Aug 22, 2010

Scripture Memorization

I have a hard time memorizing bible verses. I want to know the Bible. It is God's commandment that we know the Bible. But keeping it real, it's not possible to memorize all of the's just too big. And memorization is hard.

However, there are many verses that I desire to be able to pull them out of my brain when I need them. But let's face brain isn't what it used to be. I just might be getting old. **shudder**

I posted about a memorization system
here that I thought would really work. And it did. For about three weeks. Then I stopped doing it.

The hardest part for me is memorizing the reference as well as the verse. What I mean is, I can memorize the verse, but can't always remember where it is in the Bible.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psalm 119:11

I had to look up where that verse was. Now, I knew it was in the 119th Psalm, but I couldn't recall if it was verse 10 or 11. And that's an easier one to remember.

The other thing I have a problem with is context. So many times I hear verses pulled from the Bible and used out of context. I don't want to do this.

Now, why am I writing about this? For accountability.

Earlier this summer I decided that I would try to memorize certain parts of the Bible. For instance, I knew most of the 23rd Psalm, but I couldn't recite the whole Psalm without a few stumbles. I kept at it until I could state the whole Psalm without gaps....then I pictured writing it out in my mind, seeing each word. Then I mentally defined each phrase, making sure I understood it. I love that I can fall back on this Psalm when I'm troubled, when I'm frustrated, when I'm needing comfort.

And now I'm working on Romans 12. Why Romans 12? I can't really say, except that I felt pulled to that particular chapter. I wondered myself why I felt I needed to memorize this part of the Bible. The following week, I ran across a post online about Romans 12:1. Then in church, our Pastor referenced Romans 12:1 as well. Then the next week, he mentioned Romans 12:2. It was as if God was telling me that this section of the Bible was something I needed.

There is a lot to learn in this chapter. I don't mean a lot of words to memorize (although that is also true), but a lot of lessons. Each verse is powerful and by memorizing the passage in whole, I am focusing on each point over and over again and I am not just memorizing words, but I am absorbing God's Word.

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Romans 12:15

I have always loved this verse. Maybe it isn't a typical verse that people choose for memorization. It tells me how important it is to be with fellow Christians. In times of joy and in times of sorrow. Celebrate with them in times of happiness and cry with them in times of sadness. Simply said, be there for each other.

Okay so here's my progress. I've got verses 1-3 down. Verses 4-5 come and go. I've got verses 6-9 down. Verses 10-15 are almost solid. 16-20 are still to be learned. And verse 21 I've known for awhile:

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21

Romans 12
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

3For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

4For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

5So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

7Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;

8Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

9Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

10Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

11Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

12Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

13Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

A side note. My son goes to a Christian school. His freshman year of high school, he had a Bible Quizzing Class. He had to memorize 8-10 verses every week. As I struggle with memorizing, I am amazed at how much those kids learned. Two weeks ago he went to a summer camp and they had a week-long contest on memorizing verses. He took 1st place for reciting 88 verses. He would have done more, but couldn't find a counselor at the end to do the last 12 verses. He knew them because of the Bible Quizzing Class. But the fact I love is that he retained the verses a year and a half later...and so can I.

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