I first became interested in memorizing scripture shortly after I became a Christian in 1982. I was involved with the Navigators campus ministry and had a few friends which were memorizing scripture. One friend in particular, Ben seemed to take a special interest in the task. During my University days, I was a very disorganized and undisciplined sort. I saw no reason to memorize topics or scripture references, because it was uninteresting. However the verses themselves meant a great deal to me. Since I was an undiciplined sort, I was not good at review and worked at it inconsistently. I started out memorizing portions of 1 John and Ephesians. Since I was not consistent at it, I stopped and re started memorizing verses a few times before leaving school. Each time I started memorizing scripture again, I had to re-learn the verses I had already learned and then forgotten. It was somewhat depressing because I was not making any progress. It seems that I wanted to memorize a lot of scripture but could not actually get myself to do the work. So I spent a lot of time wishing I was memorizing scripture and feeling bad that I had accomplished so little. After university, I went to London Baptist Seminary for a year and a half. Here I learned to love and respect the word of God. But during this time for some reason memorizing it was not a priority. After leaving school, I moved to Toronto, got a Job at a computer company and later got married. During these years I again attempted to memorize scripture, but as before, each attempt started with a flurry of activity and soon was forgotten. A couple of years ago a friend of mine (Michael) told me to get my act together, so I started to memorize again. This time however I was able to stick to it longer. I wrote a computer program to assist me in scripture review. After writing it, I used it each night for an average of 20 minutes per day for about a year. But then my attention wandered again. Soon after my second son was born and my evenings were used up taking care of him. The problem was that I had confined my scripture memorization efforts to one activity and when I got busy with something else, it was all gone. I still had no discipline in learning topics or verse references. Most of all I had a strong urge to press on and memorize more and more without making sure that I had learned the first material well enough. Even though I spent a year learning a couple hundred verses I was doing something wrong. First, I quit working on it as soon as my schedule changed. Secondly, soon after I quit, I forgot what I learned. This proves that I did not know them well in the first place. After about one year of not memorizing, I decided that I would start again. But this time I decided to make sure that I would never fail again. This is the reason for this web site. I spent more than 150 hours studying the issue and writing up my thoughts and hope that I have come up with a system so good that it will even work for an undisciplined sot like me. Time will tell.
During the last 15 years I started and stopped memorizing scripture several times. What were the results? I memorized a lot of scripture and then forgot it. It was not a complete loss, because any exposure to the scripture is a good thing. I always respected it and did my best to obey it. I have learned to love the word of God and my love for God grew also. But I did forget what I learned. This is not satisfactory to me. If I had learned only one verse per week for 15 years and made it a point to learn it well, I would now know 780 verses! But right now, I don't. I am not satisfied beause my goal is to learn a lot of the NT well, but at this time, I have not even come close.
You should be convinced that the Bible is the inspired word of God and is the primary tool God has provided for our spiritual growth. You should therefore have a constant hunger for more of the word of God. It is truth and can set us free from what binds us if we obey it.
I have always been convinced that the Bible is the inspired word of God. I have never doubted this. But knowing
this alone did not keep me focused on the task. It did, however keep compelling me to try again and
again until I did succeed
Why did I want to memorize scripture? I thing that the reason is very simple. It is
the word of God. The Bible is Gods instruction book to man. It shows and tells of his love for us
and how we should live. It told me of his love and salvation for me. Really then, what else would
you expect me to do with it? I wanted to know and be filled with God's word. No one forced me
or compelled me.
I never lost my interest in memorizing scripture. But I did stop thinking about it for long
periods of time, because I became busy with other things. During these times, of course I did not
memorize any scripture. Usually, during these times I was also inconsistent in Bible study and prayer as well. But
each time I foolishly wander away from God he has called me back.
Memorizing scripture is not neccessary for salvation or even to be a 'good' Christian. But
it is neccessary to have a growing knowledge of the word of God. Therefore, if I am
capable, then I really should be memorizing his word. It is not neccessary, but it
is something we should be doing and is something we should be making time for. But
I have found that since I am somewhat undisiplined, no amount of determination or feeling
that it is neccessary helps. I just end up failing and feeling bad about it.
