Friday, 5 July 2013

Memorising the Word

Since I was about two, I’ve been learning memory verses. By now, I have quite a few verses committed to memory. Learning Bible verses is something that (I believe) every person should do. Working hard to memorise something is good for you, because not only do you hide the word in your heart (see Psalm 119:11), but you also have a huge bank of scripture in your mind for daily encouragement.

Bible Reading~Devotion by Chineka
Bible Reading~Devotion, a photo by Chineka on Flickr.
Countless times over the past years memorised scripture has been a treasure to those who memorised it. Although the initial memorisation might be a little harder for some people than others (some of my brothers especially struggle with it), it is still possible and even extremely helpful in cases! Let me give you a few examples.

One good example from history is Corrie Ten Boom. I’m sure you have heard of her. When she was put in prison by the Nazis during World War II, she didn’t have a Bible with her. For several months, she relied completely on what she had memorised as a child and adult. The verses she had in her mind could never be taken from her—and they became her Bible. They were a constant source of encouragement for her, especially when the Nazi guards were less than kind to her.

Another good example is the story of Gracia Burnham. Gracia, along with her husband Martin, were missionaries in the Philippines for quite a few years. In 2001, they were taken and held for ransom by a band of Muslim men. During their ordeal in the jungles of the Philippines that spanned a time of about 13 months, the only Bible they had was what they had previously committed to memory. Since they were captured by Muslim terrorists, they were only allowed to read the Quran—the Bible was off-limits.

In my life, I’ve never had any moments that I needed the verses I’ve memorised in the same way Gracia or Corrie needed them. I’ve never been to a place where I wasn’t allowed to own a Bible. I do know, though, that when relating to different situations, I was very thankful for the stash I have because they’re such an encouragement!
Over the past years, I haven’t only memorised verses. I’ve also memorised songs—great for road trips when you don’t have a hymn-book along! Songs can come in handy when you really aren’t feeling like doing a job (in my case sometimes it’s washing the dishes!), because they are so good at raising your spirits and helping you focus on the One who invented singing. 
  Poems are easy and fun to memorise. I really appreciate poems, because they’re a good source of “just-get-to-it-and-get-it-done”. For example, take the poem “It Couldn’t be Done”, by Edgar A. Guest. I like quoting the line, “Somebody said it couldn’t be done…” to my brothers when they’re stalling at getting something done!

For me, memorisation has been pretty easy and straight-forward to do once I sit down and work on it! Everyone has their own system, but the one that I’ve found helps the most is just repeating the verse five times or so. One thing I’ve found very helpful lately is Basically, you put in your scripture verse (or verses) and then you type it over and over (preferably saying it out loud while you type) until you’ve memorised it! It’s extremely simple.

If you don’t like using the computer for memorisation, the same principle holds true. Before I used Scripture Typer, I would repeat the verse out loud about ten times each day for two to four days (depending on the length of the verse), and I would have it memorised. For extra reinforcement, sometimes I’d write the verse out several times just to get it “down pat”. After I’ve memorised the verse, I review it from time to time.

To help me to remember and review all the verses, I collected them into one document on the computer and printed it off. I made a set portion for each day (about one to one and a half pages single-spaced), and then each day I review a portion besides practising my new verse. After memorising a verse, I add it to the end of my verses list, and review it every two to three days. After reviewing it every two to three days for two weeks or so, I up the time to once a week and then add it into the daily portion somewhere. So far, this system has worked well for me, although others might find different ways to do it. :)

Memorisation, like I said previously, is a very important thing to do. I strongly encourage you to try to memorise some of the Bible, because now is the best time to do it. The more you get into your mind now when you’re young the better because as you get older it gets harder and harder to memorise anything. By the time you’re fifty or so you’ll have processed so much more by then that it will be a lot harder to memorise verses. And who knows, it might just come in handy some day!

This post was written by Esther Rose, a young teenage woman with a love for the LORD, a passion for writing, and a vision for encouraging other young women her age. She blogs at
Joyful Maiden, where she tries to share (in a nutshell) her life as a daughter of her Heavenly Father.
She has never been blessed with sisters (she has six brothers, all of whom she loves), but tries (through her writings in Jewels of Jesus) to bless her sisters in Christ around her. Her life motto is: "Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can." (famous saying of John Wesley's

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