Scripture Memorization Testimonies! (August)

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By Allison 

[This is the fourth article in a series that we will be posting this month, focusing on the importance of Scripture memory.]

It is my desire that you have been encouraged in your memorization journey this month.  I have always found it helpful to hear from other young ladies who have walked the road before me sharing their stories.  So that is what I would like to do now.

This is the story from a young lady about how she first began memorizing: “I grew up in a Christian home, so my parents always had me memorizing Scripture from a young age.  In middle school, I started Awanas, which is a Bible program that involves much memorization.  However, the thing that prompted me to start memorizing of my own initiative — not because my parents or pastors told me to — was because of my pastor’s testimony.  He talked about how he had memorized Philippians and how now, whenever he counsels people, he always turns to Philippians because he knows it so well and it’s on the forefront of his mind.  That story made a huge impact on me — I wanted to know the Bible like that and have that help for witnessing to others or even when battling temptations personally.”

Another daughter of the King shares how she has been encouraged through Scripture memory: “For me personally, it’s encouraging to know scripture because my sister and I can talk about things in the bible and verses we’ve learned and encourage each other or help each other with questions we have.”

Emilie shares why she believes we should memorize Scripture: “Memorizing Scripture will make God’s word more available to you – you may not always have a Bible with you when you’re at that party and someone asks you about what you believe in or you just need a verse to remind you of something. Constantly reading and rereading Scripture to memorize it will make you mull over it more, and certain words and phrases you only skimmed before may pop out at you. Most importantly, it allows the Holy Spirit to constantly have “weapons” available in your mind to battle the sin inside. Books be taken away, but not your mind.”

“The more you practice memorization the easier it really does get.”

One 23-year-old shares her struggles with memorization and how God has helped her overcome them: “Sometimes I get behind on reviewing verses; they just build up until I have so many to review that it is really discouraging to think about it.  Because of this, there have been a couple times I took a really long ‘break’ from memorizing.  But God is faithful and when He sees that the time is right He encourages me through other peoples’ testimonies, through reading the Bible, through sermons, or other mediums to get back to memorizing.  Lately He’s been showing me a more practical side of memorization–being able to use promises of the Bible in praying for people–which has kept me motivated so that the review doesn’t pile up.”

The same girl tells about her discovery while memorizing God’s Word: “Well, people say that the more you memorize, the easier it becomes.  I never realized the truth in that until I had been memorizing for a while.  I was finishing up the book of James, and for about a week I was taking 50-minute long walks and memorizing as I walked.  I was memorizing 12 verses at a time that way!  That’s when it hit me–when I first started memorizing, there’s no way I would have been able to do that.  So the more you practice the easier it really does get.”

Here’s an inspiring story of how memorization impacts our every decision: “The most significant time I can think of was when I was looking for guidance in making an important decision.  I had already made a choice that I thought was in accordance with God’s will, but this particular day I just felt very unsettled in that choice and felt very strongly that I had to fast and pray all that morning until I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what God’s will was.  So I went to a nearby park and spent all morning there, praying and thinking and writing and reading the Bible.  At one point as I was writing out once again the pros and cons, a Bible verse that I had memorized a couple weeks before came to mind.  I decided that when I was finished I would look it up and read the context, as it really seemed to have nothing to do with my situation.  But when I did look it up and read in context, God was really able to speak to me through that passage, and I left the park around noon with a certainty about what choice I needed to make.  And God was able to give that to me because of that verse I had memorized.”

Allison offers these words of encouragement: “Stay strong! The benefits of memorization far outweigh those of relying on a paper Book. You will benefit immensely in your spiritual life, as well as benefitting others. Never give up on God. If you are having a difficult time, persevere. As you memorize, it becomes easier and easier as you get to know God’s Word more deeply. Be it memorizing, reciting, studying, or simply reading, you will never regret a single moment spent in His Word.”

