"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness..."
2 Timothy 3:16
Did any of you any attend AWANA as a kid? AWANA is a fantastic program that my church holds for youth from 3 years old to 5th graders, and the goal is to teach kids to memorize Scripture - good stuff, right? Every week, the kids come excitedly to church proudly sporting their AWANA vests which bear colorful patches and pins showing how many verses they've memorized. I'll never forget my experiences at AWANA and I still haven't forgotten the Bible verses I learned as a kid.
After I outgrew AWANA, my drive to memorize verses faded. But, honestly, I shouldn't have stopped. As we grow older, we need God's Word more and more in our lives. I can't tell you how many times I wish I knew Bible verses right off the top of my head to give someone for advice or encouragement. Memorizing Scripture is an imperative part of our walks with God - after all, how can we witness to others, teach others, learn about the mind and heart of our Maker without memorizing the Word?
So, how do we go about doing this? Here are five helpful hints on memorizing Scripture that have helped me:
1. Pick a verse and write it down. You may want to start off by memorizing one verse (or passage) a week. Once you find one you like, take the time to write it down - not just some quick scribbles on a Post-it note - but find some nice paper and write it slowly, neatly, and meaningfully, taking time to soak in the words. This will help to begin engraining the verse in your mind. Repeating this step is really helpful.
2. Read the verse aloud. Find a quiet spot and read the verse or passage slowly. Experimenting with different voices sometimes helps (and it makes it more fun ;). If you're a musically gifted person, put the verse to song (WARNING: the song will get stuck in your head for a while). Also, reading it aloud with another person can help.
3. Put the verse in places you can see them. Go to town with sticky notes! You could use the bathroom mirror, your car, a message board, your dresser, the toilet, even your forehead. The point is to make sure that this verse can be seen anywhere you go. That way there's the constant reminder and it starts to become natural to see it - thusly, becoming engrained in your mind.
4. Pray the verse back to God. Doing this step will make it personal for you. For example, if you are memorizing Romans 3:23 you could pray "Father, I know I have sinned and I fall short of Your Glory, but I thank You that You redeem us and give us the gift of eternal life."
5. Teach the verse to another person. Doing this will not only help the student learn the verse, but you learn it better as well.
Memorizing Scripture is 100% necessary for a healthy relationship with God. Why wouldn't we want to memorize God's most innermost thoughts? We can respect His Word by applying it to our lives in this way, learning his teachings so that "we might not sin against [Him] (Psalm 119:11)."
How do you teach yourself to memorize Scripture? What's a verse that means the most to you?