Memorizing Bible verses is commonplace in the modern Church. It’s in Sunday school, on web services, in emails, on flashcards, and probably anywhere else you can think of to put a verse. The question is: is it effective?
Maybe you are, or were, like me. I thought he was a bad Christian. I had a lot of Bible stories floating around, even a few key verses, but I could never remember them. exactly Right.
I would say something like, “Present yourself as a living sacrifice, so that … uh … you may be pleasing to God … and … uh … prove that He is worthy.” But he worked on it, read and studied more, and improved at remembering verses, but he would have trouble remembering books, chapters, and verses.
So I would say, “Oh, I know them well, I just don’t know where they live.”
At that time, I was a Christian for about 12 years. My friend, a true little boy in faith (2 years old), was quoting Scripture until he got sad. Honestly, he was jealous.
That’s where my heart was. He wanted to learn Bible Memory Verses just to show he knew something, gain recognition, prove he was a ‘man of God’.
Now, I haven’t arrived yet, but I’m definitely gone. I realized that my attitude was wrong and began to analyze this whole concept of memory verses. What does the bible say? Well, it doesn’t really say much about memorizing verses. There are some verses that can be interpreted for memory, but I would go a step further. We should not simply memorize verses, but focus intensely on them, think about them, rehearse them in our mind and heart, and chew them like a cow chews the cud; getting every last piece of food.
So what is the difference between memorizing and meditating? What might seem like a minor matter will make a big difference in your life.
God told the Israelites to make the Scriptures an integral part of their lives:
“These commandments that I give you today should be in your hearts. Print them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk down the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols in your hands and tie them in your forehead. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. ” – Deut. 6: 6-9 (VIN)
The first instruction on meditation is found in Joshua 1: 8. God tells Joshua that he (we) should meditate on the book of the law day and night. Why? “So that you are careful to do everything that is written on it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (NIV) The word meditate is the Hebrew word ‘Hagah’ (Strong’s H1897) which means to murmur, murmur, pronounce or speak. God says to Joshua: “You want to fill Moses’ shoes, then think and talk about what is written day and night. Yes, even the book of Numbers. “
On the other hand, David writes: “[The blessed man’s] delight is in the law of the LORD, and in his law he meditate day and night.“(Psalm 1: 2 NIV emphasis mine)
Let me ramble. I think memorizing Bible verses is better than not memorizing. It can only benefit you. PURPOSE the Bible teaches us to go beyond mere memorization. In fact, it teaches us not only to memorize, but to hide the Word in our hearts and make it part of who we are. Memorization engages your mind while meditation engages your heart.
A simple story sums up this point. A man held a Christmas party with friends and family. As they gathered around the fire, they decided, in the spirit of the season, to quote their favorite verses. The host, an eloquent speaker, got up and recited Psalm 23 (The Lord is my shepherd, I will lack nothing …). The guests were amazed by his talent for delivery and applauded. After a few others, it was Grandma’s turn. Now Grandma had been dozing for half an hour and had missed what was happening. The host gently woke her up and asked her to recite her favorite verse. The grandmother sat down, cleared her throat, and recited Psalm 23. When she finished, there was not a dry eye in the room.
As his guests were leaving, a friend came up to him and said, “I don’t understand, what was the difference between your recitation and your grandmother’s? They were identical.” The host smiled and simply said, “I know the Psalm. She knows the Shepherd.”
So start today. Pick up a favorite memory verse or find a popular verse and take the first step beyond memorization. Write it on the tablet of your heart. After a month, the results may surprise you.