Finally, “Do not quit! It is easy to quit, but very hard to re-start. And Ecclesiastes 12:1 tells us to “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…” If we wait until we’re grown-ups, we’ll only have less time, money, etc. And always do it to Christ’s glory!! “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).”

I pray that you have been inspired and equipped this month.  I echo the words above, don’t give up!

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

~Ashley (15)
{Guest Writer}

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Bonus Tips – How to Memorize Scripture (August)

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By Allison 

[This is the third article in a series that we will be posting this month, focusing on the importance of Scripture memory.]

I pray that your memorization journey is going well so far. Today, I want to share with you some additional tips to aid you as you climb the difficult road of memorization toward a closer reunion with your heavenly Father.

Remember to recite the reference before and after you read the actual passage, so that you know where your verse is located in Scripture. If someone questions the validity of your verse, you can get out a Bible and prove to them that God said this.

One of the more basic methods of memorization is simply to read the verse over and over. The key to this whole process is repetition; the more you do it, the better it will stick in your memory. You can write the verse out on a sticky note or pretty card, and then paste them all over the house, in places that you will see them often, like a door, the bathroom mirror, across from the toilet seat, above the kitchen sink, a desk, etc. I’ve also laminated verses and put them in the shower, so that I can make use of otherwise wasted time. Look for little snippets of time like as you are brushing your teeth, or doing the dishes, to use valuably for God’s glory.

Find or make a picture of the verse you are memorizing, and save it as the background of your computer and phone. Make a bookmark out of it, and diligently read it each time you open your book.

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You can also write the verse out on an index card, put it in your pocket (or purse) and then pull it out whenever you have a spare moment, in the car (provided you are not the driver), while folding the laundry, while waiting in line; you get the idea. Elizabeth Elliot in her book Passion and Purity, first published in 1894, said of her future husband, “I noticed him in dining hall lines with little white cards in his hand, memorizing Greek verbs or Scripture verses.” He took this method to heart, and proved attractive to Elizabeth because of his diligence in this area. Remember as you read your memory passage over and over again, to meditate on it and really think about what the verse is saying. I can read something over a hundred times, and still not have it memorized, because I was not paying attention to the words. Before you know it, you will be able to recite the passage from memory.

Another helpful tip is to read the verse five times right before you go to bed and five times as soon as you wake up. When you do this, you put God’s Word as the last thing you think about before sleeping and the first thing you think about when you wake up. It is extremely effective.

Try writing the words in your verse with different colors and styles and then reading it off that card. In John 3:16 you could highlight all the references to God in say, blue; all the references to death or blood, red; all the references to mankind, yellow, and so on. The crazier it is, the better it will stick in your mind. You can write verses using all kinds of wild fonts, colors, and sizes. Consider putting these colorful verses around the house. As you read this card over and over again, it will soon become embedded in your mind.

Writing your verse out is very effective because it involves many of the senses in your body. When you write your verse, you can engage your body (with your hands), your eyes, and, if you speak it out loud, your mouth and ears as well. The more senses you involve in your memorization process, the easier it will be to memorize the passage.

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Write it out multiple times, thinking about what you are writing. If you do not think about what you are writing, then it will not help you stick that verse in your memory.

To make this memory process into something more like a game (and I highly recommend doing this with your younger siblings), write the verse out on a whiteboard or chalkboard, and then erase one word at a time, while repeating the other words in your head. As an illustration, in Colossians 3:16, you could write the phrase, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Read this several times, and then erase “Let” so you say “let” and then read “the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” Go on to erase “the” and say “Let the” and read “word of Christ dwell in your richly.” Do this until all the verse has been erased and you’re repeating it entirely from memory.

A final tip in the subject of how to memorize Scripture, is to write out only the first letter of each word in the verse. After you have become fairly familiar with the verse, by using some of the other tips I have mentioned, try reading it using only the first letter of each word to spark your memory. This site will actually convert your passages into just letters with the push of a button. This method is helpful to really solidify the passage in your mind.

