Memorizing Scripture

This past weekend in my message, “Made to Grow,” I talked from Psalm 1 about the need for us to take in the essential food of God’s instruction. Within that psalm, we read this:

…but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night. (Psalm 1:3, NIV)

We should notice both the call to delight in God’s instruction and also to meditate upon it. As an aside in my comments about meditating upon Scripture, I encouraged Scripture memorization as a useful way to move our reading of Scripture more deeply into our lives. This allows us to live into what Paul said in Romans 12:2:

…be transformed by the renewing of your mind

There are no end of approaches to Scripture memorization, but let me suggest three here that I have used at different times in my life:

Note Cards
You don’t need to spend money in order to memorize Scripture. A basic and simple approach is to select one verse from your own personal reading of Scripture each week for memorization. Write that verse onto a note card that you carry around with you during the week. Return to that verse throughout each day for meditation, prayer, and memorization. Give yourself a week to work on memorizing the verse and then add another verse every week. Once a week, take out all the verses you have memorized and go over them all.

Navigators’ Topical Memory System
The Navigators developed a system of memorizing Scripture verses around key topics in the Christian life. These small, pre-printed cards are available in a few different Bible translations and come with a little card holder that helps your cards not be destroyed in your pocket as you bring them with you. The introductory booklet is quite helpful on best ways to memorize Scripture for the long-haul. You can find out more about the system here:

Fighter Verses
Someone introduced me to the Fighter Verses approach in the last couple of years. It is a collection of 52 passages per year for five years (260 total) intended “to arm us for the fight for faith and love, and against unbelief and sin.” Bethlehem Baptist Church (John Piper) is the main driving force behind Fighter Verses, which has now been revised beyond print versions into an online presence and iPhone/iPad and Android app.

For some other helpful resources on Scripture memory, take a look at this blog:

3 thoughts on “Memorizing Scripture

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Matt — great stuff. It truly is amazing how many ways we can immerse ourselves in God’s Word these days! Just added the Fighter Verse app to my phone. Seems pretty spiffy.

    If only there were a way to connect a virtual Bible directly into the cerebellum for lazy people like me …

    • I’m glad you found this helpful, Mark. I really like the Fighter Verse app since it makes everything so convenient. I can access it on something I already carry with me nearly everywhere!

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