I know I need a regular intake of the word of God. If I don't expose my mind to the
word of God for a few weeks, I start thinking less and less of God. I start backsliding. I hunger for the
word of God. But I pray for a greater hunger still. But if I am away from his word for even a few days, I
loose the hunger and forget I need it. I really am like a sheep which never pays attention and is always wandering off on
I have now. Before I did not. Rules and discipline and routines bothered me and
I rejected them as foolishness. This though has been one of the reasons I have been
so inconsistent in my devotions, prayers and memorization routines.
Determination is a good starting point, but if need to have a clear idea as to how to memorize scripture. You need a workable scheme, the discipline and will to stick to it each day and a plan to make sure that you do not stray from it in the long run
I have found that many scripture memory routines do not really work. I have
looked for things which are easy and quick and do not require a lot of time committment. (I am lasy
you see). There is no such thing. Determination to accomplish something with no plan or discipline will
only end up in failure and feeling bad about yourself. But determination with a plan and system of
self discipline can lead to success.
Scheduling time for specific tasks such as scripture memory was so difficult for me
that I could not do it. I memorizied scripture when I had an urge and had the time and energy. Or I did
it when I felt like it and thought about it. Consequently there were flurrys of activity followed by long
periods of inactivity. You cannot memorize scripture like this. You have to slot in time for it each day and
force yourself to do it during the times your dont feel like it.
I have in the past spend a lot of time doing things like this (mainly
watching shows like star-trek and such.) But I have in the last few years
become so discusted by this type of time wasting, that I no longer controls me.
I am even today very easily distracted by all sorts of interesting
things which come into my life. I have to be on guard against these things
consuming more time than they ought. These things can very quickly sneak in
and take over my time in chunks of a month or more. They use up too
much of my free time. I figure I can do these things so long as they never
are allowed to grow until they displace the time spent in the word and with
my family. This includes guardening, home renovations, internet browsing,
technical courses at work, special projects at work, etc.
Yes, to some extent. Since the discipline of memorizing scripture was not worked into the fabric of my life
and routines, I found it hard to stick with it. For example, I was spending time in the evening memorizing scripture. When
my second son was born, I no longer could dedicate the time to memorizing scripture. Since I was not used to doing it
here and there through the day, I ended up doing nothing.
Yes, I have some trouble scheduling time, partly because I was never taught to do it as a child. I had no routine
built into my life. Not even a bedtime was suggested to me. There was no schedulted time for homework and other such
activities. They got done when they were done. I felt that scheduling time for routine things was boaring and restrictive. I
was wrong. It may be boaring at times but it is far from restrictive.
Yes, because I am easily distracted. Also, since I typically have not build structure into my day, I had nothing to
keep me stuck to them.
Not really. Or perhaps I am. I find it hard to stick to routines.
I do now. I have spent a lot of time reasoning it through. Before I did not. I now realise the value of having a detailed
plan which describes how I will progress.
Always. I found myself driven to add more verses to my pile of verse cards I am learning. I wanted to have a nice round number
of verses I knew. I would tell myself that I would just keep reviewing them till I knew them. But that never happened.
No, but I am on the lookout for one. I feel that such a friend is what can make or break a scripture memory routine.
No, but I hope that I am not too old to improve. Actually, in the last few years, since I have had a job and a family (real
life as compared with school), I find that I am much more organized than I used to be. I have done well at the courses I have
taken at work. I have much better control over myself as compared with before.
I see this as being important, but have always had a tendancy to rush forward. I know that If I understand what I have
memorized and have learned its context then the verses will be more usefull to me.
No. But I am trying to develop habits which require me to think about scriptures much more.
Yes, but not always. If something came to me I would not ignore it. But I would never take a passage of scripture and
meditate on it until I realised how to apply it. This is a slower way of doing things and obviously the best.
Yes. I would be boastfull about what I did. I would be upset when others knew more. This is a sign of immaturity. I
renounce this type of behaviour as unchristlike/
No. I try to take care of everything as it comes along so that it does not get out of hand.
I am happy with life. But when I first became a Christian I was depressed a lot. I had significant problmems with my
self worth. It was complicated. But due only to the grace of god (and my friends and family) I am free from that.
I like to think that I am growing on a continuing basis. When I read about dedication to Christ, I always feel I
am not as dedicated as most. However, to gain a lasting hunger for Christ requires a deep knowledge of him. This takes time
and effort. I will ever press onwards.