Memorising Scriptures

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Memorising scripture is engrafting God’s word in our minds. If we don’t memorize scripture, we won’t be able to fight off temptation, we won’t be able to encourage others, or even ourselves, during times of spiritual warfare. Being able to recall promises through the aid of God’s Spirit in times of temptation is crucial in our Christian life.

Memorizing is committing something to memory, like a wise saying, or a famous date in history. The dictionary defines the word memorize as learning something well enough to recite it by only using your memory. Memory and memorize, do you see the resemblance in the words? It must be about brain power!

Memorization is to our mind what exercise is to our muscles.  The more you memorize, the more you will increase your capacity to memorize.

Because memorization requires effort and time, you could be tempted to think that Scripture reading and studying is enough, but this assumption will rob you of a rich experience in overcoming sin and living a faith-filled life.

Why should we memorise Scripture?  

“If ye abide in me, and my Words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7

“Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11

The huge giants, formidable strongholds and persistent enemies which the nation of Israel faced in ancient times are symbols of the continual spiritual warfare that we face in our daily Christian lives.  Like Joshua of old, we are guaranteed success only if we meditate upon God’s Word day and night.

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous and then thou shalt have good success.”  Joshua 1:8

How Christ dealt with Satan

Memorizing Scripture helps with meditation, which is essential to fight the battles of the Lord.

“We are to study the Bible, that we may know how to meet the assaults of the enemy.  When Christ was tempted, how did he overcome?  He met the tempter with, It is Written.  He used the words of God….This is the way that we are to overcome.” Signs of the Times, April 15, 1889

Jesus would have memorized scripture at His mother’s knee as a child and young person.  Thus He was able to quote it back as He needed.

One of the most common stories of Jesus using memorized scripture was when He was tempted in the wilderness.   He used memorized scripture to ‘fight’ off Satan’s temptations.

“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  Matthew 4:3, 4

Memorise it in context!

It is important to memorize scripture accurately and in context. When Satan tempted Jesus the second time, he quoted the Scripture out of context.

“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

Satan omitted the words, ‘to keep Thee in all Thy ways’ as found in Psalms 91:11, but Jesus knew His Bible and wasn’t deceived.

We can see from this story that it is vitally important that we memorize scripture to help overcome the Devil and his tricks.

Putting it into practise

Now that we have learnt how important it is to memorize, let’s put it into practise.  As the saying goes, “There is more than one way to skin a cat,” so it is with memorizing. Here are a few different methods to internalize Scripture.

  1. Continuous repetition of the verse during quiet time, or whenever possible.
  2. Making a card with the scripture verse that you are learning, and keep saying and looking at it until memorized.
  3. Making a card with only the first letter of each word, and keep on repeating until memorized.  You can put the full verse on the back or just the reference.
  4. Put the verse to song. There are various Scripture song books and aids available. “There are few means more effective for fixing His words in the memory than repeating them in song.” Messages to Young People p. 291

The above methods are really good, but this next method is what worked for me the best.

First, read through the verse, then repeat while emphasizing the first word. Continue reading the verse, and emphasize the second word then the third word and so on, each time you repeat the verse until the end.

Here is an example of memorizing Daniel 8:14 using this method.

  1. First you read it through:   “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
  2. Second, emphasize the first word:   “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
  3. Third, emphasize the second word: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”
  4. Fourth, emphasize the third word: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” and so on.

Some of the best chapters to memorize in Scripture are; 1 Corinthians 12 & 13, Exodus 20 and Isaiah 53.  Why not start here to begin with? Do it with a friend! It is easier if you have someone who can encourage you and hold you accountable for your efforts.

So now we have learnt how important memorizing is in our spiritual walk.  Jesus gave us not only His instruction but example as well.  True Christians in the past, used memorizing as a key to their spiritual survival. We need God’s Word in our life every moment of the day, especially to call upon during temptation.  By using these various methods, we will indeed keep God’s word in our heart, that we might not sin against Him!