As promised from part 3, some of my favorite memorization tips:
- Read it in context for proper understanding. Read the whole chapter, at least once every day. If you can swing it, read it in the morning when you first wake up, and again before you retire for the night. It’s a great way to start your day, and if you read through it last thing before you fall asleep, your brain will continue to process the words. What a way to fall asleep, listening to the Lord speak His precious words to your heart.
- Read it out loud. You might even record yourself reading it, and play it back to yourself and say it out loud with the recording of your own voice.
- Write it down – I have found that the act of writing out my verses is helpful all by itself. Seeing the verse go from the page of my Bible to a note card or other surface causes something to connect in my brain. While I’m writing, I engage three of my natural senses; I look at the verse in my Bible, so I see how it looks. Then I say the verse out loud, and I hear it. I handle it, looking back and forth, making sure I am copying it correctly, and I write it and see it again in my own handwriting. I like to think a fourth sense is used, that of spiritually tasting the Scriptures.
- Refer back to it often. I have been known to have Bible verses posted on my bathroom mirror, on a sticky note that can travel with me from room to room, even on my hand. You want to put this passage where you can see it. And when you look at it, read it, say it, read it again.
- Get a buddy to memorize with you. Take turns reciting them in order…you say a verse, your buddy says a verse, and so on. It helps to have camaraderie and if you’re lucky, you can throw in a cup of coffee and call it fellowship. 🙂
- Sing it. Make a new song with your verses…or read them out loud with background instrumental music. Pick a piece of music for your whole passage and use it when you work on memorizing. God’s Word and music are natural companions.
- Last, but not least, and this is a new practice that I have recently started: Pray over it. I have my passage written in a section of my prayer journal, so that when I am done adoring the Lord for who He is, confessing my sinfulness and human failures, and thanking Him for His forgiveness and provision, I can read it again in prayer, asking that He would cement the words in my heart, and teach me through this passage what He needs me to know to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
The last passage ended with an exhortation to be careful how we live, to be wise, and to redeem the time, because of the evil days in which we live. This week’s passage picks up…in that context with further encouragement and instruction:
17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit,
19 as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts,
20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
I actually learned a song in that private school I attended that was taken word for word (in King James Version) from verses 18,19. I still hear that music when I read these verses. I can’t count the number of Bible verses I have in my memory bank that are set to music. I use some of them in my personal quiet times, just singing God’s word back to Him.
Interesting, how singing and making melody goes hand in hand with giving thanks to God at all times for everything. Thanksgiving is the key to a joyful and contented heart. And isn’t it much easier to be thankful when you have a song in your heart? Well, it is for me.
The last verse in this cluster really should go with the next thought, I’ll include it there when I get to it, but for memorization’s sake, it’s here.
More to follow. Do you memorize Scripture? I’d love to hear your memorization tips.