through His Word
A Guest Post by Beckie Lindsey
Katy here. I have the pleasure of introducing you to a writer friend whom I met last year at a conference. Beckie Lindsey loves God’s Word, and I’ve asked her to write about hiding Scripture in our hearts by memorizing it. Here are some practical tips, and I hope you’ll check out Beckie’s blog for more insightful posts.
“Memorizing Scripture is easy!” said no one.
I wish I could tell you there’s a special technique that makes memorizing Scripture easy peasy. But there isn’t (at least that I know of!). Nope. It takes good old fashioned discipline. However, I can tell you it’s so worth all of the effort. Allow me to share how I began memorizing Scripture and how it has transformed my relationship with God and others. You see, as we grow closer to God, the natural byproduct is loving others better. But first a disclaimer: I’m still growing in this. I’m not one of those people who can recite entire chapters of the Bible. Not yet, anyway.
Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up, here’s how it all started. As a writer, I’ve always enjoyed journaling. I even journal many of my prayers. One day it occurred to me to begin writing down Scripture verses that touched my heart along with my prayers. As I wrote them down, I sensed the Holy Spirit encouraging me to examine what I had written. Then I began to write down my observations. Often I wrote ways I could apply the concept from the Scripture into my life. Sometimes I would just meditate on a few words, saying them aloud and asking for revelation.
Upon dissecting the Scriptures in this way, I discovered that not only was God transforming my heart and attitude, I was actually memorizing portions of them inadvertently. Once I realized I could recite a portion of a verse, I began the task of memorizing the entire thing. Guess what? It didn’t come as easily as I thought. I started writing the verses down on notecards like I’d seen others do. This is only helpful if one actually recites the verse over and over. Repetition is key.
Here are a few things that have been helpful to me in memorizing Scripture:
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat—Did I mention that repetition is key? Did you see what I did there? I repeated the same sentence from above. Now, repeat after me, “Repetition is key.” This means saying it aloud, often, and to others.
Accountability—Tell someone you are working on Scripture memorization and ask them to check in on your progress often. This should include reciting some Scriptures to them as well. Maybe it will inspire them, and you can recite verses back and forth!
Meditate—Spend time reflecting on the meaning of the verse and its application in your life. When the verse applies to you personally, it’s much easier to remember.
Write it down—Write it in a journal, as I suggested above. Write it on an index card and place on the bathroom mirror. Write it on another index card and place it in your car or a visible place like your purse, the fridge, the coffee pot—okay, that’s just me.
Get creative—I have drawn pictures, made hand motions, and replaced Scripture for the lyrics of popular show tunes or pop songs, and even created my own tunes. You get the idea. Do what works for you.
God’s saving grace through Jesus, is absolutely free, but growing in our relationship is not—there is a cost— which is discipline. We must come to terms with the fact that God expects us to grow in spiritual disciplines such as memorization which requires effort on our part.
“Train yourselves to be godly” (1 Timothy 4:7 NIV).
“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God who works in you to will and to act
in order to fulfill his good purpose”
(Philippians 2:12-13 NIV).
Did you notice verse 13 above? Read it aloud. Did you see it? We aren’t in this alone! God is working in us, helping with spiritual disciplines like memorization. This means we can do this thing! Remember, we can do ALL things through Christ who gives us the strength (Phil 4:13)!
You know, it’s great to be able to recite a Scripture. But it’s easy to get caught up in the task of memorizing a verse and forget why we are memorizing in the first place. We memorize Scripture not just to know God’s word, but to know God Himself. The knowing God part is what changes our hearts. The Pharisees knew Scripture like nobody's business. And yet, Jesus said to them, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside, you appear to people as righteous but on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matthew 23:27-28 NIV).
Hebrews 4:12 says God’s word is alive. In fact, John 1:1 tells us the word is Christ Jesus himself—the word made flesh. When we engage in the Scriptures to encounter not just the precepts, but the very essence of Jesus, it makes the discipline of memorization so much easier! And it transforms our relationships—the one with Jesus and those around us. Now that makes it all worth it, right?
© Copyright 2017 by Beckie Lindsey
Beckie is a wife and mother of three adult children and two adorable cats. She is thoroughly content with a piece of dark chocolate, a cup of coffee, and a great book. She loves to encourage others to not only know the truths of the Bible but to experience them personally and practically in everyday life. Beckie is a freelance journalist, writer, and blogger with two book projects in the wings.
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Scripture memorization, Bible memory, The Transformational Power of Scripture Memorization, Beckie Lindsey