PROVEN WAYS TO MEMORIZE A VERSE EFFECTIVELY
- Before you start to memorize the verse, read it aloud several times.
- Learn the topic, reference, and first phrase as a unit.
- After you have reviewed the topic, reference, and first phrase a few times, add the second phrase. Gradually add phrases until you know the whole verse. (It is best to do this over a period of several hours.)
- Work on the verses audibly whenever possible.
- As you memorize and review the verse, think about how it applies to your own life.
- Always review the verse in this sequence: a. TOPIC: “Assurance of Salvation” b. REFERENCE: “First John five, eleven and twelve” c. VERSE(S): “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” d. REFERENCE: “First John five, eleven and twelve”
- The most critical element in Scripture memory is review, review, review! The most important time to review a verse repeatedly is right after you can quote the whole verse (topic, reference, verse, reference) without making a mistake. Review the verse preferably many times a day for several days. After that, plan to review the verses once a day during this course. The more you review, the greater your retention.
- An important concept is the principle of over-learning. We can recall names, phone numbers, web addresses, and routes to certain stores or homes because we have “over-learned” them — the information is deeply planted in our memory. So in doing Scripture memory, we don’t consider a verse memorized simply at the point when we can quote it accurately. Only after having reviewed it frequently enough for it to become ingrained in our memory can we say with certainty that a verse has been memorized.
The Bible says that “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10). Coupled with this wonderful truth is the statement in His Word that “to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). According to these Scriptures, if you have to the best of your knowledge received Jesus Christ (trusted Him as your own Savior), you have become a child of God in whom Jesus Christ dwells. Many people make the mistake of measuring the certainty of their salvation by their feelings. Don’t make this tragic mistake. Believe God. Take Him at His Word: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). It is impossible in these few pages to go into all the wonderful results of the transaction that took place when you received Christ.
Children may be born into a wealthy home and become the possessor of good parents, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, but at the time of their birth it is not necessary that they be informed of all these wonderful things. There are more important matters to take care of first. They must be protected, for they have been born into a world with many enemies. In the hospital room, they are handled with sterilized gloves and kept from outsiders to prevent them from falling victim to the myriad germs and viruses waiting to attack. It is the awareness of such enemies that enables the doctors and nurses to take measures to protect the precious new life. You have become a child of God; you have been born into His family as a spiritual babe. This is a strategic moment in your life. The following basic truths will strengthen you for the battle ahead and keep you safe from the onslaughts of Satan.
In 1 Peter 2:2 we read, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” In Acts 20:32 we read, “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up.” The Bible serves as our spiritual food and will build us up in the faith. In this course, you are given suggestions for how to read your Bible. It is important that you have time set aside, preferably in the morning, to read the Word of God and pray. Now let’s be more specific with regard to your intake of the Word of God. In Psalm 119, it says, “How can a young man keep his way pure?” (verse 9), and then the psalmist speaks to the Lord, saying, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (verse 11). So we hide His Word in our heart by memorizing key passages. This course offers five useful Scripture passages with which you may begin. Let us consider for a moment the spiritual Enemy you face. Before you trusted Christ, Satan may not have bothered you particularly, but now he has seen you make the step that angers him more than any one thing in all the world: You have left his crowd and joined the ranks of those who believe and trust in the Son of God. You are no longer in Satan’s domain; you now belong to the One who has bought and paid for you with a price, the price of His own blood, shed on the cross. You may be sure that Satan will attempt to trouble you. His attacks assume many forms. These memory verses will help you deal with some of the most common satanic attacks and give you help on how to resist him successfully. You can overcome him only as you use the weapons God has provided. Paul said, “Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). The Bible, then, is the primary weapon against these attacks. Consider that Jesus Christ was tempted by Satan in three specific ways, and He defeated him each time with Scripture, saying, “It is written” (see Matthew 4). If Christ deemed it necessary to meet Satan this way, how much more do we need this mighty weapon, the Word of God? How much more do we need to be prepared to say to Satan, “It is written” or “Thus said the Lord”?
