At what point do we quit doing scripture memory in Sunday School?
Little kids do scripture memory all the time in Sunday School; at
what age do we stop?
Too soon, I say.
At what age should we stop doing scripture memory in Sunday
School? At what age do we graduate from this childish approach to
If you want to create (spiritually speaking) meat-eating lions,
if you want to create take-no-prisoners soldiers of the cross, if
you want to create spiritual giants, if you want to create people
who love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and
strength, if you want to create people who are being transformed by
the gospel a little more each day, from one glory to the next,
encourage people to memorize God's word.
I know of no other spiritual discipline that will drive steel
into the foundation of your soul like scripture memory.
Want to sin less than you do? Consider the promise of this
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. Psalms 119:11 (NIV)
The word translated "hidden" in this passage is an old Hebrew
Want to sin less than you do? Memorize God's Word.
Want to worry less than you do? Memorize the first verse I ever
memorized. From the Living:
Don't worry about anything; instead,
pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don't forget to
thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God's
peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can
understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet
and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (TLB)
You say you can't memorize? Memorize it the way I did. Just read
it about a thousand times and you will find that, walla! you have
memorized it. You will also find you worry a little less than you
Want to beat off temptation?
Do it the way Jesus did--by memorizing God's Word. This gets into
a bit of the mystery of the incarnation, but how do you think Jesus
knew to quote those verses in the desert? I think He memorized them.
(I think Jesus' knowledge of Scripture is one of the things He
emptied Himself of (Philippians 2); otherwise, He wasn't tempted in
every way we were (Hebrews 4.15))
My wife and I have both recently stumbled into a renewed
appreciation for the benefit of Scripture memory. We got here in
different ways. She is going through Rick Warren's Purpose Driven
Life and memorizing the verse of the day each day. I started
bookmarking and memorizing key verses on my phone (What? You don't
have a Bible on your phone? Say it isn't so!) Great thing about that
is it is always with me. I find myself having to wait on this and
that a lot. When I do, I pull out the phone and start meditating and
memorizing. If you don't have a phone with the Bible on it, you
could, of course do it the old fashioned way--with little scripture
memory cards. (Blank business cards you can get at Office Max or
Staples work nicely.) But, for geeks, you gotta use a phone.
Want to see answer to prayer?
Consider this promise:
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever
you wish, and it will be given you. John 15:7 (NIV)
Notice the condition: "and my words remain in you." The Greek
word has the sense of, "to be at home in God's word." God's Word
needs to become as familiar as an old pair of slippers. It is a
condition of answered prayer.
Want to be prosperous and successful in all that you do?
It is my experience that memorization and meditation go hand in
hand. It is hard to do one without the other. In fact, I would say
the point of memorizing is to meditate and the way to meditate is to
memorize. If I am right about that, consider this promise:
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the
wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
1:2 But his delight is in
the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
1:3 He is like a tree planted by
streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf
does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalms 1:1-3 (NIV)
Want to prosper in whatever you do? Meditate day and night on
God's word. Want to have a group full of people who prosper in all
they do? Teach your group to meditate on God's word.
How to memorize in class: the 3 X 3 X 3 rule
Here is how to get your group memorizing in class. I call it the
3 X 3 X 3 rule. If you have been using
online lessons, you are
familiar with this rule and its variations. Here is how it works.
Select a verse to memorize. I wouldn't necessarily do this
every week, but I would do it often. I'd pick something somewhat
- Have everyone say it three times out loud. That is the first
three. For some of the people in your group, this is all it will
take to memorize the verse. Some of these verses will be
familiar to the group. In fact, I would say always memorize the
most familiar verses in the passage. Some will have already
memorized these verses.
Oh, one other thing: I would do this early in the class session,
for reasons that are about to become clear.
- Second three: have three individuals say it out loud. Get
volunteers; don't call on anyone unless you know you won't
embarrass them. This is the second three.
- Repeat this three times during class. About every ten or
fifteen minutes, say, "What was our verse again?"
3+ If you really want to nail it
home, go over it each of the next three weeks.
If you are new to scripture memory, I recommend you start where I
did, with the Navigators' Topical Memory System. It includes 60
verses printed on little cards you can take with you. Plus, there is
a lot of useful information in the packet as to how to memorize.