Memorizing Scripture is for everyone. There are many benefits to memorizing Scripture. First, it puts you in close fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Second, the Holy Spirit can remind you of what you have studied, but He cannot remind you of what you have not. Third, God’s Word is eternal and when you are in Heaven your knowledge and memorization of God’s Word here and now will be a great blessing and eternal reward. God is not going to give everyone in Heaven full knowledge of His Word when they didn’t see it as important here and now.
There are some who believe that they are not good at memorizing for variety of reasons:
1. I don’t have the time;
2. I can’t understand the language;
3. It’s just too hard, I’m not good at memorizing;
4. Others are much better and I can’t learn very much.
Many other reasons exist, but these are some that I have heard.
Why is it that some people believe that Scripture memory is not for them, or is too difficult?
1. Trying too hard to remember chapter and verse number. The fact is, chapters and verses are not inspired and are not in the original writings. Chapters were added in 1227AD, verses in the Old Testament in 1448AD and in the New Testament in 1555AD. The writers, nor the Holy Spirit, gave the Scriptures in chapter and verse form. Rather they gave us Scripture in sentence and paragraph form.
2. Headings in many study bibles are confusing and even come in the middle of sentences and paragraphs. This is one of the several downfalls of English bibles in which each verse is its own paragraph.
3. There is too much to memorize. It is overwhelming to think about memorizing several verses when one has trouble getting just one.
4. Frustration at not being able to remember what was memorized or knowing exactly where it is found.
Here are some principles to remember:
1. Memorize by “flow of thought” – this is how the Scriptures were given to us.
2. Make the commitment to memorize. It is not easy or quick. You will need to set aside time just for this.
3. Don’t do too much at once. Just memorize a few verses at at time, repeat them often, consider their meaning.
4. Talk to the Lord about His Word as you memorize.
5. Chapter and verse are nice to know, but not imperative. It is more important to know what book and the meaning. As you memorize diligently you will be able to remember where Scriptures are found even without being able to quote chapter and verse. Anxiety about knowing chapter and verse makes memorizing much more difficult.
6. Memorizing single verses often leads to a misunderstanding of the true meaning intended by the Holy Spirit. Context is what determines meaning.
1. Begin in the New Testament. The NT reveal the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the image of and the fullness of the invisible God, Colossians 1:15-19.
2. The Old Testament is explained in the New Testament, so to understand the OT one must start with the NT.
3. Try memorizing a topical chapter, such as 1 Corinthians 13, but also take note of the general context in which it is found.
4. Try Romans 12, which begins a new section in the book of Romans. Once you get through that chapter, see how much further you can go.
5. Eventually consider memorizing an entire letter, such as 1 Peter, Colossians, or James.
6. Remember to be repetitive.
7. Eventually you may forget some of what you memorize. That is okay, because you can go back and remind yourself. Further, the point is to learn Scripture.
8. Rejoice in what you are learning about the Lord Jesus Christ, and about the fellowship you are having with Him.
9. Your memory work will serve you well in the future as you have opportunity to share God’s Word with others.
How important is God’s Word to you here and now? Your practice of memorization and study will prove your answer to this question.