I’ve always believed I could never memorize more than a verse or two a week, tops. However, the Lord has stretched my average memory to memorize Scripture beyond what I ever thought was possible. Currently my mind is savoring the truths and promises from:
1. My daughters 2-3 weekly Awana verses that I teach her and review with her daily in various fun ways.
It’s so true you can’t teach what you don’t know and to help my daughter learn her verses and make sure she’s got the words right, I have to know them myself. So I consider it even more important that I learn her verses, so I know that I’m teaching her right and can catch any mistakes and help make the necessary adjustments. However, I never want memorizing Scripture to be tedious or overwhelming to my daughter. So I try to make it as fun as possible. Lately, our favorite ways have been drawing pictures of the verse on her whiteboard and then pointing to key parts of the picture as we take turns trying to say the verse with visuals only. Then when we can just about say a verse, we’ve been having fun gathering all her stuffed animals and having them “take turns” saying her verses through the various voices she and I do for her animals. By the end of the week she and I have practiced her verses countless times, in various fun ways, so that the verses are not just hidden in her heart, but mine as well.
2. Memorizing Isaiah 55 (at one verse a week) with the fabulous online community at Do Not Depart.
Going through Isaiah 55 has been a blessing and I’m especially excited now because the second half of Isaiah 55 contains so many verses that I love, and that’s where we are now (Isaiah 55:8) I also highly recommend Do Not Depart’s Facebook Group HideHisWord. It is a daily source of encouragement and inspiration to me. If you’d like to get started memorizing Isaiah 55, Here’s my plan for memorizing Isaiah 55. If you’d like to jump in where we are at now, we’d love for you to join us! People are always joining at different times, so feel free to jump in and memorize this week’s verse, Isaiah 55:8, or start at Isaiah 55:1, or any other verse in the Bible—however the Lord leads. Though the Do Not Depart group, HideHisWord, is hosting the Isaiah 55 Hide His Word Challenge, the community there is really centered around memorizing Scripture in general. The people there are memorizing all different verses. Some are memorizing Isaiah 55, some Ephesians, some specific verses that encourage them, etc. So if you feel led to memorize Scripture, and would love a group to support and encourage you along the way, you’d be blessed by the HideHisWord group.
3. Memorizing Philippians (at three verses a week) for my 2014 Scripture Memory Project.
This has been very stretching for me. I’ve always attempted much shorter passages, because for me they were safe. But after reading this quote by Don Piper, in his book When I Don't Desire God, I knew it was time to step out of my comfort zone.
“If you are not a memorizer at all, shift up to memorizing a Bible verse a week. If you only memorize single verses, shift up to memorizing some paragraphs or chapters (like Psalm 1 or Psalm 23 or Romans 8). And if you have ventured to memorize chapters, shift up to memorize a whole book or part of a book. Few things have a greater effect on the way we see God and the world than to memorize extended portions of Scripture. “
So through the Lord’s leading and the Spirit’s enabling, I’ve begun memorizing my first book--Philippians, and so far it’s been great. I really thought three verses a week , to finish it by the end of the year, was going to be too much with my busy schedule, and memorizing Awana verses and my weekly Isaiah 55 verse but the Lord has shown me ways to make it possible which has been a real blessing.
I think the key disciplines that have made this possible have been listening to Philippians all the way through each day (I use my Word of Promise App) and reading Philippians aloud each day all the way through. Each time I do these I become increasingly familiar with the text and can begin to anticipate when a word or phrase is going to said while listening to Philippians. So by the time I get to memorizing those verses, they are not brand new to me, but familiar, making it that much easier to commit them to memory.
For me It’s like the difference between trying to find a place you’ve never been to in unfamiliar territory (without the help of a GPS in your car), and finding a place you’ve never been to that is located in familiar territory. Though in both scenarios you are attempting to find a place you’ve never been to, the place within familiar territory will be so much easier to find than having to find a place you’ve never been to in an area you are unfamiliar with to begin with. Once I discovered how these two disciplines would make memorizing Scripture easier by helping me to become increasingly familiar with a passage long before those verses came up on my Scripture Memory schedule, I have been amazed how memorizing Scripture really doesn’t need to be hard. With a couple of daily disciplines, memorizing Scripture is so much easier!
Questions for you: What are your tips for making it easier to learn new memory verses? What are your favorite ways for teaching or practicing memory verses with your children?
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