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Why Scripture Memory is such a blessing

Once you have the QT and sharing times established in your family we would encourage you to also make Scripture memory part of your family's life. It is one of the most wonderful things we can ever do in our walk with God. Scripture memory has been a great blessing in our family.

1) It greatly honours God when we memorize Scripture.

It is humbling ourselves and saying to the Lord, "I need your words in my life more than any other teaching or philosophy." It is saying to the Lord, "I love you so much, that I am prepared to allow You to speak into my life ahead of any book, teacher, university lecturer, doctor, famous preacher/ speaker or TV program."

2) It enables us to hear God's voice throughout the day.

Beginning the day with God and hearing his voice is so important, but the many distractions at work and school can fill our mind with wrong thinking. If our thinking is filled with God's Word, however, He can speak to us throughout the day from His Word.

3) Memorising Scripture changes our thinking, makes us more like Christ.

Romans 12:1-2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." We get our minds renewed by replacing our thoughts and our ideas with God's thoughts and God's ideas. As God's thoughts and God's ideas are found in Scripture, memorising Scripture is the most powerful and most direct way to "reprogram" or "renew" our minds.

Many Christians will say God speaks to us through His creation, through dreams or visions, by "impressions in the heart", and so on, but that He mainly speaks to us through His Word. The more His Word is stored up in our hearts, the more He can "quicken" it to us. This is similar to a computer - we can access information that has been stored in it, but if the information is not there we can't!

Why does God choose this way to communicate? Perhaps because the Word of God does not change, unlike our feelings or emotions that can be swayed by circumstances and people. Satan can play havoc with our feelings, but He can't change what's written in the Bible.

However, unlike computer programming, learning Scripture is not a "lifeless" thing. When we are busy with it, we are having fellowship with the Lord Himself.

Many of the Psalms are written in the form of a direct conversation with God. For example, most of Psalm 63 is talking directly to the Lord. "O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You. My body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water." As we learn Scriptures like this, we can often find it echoes the deep cries of our own heart and we can have the sense of "fellowship" with a God who is hearing and understanding our cries.

4) Memorizing Scripture helps us overcome addictions

More than any other activity, Scripture memory can help us break our addictions. Many Christians struggle with things such as eating disorders, alcohol, magazines, some Christian novels or pornography. The way to overcome them is for Jesus to become a greater joy to us than these.

How to memorize Scripture ... so you never forget it

Learn whole chapters and Psalms rather than individual verses. Scripture was written as a whole and verses are best understood in context. Chapters and verses were inserted by scholars during 1227-1555AD and are not divinely inspired like the words. But they help us find our way quickly around the Bible, so our family learns chapter numbers but considers verse numbers optional.

Research has proven you will remember better if you:

  • Write the passage out by hand. (We write on 160mm x 100mm cards, because they are big enough to write seven or eight verses on, yet small enough to carry in a shirt pocket.)
  • Use several coloured pens.
  • Memorize passages aloud. (This increases memory by 50 percent!)
  • Recite what you've memorized to someone else.
  • Learn passages you love.
  • Use imaging techniques.

Imaging is powerful. For example, to learn Psalm 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.


But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.


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.


Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.


Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.


For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Imagine a man walking casually along a road, talking with wicked people. He stops and listens to them. Then he actually sits down with them to listen.

Now picture another man sitting a few paces further on, past this first man. The second person is delighting in memorizing God's Word. Then picture that same person flourishing like a fruitful tree, planted by streams of water.

Next, move in your mind along a few more paces down the road to a paddock gate, and inside you see wicked and good people being threshed like wheat. The wheat and chaff are thrown into the air. The good wheat falls to the ground and is saved, while the chaff blows away and is lost.

Then finally, look up from the threshing towards heaven and imagine the judgement seat of Christ up there. There are wicked people there, unable to stand before God. They perish. And there are righteous people there also, being looked after by God.

Here's a three-step method that uses these principles of memory.


Read a phrase (aloud) several times. Image it. Without looking, try to say it accurately. (Learn without errors, because a mistake at this time will be hard to unlearn.) Write it out from memory.


During the day pause several times and recite the Scripture from memory. Repeat this step each day, until it has moved from "short term" to "long term" memory. This may take several weeks.


Divide all your old cards into seven groups and revise one group each day. At the end of the week you'll have revised all your scriptures!

It is helpful to learn new passages and revisit old verses as part of your Quiet Time.

Don't give up before you have the memory habit. It gets easier. (Everyone says this!) Keep memorizing and revising. Those who develop the habit usually come to love memorizing God's Word.

Reward your children as they learn verses. When ours were young, church was over an hour's drive away. Of course the children would get restless and squabble in the back seat - until we started paying them for each verse they memorized. It worked wonders. The fighting eased, and in the two years we attended this church they learned Psalm 1, Psalm 23, Psalm 34, Psalm 37, Psalm 100, Psalm 121 and more. They're now adults and say they are grateful for the Scriptures they learned as children.

Here are some special passages that you could start with:

Psalm 1, Psalm 16, John 10:1-10, Psalm 23, Psalm 27, Isaiah 40:27-31, Psalm 34, Psalm 37, Psalm 63, Psalm 84, Psalm 100, Psalm 116, Psalm 121, Psalm 139, Proverbs 3, Lamentations 3:19-33, Matthew 5:1-12, John 14:1-6, 1 Corinthians 13, Philippians 2:1-11, Colossians 3:12-17

Some final thoughts on Scripture Memory

Scripture memory has had a powerful, positive effect in our family. But in families where parents have demanded that children memorize Scripture it is often counter-productive.

In New Testament times every Jewish male was required to memorize the first five books of the Bible, and those training to be Pharisees had to memorize the whole of the Old Testament. While this was not a bad thing, it tended to produce men, and especially Pharisees, who were proud, legalistic and un-loving.

Not all were affected this way, however, as memorized Scriptures eventually were an incredible power in the life of converted Pharisees, such as the Apostle Paul. His 13 known letters are permeated with memorized Scripture.

It is clear Jesus had memorized much of the Old Testament. He regularly quoted it in His teaching and preaching without using notes. He also quoted Scripture when the devil confronted Him in the wilderness with three almost irresistible temptations. We see in Matthew 4 and Luke 4, that each time Jesus resisted these attacks with memorized Scripture. We can do the same.

We warmly encourage you to make Scripture memory part of your family life.

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