Recently, I read a book on how to teach. Honestly, it wasn’t a terribly good book, but it did contain a shining nugget on Scripture memorization.
The author Dick Murray, was in a foxhole during World War II and took some time to recite to himself all the Scripture he knew. He was dismayed with how few verses he could remember, exclaiming: “That was my Bible! What is yours?” This got me to thinking, but what he said next about why memorization is so important was great:
I need to know many portions of Scripture from memory to live and to die by. Such knowledge of portions of the Bible gives me a ready reservoir from which to draw both in the day and in the night—both when life is good, and when life is pretty bad. I also need knowledge in order to make sense of much that I hear and read.1
Whoa! What a great way to view the subject of Scripture memorization. This realization kicked me into gear. I though, “I should be more serious about memorization.”
The more we know Scripture, the more we know our savior Jesus, the closer we are to Him, and the more He can be at home in us. The more of His mind we know (since the Bible is the mind of Christ) the more He will live though us. “I no longer live,” Paul said, “but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).
My pastor, Jim Congdon, has been doing through the Bible series. In the series, Route 66, he preaches on one book of the Bible every Sunday. Along with the sermon is a key verse or two for each book. Every Sunday I add the verse to be memorized to my apps. I recently installed a couple of Scripture memory apps with which I was dabbling. I was evaluating them so I could choose one. They are the Scripture Typer, and Remember Me apps. Both are great apps and came with high ratings but are unique.
Scripture Typer is the one I use every day. You can swipe through your verses easily, but unless you pay for the app, there is no way to indicate you have memorized the verse.
The Remember Me app is visually nicer, has more features (such as flash cards) and you can tell the program how often you would like to review a verse. I use this app when I have more time to spend memorizing. However, navigation through the verses is clunkier and requires more swipes and clicks.
With both apps, adding verses is easy, you can categorize your verses if you so desire, and they have many versions of the Bible from which to choose. I haven’t decided if one is really better than the other because they each have pros and cons. Now for memorization…
This is the easy part: Read your verses every day, whenever you have time. Yep, it’s that simple, and totally painless. I am not sure it can get any easier. Just read it again and again! It’s not overwhelming at all! You can work at your own pace absorbing God’s word.2
This is exactly how I am using these apps. (So much easier for me than note-cards!) Each morning before my work day begins, I sit in my cubicle and read all the verses with the Scripture Typer. After I read the verse. Swipe. On to the next. On weekends, mainly Saturday, I plan to spend more time with the apps but this is not necessary. I just started this regime about two weeks ago. So far, I can report that the verses are definitely becoming more familiar. I’ll update this post when I have more substantial results.
Because knowing Scripture is very important for good and bad times and deepens our relationship with Jesus, here is the takeaway:
- Download Scripture Typer or Remember Me app.
- Add some verses to your app.
- Start reading the verses every day.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 when you have verses memorized.
- Enjoy a deepening relationship with Jesus.
Please share with anyone you think would get some use out of this post. And, as always, email or comment below with your thoughts. If you know of a better app, or tips on how to memorize, please share.
1 Murray, Dick, Teaching the Bible to Adults and Youth, pg. 78.
2 This idea came from the appendix of a book called Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen (great book by the way). Garry explained this easy memorization technique: He wrote the verses on note-cards and read them every day. He did not try to recite them from memory. After several weeks, he had them memorized. He added new verse to replace the old ones. He would occasionally review the old ones to refresh his memory.