Once you have memorized a passage, the journey has begun. There are many things you can do with a passage that you have memorized, including,

Apply it

  • John 13:17
  • James 1:25

Share it

  • Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Pray it

  • Acts 4:24-31

Teach it

  • Ezra 7:10
  • 2 Timothy 2:15

Converse about it

  • 1 Peter 4:11

Meditate on it

  • Joshua 1:8
  • Psalm 1:2

Witness with it

  • Mark 16:15

If you wish to dive into the topic of memorization even more, check out my list of resources here.

I encourage you to explore some of the suggestions I have included above and find your favorites, and then dive in. The more you memorize, the more fruitful your spiritual life will be. Just try it! Do you wish to share with the KBR subscribers what the Lord is doing in your life through memorization? Email me at theindwellingwordministries[at]gmail[dot]com. Next week, I will compile your responses to share with young ladies around the world.

~Ashley (15)
{Guest Writer}


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Five Ways to Memorize Scripture (August)

aug14 2 By Allison 

[This is the second article in a series that we will be posting this month, focusing on the importance of Scripture memory.]

“Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization.”*

Memorization is definitely an important discipline, but how do we memorize? When we think of memorization, what usually comes to mind is what we call rote memorization, which is just repeating a verse over and over until it is stuck in your brain.

There are several disadvantages to this method, including the fact that it is not very effective, nor very fun. Contrary to popular belief, memorization can actually be fun, especially using some of the methods that I will outline for you here. There are a few basic things you need to know for any memorization, no matter what method you choose to use. First of all, you need to pray. We should pray before completing any activity, but especially memorization because of its difficulty. It is only by the Holy Spirit’s power that memorization is possible for any of us. aug2014

Before you begin memorizing, make sure you have a plan. I find that if I do not outline some goals for what I hope to accomplish, and include due dates, it usually does not happen. Maybe your goal could be to memorize the book of Ephesians in a month. Then you would want to break down that goal into smaller more manageable parts like five verses a day, or something like that. As the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

I find that without a proper understanding of what I am trying to memorize, I will never get it. Even before I begin to memorize a passage, I will study it. It is helpful for me to print out the verse/passage on a piece of paper and read it over several times, noting what it says and the key words. Then I go through it and highlight key words with symbols. This helps me to understand what the verse is about. It is also important to note the context of the passage, who said it, when they said it, where they said it, why they said it, and how they said it.

Now to the fun part, the actual memorization.

  1. One of my favorite methods of memorization is to draw pictures for each word, or phrase to help them stick in my memory. A word picture, or rebus, is very simple to make, it just take a little creativity. For example, in John 3:16 you could use the number four to represent the word for. For God, you could use a picture of God. For so, you could use a picture of someone sewing, and for love, you could use a heart. You get the idea. Once you have the whole verse in pictures (the little words like “an” and “in” you can just write), read the verse out loud from that card several times, then try to picture the illustrations in your head as you recite it from memory.
  2. Another method that’s a lot of fun (and good exercise) is to put hand and body motions to the words. The more you get your whole body active in this memorization process, the easier it will be to memorize. To illustrate, Psalm 119:11 would go something like this: “Thy [point up toward heaven] word [hold hands like an open book] have I [point to self] hid [cup your hands as if you had something hidden in them] in mine heart [form a heart with your hands and place it where your heart is in your body], that I [point to self] might not [do the sign for “no”] sin [slap your hand] against thee [point to heaven]. Do the hand motions several times while looking at the verse, and then see if you can repeat it from memory. Make sure you really have it solidified in your head before you move on.
  3. A fun way to memorize while doing chores or other tasks is by listening to the verses you are memorizing. There are several ways to do this. You can record yourself reading the verse, and then listen to that recording whenever you would normally listen to music. You can also listen to an audio Bible (many are available on the internet for free).
  4. Even more effective than that is listening to the verse put into song. Many musicians have put verses to song, if you can get your hands on some of their music. One great online resources is freebiblemusic(dot)com, which offers many verses put to song for free. If you can find no songs for the passage you are memorizing, make something up. You can use a favorite tune, or make up your own. As long as it sticks in your head, it does not matter how bad the tune sounds.
  5. During your memorization sessions, try reading the verse out-loud emphasizing different words. To illustrate, Deuteronomy 11:18a says, “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart.” You could say, “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart,” and then, “Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart,” etc. When combining this with some of the other methods I have mentioned, you will have the verse down in no time.