- Assurance of Salvation (1 John 5:11-12) The memory verses of Scripture in this course have been chosen to give you a defense against some of the most common attacks from the Enemy. Often Satan’s first approach is to cast doubt upon the work God has done in your heart. You may find yourself thinking, How can I be saved and my sins forgiven just by believing and receiving Christ? Surely that is not enough! Your only hope to withstand such an attack is to resort to God’s Word. What does God say about the matter? That is the important thing. And so the first memory passage, 1 John 5:11-12 (Assurance of Salvation), says, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” When this passage has been written on the table of your heart, you will be able to use it every time a doubt arises. On the basis of God’s written Word, you will have overcome one of the first tests. This attack may recur, but now you can use the Word of God in your heart to meet it.
- Assurance of Answered (John 16:24) Prayer Another attack of Satan may be to cause you to doubt the effectiveness of prayer. You may catch yourself thinking, How can God really be personally interested in me? He seems far away and is probably concerned about more important things. When I pray, does He hear me, much less answer my prayers? With Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you have the unique privilege of speaking directly with your heavenly Father through Him. God wants you to come confidently into His presence. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16) and to talk to Him about everything. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). He is intensely interested in you and your needs. In the second passage, John 16:24, Jesus gives us His assurance of answered prayer: “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” Jesus did not say that His disciples had never asked before. You yourself have probably asked many times, especially when in trouble. But now you can ask in Jesus’ name because you belong to Him. To ask in His name means to ask in His authority and on His merit. Just as the Father answered Jesus’ every prayer, so will He answer your call and meet your needs. Memorize this wonderful promise. Apply its truth and experience the joy of answered prayer.
- Assurance of Victory (1 Corinthians 10:13) Still another attack may be along this line: I have spiritual life, all right, but in my following God, I feel that I am a weakling; I have always been weak. You will remember some sin that has gripped you throughout the past years of your life. You will think, I am weak; I will not be able to stand against this particular temptation. Perhaps I am able to stand against others, but not this one. How will you answer this doubt? Will you rely on what this person or that one says, or will you resort to the invincible Word? The third passage, 1 Corinthians 10:13, is chosen especially to meet this attack of Satan: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” This verse gives assurance of victory. Our faithful God promises victory over temptation. It belongs to you as a child of His. He will always give you an “exit” to avoid sin. Believe what God has said and you will see that things impossible with men are possible with God. It will thrill you to see that chains of lifetime habits can be broken by His mighty power. Memorize this verse; write it on the table of your heart and then trust the Holy Spirit to help you live victoriously over sin.
- Assurance of Forgiveness (1 John 1:9) This brings us to the next attack of Satan. Although victory over temptation is rightfully yours, you may fail. When you sin, you may think, Now I’ve done it. I’m supposed to be a Christian, but Christians don’t do those things, do they? Nevertheless, God makes provision in His Word for the failures of His children, and so the fourth passage, 1 John 1:9, speaks of the assurance of forgiveness: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” To confess a sin means to uncover it by calling it exactly what God calls it: sin. You “tell it like it is” to God. Implicit in honest confession is the willingness to forsake the sin. “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). God promises to not only forgive us but also cleanse us. What a gracious provision! You can thank God for His forgiveness. When we are honest and repent, God gives us a fresh start!
- Assurance of Guidance (Proverbs 3:5-6) The four preceding assurances have been given to help you meet the principal attacks of Satan. However, the fifth passage for you to memorize is for a different purpose.
You may have questions about the future, wondering how this new life of yours is all going to work out. What about God’s will for my life? Will He really lead me? This verse (Proverbs 3:5-6) comes to give you assurance of guidance: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” God promises to lead you and direct your path when you rely on Him completely. Memorize and apply this Scripture as a reminder to trust God for His guidance in your life. After you have memorized these verses and learned to apply them, you will be aware of the strength and blessings that come from hiding God’s Word in your heart.
The Navigators. Growing Strong in God’s Family: A Course in Personal Discipleship to Strengthen Your Walk with God (The 2:7 Series Book 1) . Navpress. Kindle Edition.