Scripture Memory


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  learning?


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  verse:

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  word: mee-mo-rize.

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  did.

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:

15:7  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:

1:1  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  short.

  1. 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.