Sunday, May 7, 2017

Tips for Memorizing the Bible

My nine-year-old son just went through a Bible Memory Challenge to earn a scholarship toward a local summer church camp.  It was a well-developed program where he had 14 weeks to memorize 12 passages of 7 verses each.  That's right, he memorized 84 verses in 14 weeks!  His older cousin had to memorize 108!  They did an awesome job and I'm so glad that he has 84 new verses in him.

The Importance of Bible Memorization

1. We are commanded to memorize Scripture.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Deuteronomy 11:18 “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead."
2. God's Word keeps us from sinning.
Psalms 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.
Psalm 119:9  How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.
James 1:21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
3. The Bible is a part of our spiritual armor.
Ephesians 6:13, 17 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm... And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 
4.  Meditating on and memorizing God's Word brings blessing.
 Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
Psalm 1:1-3 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. 



Tips to Help You (And Your Children) Memorize the Bible

Memorizing isn't always easy, but knowing some special methods can help.  My son and I have used all of these tips and some point or another when memorizing.  Not every tip will help you with every verse.  Certain tips work best with certain types of verses, but having these tools available will help you.

1. Make a certain time each day to work on memorizing verses.  It can be after a meal, when they finish their homework, before they get to watch TV, or whatever time you choose.  Making Bible memory a part of your routine is the biggest battle.

2. The best and easiest way to memorize Scripture is using music.  There are several groups that have made songs from Bible verses or compiled lists and links of songs.  Here are some resources, but sometimes we found songs by just googling the verse and adding "song":

Memory Verse Songs from Answers from Genesis | scriptureand.blogspot.com

Bible Memory Songs by The Rizers | scriptureand.blogspot.com




Scripture In Song - a database of Bible Verse Songs - a database of Bible Verse Songs



3.  Have your child repeat the verse after you.  If it is long, break it down into sections.  Then, after one section is memorized, try the next section.  Once the next section is memorized, put it together with the first section and work on them together.  Then, memorize the next section and add it to what you know until you have the whole verse memorized.  Don't forget to have them repeat the reference for the verse too.

4. Multiple methods of input are great for memorizing.  Hand your child the written verse and have them check you saying the verse (or check each other).  They usually enjoy being in charge of checking you and seeing the verse is another type of input (visual) to add to their audio learning of listening and repeating.

5.  Repeat the verse in a rhythm.  Songs are great for memorizing, but if you don't have a song available for your verse (or your version) just say it in the same rhythm every time.  Sometimes my son would create his own rhythms.  Other times I would create the rhythms.

6. Add any hand motions that may help your child with memorizing.  You don't have to have a motion for each song, but sometimes they remember the motions and then can remember the words.  Of course, not all verses will work well with motions, but some are great.

7.  Have them picture the verse.  For example, use Psalm 1:3 "He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers."  They can picture a tree next to a stream with fruit.  Maybe even a withered leaf with a big X over it.  Some verses are very visual and this method helps a lot.  For other verses, not so much.

8.  Make a game of the Bible verse.  If you have more time to work on the verse or you are memorizing a verse in a children's class, a game can be a fun way to work on the verse.  Here are a few games you can use.
  • Write each word or phrase on an index card and have your child put them in order.  This also works by putting each word or phrase on an object, like a lego or plastic cup.  For something different, put the papers inside a balloon, which you then inflate and tie.  Have the kids pop the balloon and put the papers in order.
  • Have the verse written on a dry erase board or chalkboard.  Erase a word and see if they can still say it.  If they can, erase another word and have them say it again.  Continue until everything has been erased.
  • If you don't have a dry erase board or chalkboard, you can write the verse on a piece of paper and cover words with a post-it note.
  • Have the kids pass a ball around and each person says one word of the verse when they have the ball.
9.  You can check my Pinterest board on memorizing Scripture to see pictures and links to more ideas.

Do you have any tips for memorizing Bible verses?  Share them in the comments.

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