The Experiences I Have Had with Memorizing Scripture
I remember the Scripture memory contests in Sunday School when I was a child. I recall many times cramming right before class so I could go in, say the verse and get the prize. And, that is as far as my memory goes on those verses. I also remember times when teachers were more creative in their approach and made it fun to learn the verses. We did it together, in class, sometimes for prizes but often not. Those are the verses I still remember.
Consequently when I began teaching children’s classes, and writing lesson plans incorporating Scripture memorization, like Children Learn to Worship using Psalm 100, I wanted to do it in ways that built positive attitudes toward memorizing Bible verses.
Ten helpful principles for teachers to do that are in the Effective Scripture Memorization Worksheet.
As I grew older physically into adulthood but also spiritually, I began to memorize verses that related to my life situations, sort of as a spiritual discipline, but more because I simply wanted to know them. I memorized for the intrinsic value of it, not for some extrinsic reward. What a difference!
The Means I Have Used to Memorize Verses
I have found that variety works best for me. And I like to have fun doing it. Why can’t memorizing Scripture be fun? I do believe the best way to memorize Scripture is to do what fits you … your learning style, your personality, etc. I’ll give some ideas in another post for how adults can memorize Scripture.
But, let me say that what helps me the most, and what I believe we all need to do, is to understand the meaning of the passage and not merely memorize the words. And, of course, much repetition and review has also been necessary.
The True Rewards I Have Received Because of Scripture Memorization
As a result of having God’s Word in my heart through memorization, I have had an arsenal in times of spiritual warfare (Matt. 4:1-11, Eph. 6:10-17). But, even through the course of every day life experiences, especially the tough ones, these verses will come to mind and bring the comfort, encouragement, or conviction I need in the moment. At times, it has been instrumental in keeping me from sinning against an awesome and holy God (Ps. 119:11). I have found these verses coming to mind when talking one-on-one with people or when teaching in the classroom setting in response to questions. This recall has been a great tool in ministering to others when I either did not have a Bible handy or did not have time to search for answers. And, sometimes when I am laying in bed at night and can’t sleep, I can meditate on God’s Word in the darkness without a Bible in hand. What a blessed time that can be!