We’ve been talking about Spiritual Growth, and last week I mentioned a small booklet that helped me memorize scripture. Now, trust me…I’m just like you! Memorizing verses isn’t easy, but after reading this booklet, I decided to commit some time to it. Here are my results…
A Call to Scripture Memoryby Susan Heck
Booklet on Amazon, $5: https://www.amazon.com/Call-Scripture-Memory-Susan-Heck/dp/1936141078
Booklet on Christianbook.com, $3.99: https://www.christianbook.com/call-to-scripture-memory-biblical-perspective/9781936141074/pd/141074
Welcome to the simple truth big change podcast. I’m your host, Heather Duff, and this is where we read and explore the simple yet powerful truth of the Bible.
That truth makes a Big Change in our lives.
We’ve been talking about Spiritual Growth, and last week I mentioned a small booklet that helped me memorize scripture. Now, trust me…I’m just like you! Memorizing verses isn’t easy, but after reading this booklet, I decided to commit some time to it.
Before we get to my results, let me first share a little more from Susan Heck’s A Call to Scripture Memory. In this short booklet, Susan shares 11 reasons why we should memorize scripture. You can think of these reasons also as blessings, because each reason contains a powerful blessing for the life of a believer. I want to just share a couple of those reasons with you.
Why Memorize Scripture?
First, memorizing Scripture increases our love for God.
How do we love this God that we cannot see? How do know Him? We come to know and love Him more and more by spending time with Him, just like any other relationship. We need one-on-one time with God. When you set this time aside each day, God will meet you there. When you pray, He is there. When you open His Word, He is there. By reading His word, we aren’t encountering words on a page. We aren’t merely encountering concepts, ideas, or lessons.
When we open the Word of God, we are having an encounter with God.
But we don’t have to carry around our Bibles in order to have this encounter. When we read, meditate on, and memorize His word, it is written on our hearts. At any moment we can reach out and touch Him. We can hear His voice, because His Word is His voice.
We need this reassurance throughout our day. And what a blessing it is, to have this word hidden in our hearts. It will echo time and time again. In moments of need, in moments of joy. God is with us in a loving relationship. And we demonstrate our love through obedience, through following Him, following His commands.
1 John 5:2,3 says, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”
To love God means to love His commandments. We do that by hiding them in our hearts.
A second reason to memorize Scripture is that it will enable us to help others.
Everyone has an opinion. Do you have a problem? Ask a friend about it, they’ll have an opinion! But where are these solutions coming from?
When a friend comes to you with a problem, how do you know how to respond? Like anything else, what comes out of us it what we’ve put in us. You know the old saying, Garbage in, garbage out.
I’m not saying you’re filled with garbage. But we know this is little saying rings true. Whatever we fill our lives with is what we’ll get out of it. If we spend our time on mindless video games or apps, we’re filling up with, well, nothing much. If we spend all our time listening to worldly counsel, learning about the world’s way of success, then that’s the kind of empty wisdom we’ll have to share with others.
But if we fill our hearts and minds with God’s word, we will have a ready answer—a godly answer. And even if we don’t have a solid solution, we’ll be able to encourage, comfort, and guide people toward the One who does.
These are just two of the wonderful benefits Susan talks about in her book. So, what do you think?
Can You Memorize Scripture?
To be honest, I didn’t think I could. I mean, maybe a few verses, but nothing like I achieved once I made this a priority.
When I first read this book, I was teaching a class on the seven letters to the seven churches in the first three chapters of Revelation. The letters are actually in chapters 2 and 3, but both of these chapters draw from the revelation of Jesus John sees in chapter one.
I’d already spent about four months studying these few chapters, but I certainly hadn’t memorized any of it. I was eager to see if the principles and tips in this book could help me. And they certainly did.
I memorized the first three chapters of Revelation in two weeks.
I’ve been teaching Bible classes for years, but memorizing the text I was teaching completely transformed my learning AND my teaching.
As Susan states in her book, memorizing the text opened my eyes to observations and insights I might have otherwise missed.
As I memorized verse upon verse, I would say, okay, what comes next? To illustrate this, here is Revelation 1:9 and 10.
“I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet…”
When I was memorizing this, I would say, “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus.”
Then, to help myself remember, sort of as a prompt if I needed it, I’d say, Ok, he’s a partaker in 3 things. Tribulation, Kingdom, and perseverance. And not just any Tribulation, Kingdom, or perseverance, but Tribulation, Kingdom, and perseverance which are in Jesus.
Then, I’d say, ok, I, John, your brother and fellow partaker…what?
I was on the island of Patmos.
And my memory prompt would be just what you’d expect if someone told you they were on the island of Patmos.
I was on the island of Patmos because of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Wow. That’s heavy. John was exiled to Patmos BECAUSE of the Word of God AND the testimony of Jesus.
These are two important things to remember through my study of the 7 letters to the 7 churches. I would be hearing more of the Word of God AND the testimony of Jesus, real soon, in Revelation chapters 2 and 3.
I don’t want to belabor this. I memorized it this way without any thought. It’s just the way we think.
If you had to memorize a short story I’d written about my shopping trip, how would you do it?
You would visualize my story, my trip to the store. You’d see me get into a car, then what? I would drive to the store. Get out. Go in. Walk down the aisles. Meet people.
This progression is natural. It’s how stories are told.
When I forced my mind to make associations and connections in order to recall the text, I saw so much more IN the text.
Susan Heck includes such awesome and practical tips on HOW to memorize Scripture. And remember, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling WITHIN us to help us.
This was such an amazing and rewarding experience, I began memorizing other portions of Scripture too.
At night, instead of recalling the stresses of my day, I recalled the scripture I was memorizing.
You’ll be rewarded as well. I highly recommend this little booklet. And whether you order a copy for yourself or not, I hope you will incorporate this powerful, beneficial discipline of memorizing Scripture into your daily walk with the Lord.
I’ll include a link to purchase Susan Heck’s A Call to Scripture Memory in the show notes. And by the way, this is not an affiliate link. I don’t make any money on your purchase. This little book has blessed me, and I hope it will bless you too.
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