.

    Thanks! Thanks a lot!

    So much for this bliss of ignorance.

    ;-)

    • Cor

      I love you, brother. You always state it like it is.

      I’ll stop talking so that no more conviction will ever come again. ; )

      Cor

  6. Derek Hanisch

    Thanks for the encouragement, I think I’m going to get back into this habit.

    The method I used last time was working pretty well. Each morning I’d wake up and write out the verse I planned on memorizing on an index card. Then I’d tape it to my bathroom mirror (along with previous verses). In the morning and evening when I brushed my teeth I’d work on the scriptures.

    • Cor

      I’m glad you were encouraged, Derek!

      I’ve also heard of people that put them on the dashboard of their car or by their coffeemaker. Where else? I guess wherever you’ll see them most often.

      Thanks for the comment, Derek!

  7. Brita

    A lot of the verses I have memorized came from AWANA…if kindergartens can memorize scripture..what’s my excuse? I really need to work on it more!

    • Cor

      Thanks for the reply, Brita.

      I am unfamiliar with AWANA. How’d they go about it?

      No excuses! I like that.

  8. Anna Thurmes

    Awesome!! I first started and was most successful memorizing when I was in Navigators, especially when I did a summer program- so I think encouragement is key. Out of all the disciplines in my life, I feel like this is most rewarded in a way. I also feel like it’s a great way to grow in many areas because if I am trying to be less anxious- I can take the anxious thoughts out but I need to replace them with something and what is better than the word- if I was once told for every “bad thought we take out” we must replace it with something and scripture memorization is awesome. God has rewarded me tenfold with bringing versus I have memorized right to mind when needed. I have a flip book of index cards by “life categories” that I rotate through. I don’t put pressure on myself to memorize them but by God’s grace I have as I keep going to them. You motivate me to be systematic about it though. I used to have a friend that would “quiz” me every week and then we would pray that God would use the versus in our lives and that brought HUGE blessings!!

    • Cor

      So great, Anna!

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