Remember to persevere. You will most certainly face trials from the devil who does not wish you to memorize, because he knows how beneficial it will be to your life. Memorization takes a lot of diligence, a lot of repetition, and a lot of prayer. Include all of these things daily to your memorization life.

Memorization takes a lot of diligence, a lot of repetition, and a lot of prayer.

How are you doing? What is the Lord teaching you about memorization? How has memorization benefited you? What are your favorite methods of memorization? I would love to hear from you! I plan to include your stories in my fourth article, so if you would like to share, email me at theindwellingwordministries[at]gmail[dot]com. I look forward to hearing what God is doing in your life through the memorization of His Word!

~Ashley (15)
{Guest Writer}

 

*Dallas Willard, in Vocatio

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Why Memorize Scripture? (August)

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By Allison 

[This is the first article in a series that we will be posting this month, focusing on the importance of Scripture memory.]

“’Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…’” “’Let the word of Christ dwell in you…’ Oh, what was that last word! Hmm, richly? Yes, I think that’s it. ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.’” In this manner, Rebekah poured over her Bible as she memorized the third chapter of Colossians.

Why did she do this? Why go through hour after hour of hiding God’s Word in our heart? I believe that the Bible offers clear answers to these questions.

1. We are commanded to memorize Scripture

The first and most important reason that we should memorize Scripture is because God’s Word commands it. You may have come across one or two passages in your Bible reading, but did you know that Christ exhorts us in this way over 17 times? If He is this serious about memorization, we should be too.

One of the lessor known verses concerning memorization is Deuteronomy 32:46, which says, “And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.” Notice the command, which charges us to set God’s teachings upon our hearts. This verse comes from Moses at his last speech to the people of Israel before his death. Then look at what he says next: “For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it” (Deuteronomy 32:47). Memorizing God’s Word is not by any stretch of the imagination time wasted. It is our life! It prolongs our days both physically and spiritually.

2. It helps us guard against sin and the devil

Psalms 119:11 speaks such truth, leaving no doubt about the importance of God’s Word to us: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Why did David memorize Scripture? To help keep himself from sin. We must do the same.

Faith is our shield and the Word of God is our sword, according to Ephesians 6. How do we attain faith? Through the Word of God (Romans 10:17). So then, both our defense and our offense comes from the Word of God. I have seen personally in my life how the devil flees from the strength and power God’s Word. Often, if I am awakened in the middle of the night by a bad dream, I will quote Scripture, and fear will vanish and the peace of Christ overflows me.

Similarly, when I am tempted to walk past my sister struggling to lift a box of toys, the Holy Spirit reminds me of a verse that encourages me to put the needs and desires of others before my own (Philippians 2:3) and help her. In this way, the Sword keeps me from sin.

If we are not constantly filling our minds with the truth, the lies of the world and the enemy will overpower us. Memorization places the truth in our minds every minute of the day.

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3. It helps us share with unbelievers

What better tool to use in sharing the Gospel than the Gospel itself? The following verses show the importance of using God’s Word when witnessing.

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” –Isaiah 55:11

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” –Romans 10:17

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” -2 Timothy 3:15

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” –Psalm 19:7

God’s Word is the power that converts the soul, that does not return void, and that makes us wise for salvation. As 1 Peter 3:15 exhorts, we must prepare ourselves for witnessing conversations by hiding God’s Word in our heart, because our mere words are not sufficient. Only the living and powerful Word of God is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Let us wield this sword of truth as warriors in the kingdom of God.

