We'd sit around a half circle table in Sabbath School, each taking our turn repeating a text we had been working on for the past week. (Or, in my case, one I had "locked in memory" just that morning.) Sometimes we needed a little prodding or correcting of a misplaced word, then we'd receive our "gold star" sticker and go on to the next phase of Sabbath School, learning about Daniel or Jonah.
I never really understood this process as a kid. It just seemed a mundane addition to our education, like learning the times table or the layers of the earth. It's information we had to know, but didn't seem to have any real relevance.
In fact, it does have real relevance. Here are a few of the benefits of memorizing scripture...
1. Storing something in memory increases the potential that it could be recalled at another time. Recalling verses from memory is just one of the ways the Spirit speaks to us or speaks through us.
2. Working on memorizing a text helps us to think about it throughout the day, keeping our minds focused on (or ensuring they always return to) Holy things.
3. Setting our minds on verses from the Bible leads to life changes: keeping positive, changing something He might be leading us in, and shining for Jesus.
What are some ways to lock God's Word in our hearts and keep it on our minds?
1. You Version | this handy Bible app has a bookmarking tool that makes it easy to pull up the same verse on your smart phone throughout the day. Read it and reread it while you're standing in line at the grocery store or waiting for water to boil.
2. #SheReadsTruth | this is an awesome community of women, that all reads the Bible "together" through the She Reads Truth reading plan on the You Version app. Each Sunday one of the texts from the previous week's reading is chosen to lock into memory. Join in, and share your journey with this great community of women! (Sorry, men, guess you need to start your own club.)
3. Journal | write the text in your journal. The simple act of writing something down helps lock it into memory. This is also a good place to write notes on what God is telling you through the text, or how it helped you throughout the day.
4. Sticky Notes, etc. | get the text everywhere so you see it wherever you go! Stick it to your computer, write it in dry-erase on your mirror, print it and put it in a frame by your bed.
5. Slow down | some of us over-achievers might get overzealous and decide to memorize a verse a day or some other strict routine. I encourage you to slow it down, and focus on one section of scripture for the week or more, or at least for a few days. This helps memorize it a little better, and really gets at the heart of dwelling in God's presence rather than adding Him to another checklist. Give God time to move you through the scripture you're memorizing.
What is your favorite way to memorize scripture?