How to Memorize Scripture

By Pastor Richard Bump on December 2, 2015

Recently we have started a program at Southside of putting verses in the bulletin to memorize each week. We want to encourage each of our members to store God’s precious Word in our hearts. Bro. Shane Ryle recently spoke on a Thursday night about what we should do about God’s Word, the Bible, if we want to be a disciple of Jesus. Besides reading the Bible, studying the Bible, meditating on the Bible and applying the Bible to our lives, we need to memorize the Bible.

No doubt you are impressed as I am with people we meet or hear about that can quote long portions, even whole books of the Bible from memory. I can almost hear your next thought: “I could never do that!” Well, as the old saying goes, you eat an elephant one bite at a time; so, you can memorize the Bible one verse at a time. That’s our plan at Southside, as we expose you to key verses in the Old and New Testament weekly.

So, how do you memorize the Bible? I am copying some points here from an old resource on this topic when I tell you that the real secret of Scripture memory is review, review, review! First of all, develop a sequence for memorizing, such as the following: say the reference, say the verse, and then say the reference again. This is because you will more easily forget the reference than you will the verse. Say the reference before and after the verse every time you quote it. The reference is like the handle on a suitcase, a doorknob on a door, a key to lock, and so on. Remembering the “address and zip code” of the verse (where it is in the Bible) is and will be very helpful to you as you witness, teach or have general conversations with saved and unsaved folks.

Secondly, quote the verse aloud and/or practice writing it from memory. Ask the Lord to help you understand the meaning AND application of the verse or verses for your life. Memorize one phrase at a time, using the reference, adding phrase by phrase until the whole passage is memorized. Once you have memorized a new verse, review, review, review!