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If you want to be strengthened and transformed by what you read in the Bible, you should be memorizing scripture. Because when hardships arise, the last thing you’ll feel like doing is some Biblical research.
The best thing you can do is the prep work beforehand so that if you know an area of temptation, you have a verse that automatically comes to mind in that situation to get you out of it.
“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:13
Or if you have moments where you feel exhausted or alone, you have verses of strength and encouragement that are sitting on the tip of your tongue.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Joshua 1:5
When I was young, most of my memory verses came from Sunday school songs. Now as an adult, my kids come home teaching us new Bible songs such as The Fruit of the Spirit. These are a simple way to recall positive character traits quickly and accurately. We use them as a foundation for our family rules at home.
“For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” -Galatians 5:22
In the past when I’ve dealt with worry and anxiety, my go-to was Philippians 4:6-7.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7
When my children are acting up, I find verses that they can memorize to encourage them to make better choices.
“Children obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” -Colossians 3:20
EVEN JESUS MEMORIZED SCRIPTURE
When Jesus was tempted in the desert after his baptism, each of his responses to Satan were scriptures. He didn’t flip to the concordance in his Bible and find a verse that corresponded (although that’s a great way to start memorizing scripture!), he knew it from memory.
This wasn’t because he was God in the flesh, it was because he studied scripture since he was a child. It wasn’t just a weekly reading, it was habitual. It was ingrained into his personality.
Scripture punctuated his conversations with others, helped him cope with hardship, and determined his decisions. It molded his mind and shaped his speech.
“But he answered, [to Satan] ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” -Matthew 4:4
5 TIPS FOR UNDERSTANDING SCRIPTURE
- Pick a verse that relates to an issue you’re dealing with. Use your concordance or choose one of these fun coloring pages as well!
- Look it up in multiple versions to get extra insight and check the footnotes for commentary.
- Write it out. What did you learn from the passage, what encourages you, or what actions does it inspire you to take?
- Post your verse in multiple places you will see around the house. Index card taped to the door, expo marker on the bathroom mirror, or wallpaper on your phone.
- Get your kids involved! When I have to quiz my kids on a verse, I find I memorize it faster.
3 WAYS TO MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE
- Practice saying the verse using hand motions for clues as you say it: “A person (points to self) without self-control (holds hands together) is like a city (points fingers together over head) with broken-down walls (interlock fingers and bend back).” Proverbs 25:28
- Learn verses by putting them to music: Psalm 118:24 and Galatians 2:20
- Print verse artwork to help memorize scripture. Color them, frame them, or print them small on card stock and send them as postcards…the sky’s the limit!
BEFORE YOU GO…
Now that you’ve printed your coloring book, make sure to go back and catch up on the previous posts in this series:
- Choosing a Bible
- Old Testament Timeline
- New Testament Timeline
- 5 Ways Jesus Practiced Self-Care
- Creating a Bible Note-Taking System
- How to Navigate the Bible
- What’s Your Spiritual Gift?
- 10 Spiritual Goals
Be encouraged, my friend. You’ve got this!