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4. It gives us a deeper knowledge of and love for God’s Word

Ten times in Psalm 119 David talks about how he delights in God’s Word. A diligent study and memorization of God’s Word has prompted this. He has seen the words of the Lord and encountered the benefits that they bring, and will not let them go now.

As we spend time studying and memorizing God’s Word, we will grow to love it more. It has been said that we crave what we consume. If you are always eating junk food, the healthy things that are actually good for your body may seem flavorless. On the other hand, as you wean yourself of the sugarcoated food, the nourishing things like salad taste better and better. It is the same with His Word. The more you consume it by reading, studying, and memorizing, the more you will begin to see its value and long for more and more. Just try it!

There are countless more reasons for memorizing God’s Word. I challenge you to begin the memorization journey yourself and experience these benefits firsthand. I would love to hear your discoveries and share your testimony in a future article. Email me at theindwellingwordministries @ gmail . com. I can’t wait to hear what God is doing in your life through the memorization of His Word!

In next week’s article, we’ll share some tips on how to memorize Scripture.

~Ashley (15)
{Guest Writer}

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Sitting at His Feet & Serving with Joy (July)

July2014By Rachel Crosswhite

Martha quickly kneaded her bread dough and formed it into a perfect loaf shape. This meal had to be just right, because a good friend of hers was there in the small village of Bethany visiting Martha and her sister, Mary. The friend was in the next room, and it was Jesus! Mary and Martha had looked forward to this day for some time, for they dearly loved Jesus.

As she shoved the loaf into the oven, Martha grumbled to herself: “Why am I the one doing all this work for our meal? Mary should be helping, but there she sits with Jesus!” Martha hurriedly began working on the other food, thinking similar thoughts. Once or twice she stopped a moment to peek into the next room, hoping to see her sister getting up to join her in the preparations. But each time Mary was always in the same place – listening with close attention to Jesus’ words.

Finally, a sweaty, frustrated, and irritated Martha, her arms akimbo, marched into the room where Jesus and Mary sat. She asked in an exasperated voice: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me alone to serve? Tell her then to come help me.”

Jesus gently rebuked her. “Martha, Martha! You are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Martha felt so ashamed. “I’m sorry,” she murmured, taking a seat on a stool by Jesus’ feet. “I got so caught up in other things that I forgot how I should be taking time to listen to you instead.”

Jesus smiled, and this time, spoke to both of his friends. Martha listened attentively, and her heart was filled with happiness. She knew that this time she was making the right decision: sitting at the Master’s feet, and being spiritually fed. The meal she was preparing could wait. For now, she was feasting on food that would satisfy her soul.

[Based off of Luke 10:38-42]

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As we learn from this story of Martha, we should not allow the cares of this world, as important as they may be, to take from our time with the Master. Time with Jesus – should be one of the most important things we do each day.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.”
(Matthew 6:33)

The Holy Scripture tells us, I love them that love me: and those that seek me early shall find me. (Prov. 8:17) We should desire to be with our Master, to be more like Him.

Mary, for instance, was sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening very carefully to all he was telling her. She took the time to quietly listen, to meditate, to seek Him.

Glory ye in his holy name:
let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” 
(1 Chronicles 16:11)

Mary had peace in her heart – her heart rejoiced – because she sought the Lord.

What Martha was doing was not wrong – there is nothing at all wrong with doing household chores, or of eating or sleeping. Those things are necessary things! The point is…what comes first when the Lord is speaking? Shall we live without thinking about the Lord, (except on Sundays), or live in the Spirit and abide in the Lord’s presence every day of the week? Dishes and food and beds can wait – remember, they are not eternal. Let us begin living our eternal life now by sitting at the Lord’s feet, listening to Him, today. Let us choose the better part that can never be taken from us.
My prayer is that I will always have time for my Master, and not let anything else be more important than Him – I don’t want to be like Martha, who was so busy, that she forgot how Jesus was most important.

Make me to understand the way of thy precepts:
so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.”

(Psalm 119:27)

~Rachel Crosswhite {Guest Writer}

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