Monday 10 November 2014

Memorising Bible Verses

From the time of my being a new Christian, I was introduced to the importance of Scripture memorisation. At the time of my conversion, communism was a global powerhouse and many Christians suffered time in jail, in places such as China, Russia, Vietnam and elsewhere. The proposition to consider at that time was: if you spent time in prison without a Bible, how would you survive spiritually? I set out on a journey to commit to memory individual verses, which I then progressed to whole sections of Scripture and at one stage I even attempted to memorise the whole Book of Ephesians. To the relief of many readers, you will be pleased to know that I never completed this. Once I had memorised the whole book of Ephesians, I found that I kept forgetting early portions of it and I had to start again, but the whole exercise was and is spiritually profitable to this day.

Psalm 119 carries many exhortations for the people of God to be committed to the written Word of God. Hear the words of Psalm 119.

Verse 9: "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word".
Verse 11: "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Verse 16: "I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word".

Here are several suggestions for Scripture memorisation.

1. Memorise the Scripture portions with its name name and address. What I mean by this is that we should memorise the Bible verse and its location reference. For example 1 John 5:12 "whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life".

2. Choose a good translation for memorisation such as the ESV, NASB or NKJV.

3. Write down a verse on a memory card and carry it around with you for 2-3 days and read every time you have a break and commit it to memory. Once you have done this take another card and do the same again and choose a variety of verses to strengthen your soul.

4. Try to memorise the whole of Psalm 23, The Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Apostles Creed and then recite them regularly.

5. Commit verses to memory by reciting them out loud. This is a very effective way of memorising because your ears hear it, your eyes see it and your mind is hammered into shape and is renewed by the diligent and joyful art of Scripture memorisation.

Those who claim to hold to reformed doctrine should be above all "people of the Book". May this be said of you to the glory of God. Enjoy!


Emma Sheffield said...

Hi Kevin, I would really recommend the Navigators topical memory system. I used it several years ago and am going through it again now with my children. It organises verses into topics, which is so helpful as it makes them easier to remember, and also really strengthens your understanding of doctrines by memorising verses about them. It also has a workbook to help you meditate on the meaning of verses, It has been such a blessing to me on many occasions to have those verse hidden in my heart.

Kevin Bidwell said...

Thanks for your very helpful comment. I thought about the Navigators as I wrote the blog post but I think they are not as well known as they once were. I maybe be wrong on that front, but would you mind posting another comment with a link to the Navigators material you use in case some people would like to follow it through? People from many countries follow this blog, so I presume Navigators have materials in different languages.
With thanks,

Kevin B

Emma Sheffield said...

Hopefully that link will work! There is a kindle version but I would not recommend that because the hard version has verse cards to keep with you which is so useful.