I attended a Christian school from kindergarten through 8th grade and something we did for class was memorize scripture. I remember saying the memory verse of the week over and over again to myself in an attempt to remember all of the words for my quiz the next day. There were so many times I became frustrated because I would forget pieces and get some words out of order. Another thing I noticed as I grew older was that as soon as the quiz was over, I would forget the verse.
One night, I was trying to memorize the verse I was supposed to be quizzed on the next day. I was getting so frustrated because it wouldn’t stick. My mom took notice. She asked me why I was frustrated, and I told her I couldn’t remember any of the words. The way she responded stuck with me.
She said, “Stop focusing on the words and the order they’re in. What does the verse mean to you? You won’t be able to memorize it if you don’t understand it first.”
My mom was right. I was trying to make scripture stay in my head before it was rooted in my heart. I fooled myself into thinking the point of my memory verse assignment was to take a quiz and get a good grade. In reality, the point was to focus on the words of God and make them a part of who I was. Changing my perspective on memorizing scripture has been life changing. Now, when I’m reading my Bible and a verse sticks out to me, I’m able to think about why it stuck out, apply it to my life, and revisit it until it’s a part of who I am.
Memorizing scripture is a great way to equip yourself to live like Jesus.
When we understand scripture and apply it to our lives, it sticks with us and motivates everything we do. When the Word of God is in our hearts we react to people differently. We see people differently. We experience life and make decisions differently. Understanding and remembering scripture is an essential part of making God accessible to others.
If you’ve never memorized scripture before, try starting with the verses below. Read through these verses and think or journal about what they mean to you. Find a verse that resonates with you and read it every day. Remind yourself what it means to you and how it has changed you.
Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
John 3:16 (NLT)
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Philippians 4:8 (NLT)
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Psalm 19:14 (NLT)
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.