"Adrie," you're saying to your screen, "we already talked about the Bible last week. Go drink some more coffee and GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME!"
To that I say, I can't hear you through the screen and yes, I think I will go have some more coffee.
We talked last week a bit about the discipline of studying and spending time in God's Word, because growing in faith is an important part of spiritual maturity that you can work on right now- married or single.
But we can't just stop at studying. While studying and applying Scripture to our lives is important, we need to follow Jesus' example and go one step further.
"My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart."- Proverbs 7:1-3
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."- Psalm 119:9-11
I believe that reading the Bible does help us to store up God's word in our hearts to some extent, but memorizing Scripture takes this to a whole new level.
But memorizing Scripture takes work.
There are a ton of resources online to help with this (see here for some resources), but I've found that the "old school way" works best for me.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Write the verse down again and again and again.
Say your memory verse every time you eat.
Put your verse on post-it's and stick them around your house. Say it out loud whenever you see the post-it.
Review older memory verses on a weekly basis.
Put your verse to a tune.
Assign verses to beads of a bracelet - I do this and I really like it. I have one verse for all the metal beads, one verse for all the sparkle beads, one for the glass beads... and then when I get a spare moment (waiting for a website to load, in line at the grocery store), I start going through my bracelet.
Why It Matters
It takes work, patience, and practice, to be sure- but memorizing Scripture is a very valuable tool. Haven't you ever wished you could remember that great verse to speak life into a friend? I know I have.
Memorizing Scripture is also one way to help drown out the lies in our lives.
You know, the "You're not enough" lie? Try fighting that one with Philippians 4:13. Or when you're disappointed with the way you look? 1 Peter 3:4.
Find the places that you're having struggles, find a verse or passage that speaks God's truth into that sore spot, and memorize it.
A quick note- I think it's very important to recognize the context of the verse you're learning. It's so easy to take Scripture completely out of context, or to miss an important piece of truth, and that's one reason that whole Scripture memorization can be so powerful. (Also see another post about that here.) Personally, I'm not there yet- I'm working my way up from just a few verses at a time. Typically, the verses I memorize are verses that I'm studying as well- so I'm sure to know the context. And I think it's okay to start small- I tend to overwhelm myself with super-great ideas and then I just can't make it a habit because it's too much. You know?
Just do it. Start where you feel comfortable, and if it's too much, back off a little. It's about growing, and even growing takes practice.
Take some time to inscribe God's word on your heart.
It really makes a difference.
How do you memorize Scripture? Do you have a favorite technique or trick?