only help my unbelief

How to Pick a Verse/Passage/Chapter/Book to Memorize
January 27, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Posts

God has made each one of us unique, and that includes how our minds are wired. For some of us, memorizing Scripture comes more easily than it does for others. But God says in Scripture to let His Word abide in us, and the most effective way of making sure His Word is in us to memorize it.

Where to start, though? I started with 1 John because one of my most egregious sins is the daily act of not loving the people around me. I knew that 1 John talked about loving our brothers, so I figured that would be a good thing to have in my heart. I also picked it because it was pretty short compared to other books (Ezekiel, anyone?) and I wanted to have a good foundation of Scripture memorization before I moved on to something more difficult.

But you don’t have to start with a book. If that seems too overwhelming, pick a chapter. If even a chapter seems like too much to begin with (though it depends on the chapter – take Psalm 119 vs. Psalm 117), pick a passage from a chapter.

That doesn’t narrow it down a whole lot, though, so here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is there anything in Scripture you’ve always wanted to memorize?
  • How many verses do you think you could memorize in a week?
  • What sin do you struggle with the most?
  • Are there any parts of Scripture that you’re especially familiar with, but don’t have memorized?

Here’s a sample of answers to the questions and the passage I’d advise memorizing:

  • Is there anything in Scripture you’ve always wanted to memorize? “I really love the Pauline epistles, because they’re really practical.
  • How many verses do you think you could memorize in a week? “Probably four or five.”
  • What sin do your struggle with the most? “I tend to get angry often and say things that I shouldn’t say.”
  • Are there any parts of Scripture that you’re especially familiar with, but don’t have memorized? “I studied the book of Ephesians with a group at church one time.”

If I were you, I’d go with Ephesians 4:17-32. It’s 16 verses, so in a month you could memorize the whole passage. It talks about the new life and how we are to stop sinning through anger or by things we say. And it would at least be a little familiar since it had been studied before.

These answers are a little biased, because I wrote them with a certain passage in mind. But even just answering one of the questions might be enough to point you to a certain passage. For example, Psalm 34 is one of my favorite parts of the whole Bible, and part of the psalm is my life verse(s). I have those memorized, but I don’t have the whole psalm memorized. That’s a prime target for memorization, because it will actually be fairly easy to memorize, because I’ve read it about 23678230 times.

Still stumped? Here’s a list of some of the things on my future memorization list:

* Psalm 103
* Romans 8
* The Ten Commandments
* Matthew 5-7 (The Beatitudes)
* 1 Corinthians 13
* Isaiah 53
* Deuteronomy 6

If you’re still not sure, then let me know. I’m by no means an expert on all of what’s in the Bible, but I’d definitely be willing to walk alongside anybody who’s trying to decide on what God would have them memorize.


2 Comments so far
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Thanks so much for sharing about this spiritual discipline. This past week in our bible study, we talked about Scripture memory and then you post about it as well. I do believe the Lord is speaking to me 🙂

I appreciate your tips/advice, as well. I would like to eventually memorize the book of Colossians, but I think I will begin with chapter 3.

Comment by Mary Catherine

Hello, dear sister. I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now. Found you under “memorization” somehow. I also love memorizing! My grown daughter and I are going through in our memorization, and we just finished Romans 12. It is so applicable for our church right now. At one time I had 5 children at home, a kindgergartener and 4 preschoolers, and I memorized Philippians. It took me a year, and one of the reasons I did it was to show that if I could do it under those circumstances, anyone could. It’s much easier nowadays now that everyone’s gone and I’m a stay-at-home wife.

I love the simplicity of your wedding plans. Good for you. It’s way better than getting yourselves and other people into debt for a one-day event. Never did seem like good stewardship to me. Now, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, won’t that be something! No holds barred! And for you and me. Wow! The ultimate arranged marriage. I love it!

Carry on, little sister. You are encouragement to this 53 year-old grandmother.

Comment by Vivian

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