If you are a Christian, and you take only one thing away from this website, I hope it is the importance of Scripture Memory. Creation Science is an interesting subject, but it pales in comparison to the importance of learning God's Word.
Let's examine why Scripture Memory is so important, and then look at how to memorize Scripture. Once you examine this, check out the links to other Scripture Memory resources at the bottom of this page.
God's Word gives us several exhortations to commit the Scriptures to memory. Consider the following verses.
Psalm 119: 9, 11
How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
Scripture memory can help you get victory over sin. When temptations come along, you can call up a verse from memory that specifically addresses the temptation.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.
God's instructed the Jews to have His Words in their hearts. See also Deuteronomy 11:18-21. The same principle is also beneficial to us Christians. His Word is a powerful tool that should be at our disposal at all times.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;...
Having the Word of God memorized will greatly aid in fellowship, because if you have Christ's words in you, then the rest of the verse is a natural result of the memorization...
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
I Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
Having God's Word memorized makes you a more effective witness for Him. If you are indeed ready to share the Gospel with others, God can use you, and the verses you have memorized, to bring others to Him. Remember...you don't always have a Bible handy when you need it.
Now that we know how important it is to memorize Scripture, let's look at the "how" of Scripture Memory. The easiest way is to use a commercial kit off the shelf of your local Christian bookstore. The most well-known of these is the Topical Memory System, a product of the Navigators. This system contains 60 foundational verses critical to the young Christian. They are divided into five major themes containing twelve verses, which are further divided into pairs. For instance, you have two verses on prayer, two on fellowship, etc. A total of 30 topics are covered. It is suggested that you cover two verses a week, giving you a 30 week program of Scripture memory.
Once you identify a system or set of verses, how do you do it? It is just like any other memorization technique...repetition, repetition, repetition. Read the verse card several times each day until you know the verse.
I suggest adopting the style of the Topical Memory System, whether or not you are using the system itself. The TMS uses cards, about the size of a business card, each containing a verse. Below is an example.
Notice that the topic appears at the top, and the reference for the verse is given before and after the Scripture. When learning it, read the entire card. In doing so, you will read...
Topic / Reference / Verse / Reference
This helps "lock-in" the reference to the Scripture in your memory. Knowing the verse itself is not enough...we must know where it is found. If you quote a verse to a person you are witnessing to, and he says, "Wow, show me that in the Bible," you need to know where to turn and find it.
If you do not choose to use the Topical Memory System, for your convenience, you can use this Microsoft Word template for business cards. Simply type in your verses, print out on business card stock, and break along the perforations, and you have your memorization cards ready to be used (you may also handwrite the verse on the business card if you like). I suggest getting a business card holder, available at your local business store, to hold the cards in your pocket.
The best option for a holder would be one with a window. The vinyl card holders sold by the Navigators (included in the TMS) have a window. The advantage of the window is to show the verse you are currently working on without pulling the card out. The drawback, however, is the size of the cards. The cards used by the Navigators are smaller than your standard business card, therefore the Navigator cardholder will not hold a business-size card. Here is a template for Microsoft Word that is the same size cards as the Navigator cards. You will have to print them on cardstock and cut these cards out.
Next, and most importantly, you must make a commitment to carry the card case with you everywhere you go. For instance, you are standing in line at the grocery store or Wal-Mart. That is a perfect time to pull your verse out and read it over several times. Carrying your memory verses must become a habit. Don't leave home without them!
Don't stop after you finish the TMS. Keep on learning verses that you find in sermons, Bible studies, devotions, etc., that you feel are useful to you. Most importantly, review the verses you have already learned at least weekly. Unless you have a photographic memory, you will probably forget them if you do not regularly review them. Most people review the cards, but you can use whatever method works for you. For instance, this Powerpoint presentation was created for memory verse review. When you start the slideshow, the Topic/Reference appears, then you quote the verse. With the next click, the verse appears, and you can check yourself.
The Topical Memory System mentioned above is but one of many systems that can be utilized for memorizing Scripture. Here are some links to more systems and Scripture Memory websites.
Music has long been used to help people remember. With this in mind, some new resources have been created which use music to help people to remember Bible verses. Scripture Release! sets the Topical Memory System to music. Check out this excellent resource at http://www.scripturerelease.com.
Scripture Song Source also sets Bible passages to music. You can check out this resource at the following website:
You can also memorize Scripture at a website called Scripture Typer. You learn the verse by typing them on the computer. It also has a neat tool that allows you to print your verses on business cards.
Another new resource to help people memorize the TMS is available at this link. Ben Koch has put the TMS to music, and you can download all 60 verses as mp3 files.
Verse Box is a website that is free and allows you to use an internet-based tool to memorize Scripture and keep track of them.
Want to get started right away? These business-card size Microsoft Word templates will help you get a start. They contain the first ten verses of the Navigators Topical Memory System. After you learn these ten, purchase the TMS to finish the last 50 verses.
As an iPhone user, I'm always on the lookout for useful apps. There are numerous applications for memorizing Scripture on the IPhone. I've reviewed several of these, and I personally recommend Versepack. FYI, there is also an app available for Android-based phones (Remember Me).
Versepack is the most versatile, customizable iPhone app for Scripture Memory. It comes without any verses, and you load your verses using a web-based tool, which imports verses in the English Standard Version or the New English Translation. You may also purchase, for 99 cents, an import tool for the New American Standard Bible (NASB). If you use another version, don't worry. You can also manually type the verses into the app. You can also give the verses a topic, called a "slug." Once you have the verses loaded, Versepack will automatically rotate them for you. You can set the rotation to occur daily, or up to seven days or more. If you are ready for a new set, you can force it to reload a new set immediately.
Review is a snap. It shows you a blank page with the "slug." Slide your finger left or right across the screen, and it flips the card over so you can see the verse. (HINT: One drawback is that the blank page only gives the slug, and not the reference. For example, if Prayer is the slug term, it could be any of numerous verses you have entered about prayer. I suggest entering the reference as part of the slug term.) When you want the next verse, slide your finger up or down, for the next or previous verse.
Another plus about the app is that you can add your memory passages that contain more than one verse (about 5 verses can fit on the screen). Some other applications only allow you to have a singe verse. For example, Ephesians 2:8-9 is always memorized together. WIth this app you can put the entire passage on a single flash card.
If you have an iPhone and you memorize Scripture, Versepack is an app that you must get. The cost of Versepack is $3.99. There is a free lite version, so you can check it out before purchasing.
The Navigators are well-known for their scripture memory. This classic message, part of the Word Hand six-tape set (no longer available), describes why every Christian should memorize scripture, and shows how easy it is. This classic Navigator message is given by Jack Mayhall, and was recorded prior to 1980.
Click the link below to Listen
Scripture Memory, Jack Mayhall (39 Min)
Other Navigator Scripture Memory Audio
Scripture Memory, Dawson Trotman
Scripture Memory, Leroy Eims (4 Min)
Audio Courtesy of DiscipleshipLibrary.com