One of the most valuable things you can help your children to do is to memorize verses from the Bible. I remember as a youth going to the Awana Clubs on Wednesday nights, learning from my Sparks and Pioneer books various Bible truths and the accompanying Bible verses. Having been given a keen mind, I was able to memorize whole chunks of the Bible, which efforts subsequently earned me large Timothy and Workman trophies. The trophies ultimately began collecting dust in the closet, but the Bible verses stayed with me.
As I grew older and went off to Bob Jones University, under the constraints of coursework and encouragements from teachers, I developed a systematic plan of Bible memorization. I would take spiral bound 3×5 index cards and write a different verse on each index card. Sometimes these would be whole books, such as the book of Romans or Psalms, such as 1, 23, 32, 100, etc.; other times the verses would arranged topically (you can get the color-coded cards to help with this!). These could then be carried around with me everywhere, and if I was waiting in a line or waiting for class to start or waiting at the Dining Hall for my fianc├ę, the verse cards were always ready at hand. The cards could also be propped up on a desk or on a shelf as daily reminders or ready reference. In this way, my mind was constantly being filled with the Word of God. After graduation, these cards were put away into boxes or filing cabinets–but the verses remain in my head to this day.
Today, having several children of my own, the benefits of Bible memorization remains as important as ever, though the methods have changed over time. My family benefits greatly from the memorization system in the wonderful Kids 4 Truth Bible Clubs as well as catechising using the grand old confessions of the Christian faith, but whatever your family chooses to use, what matters most is that you memorize faithfully and consistently. Here are 10 benefits to Bible memorization.
This list is adapted and added to from John Piper’s excellent suggestions on why and how he memorizes.
1. Memorizing the Bible produces spiritual growth
2. Memorizing the Bible keeps us from sin
3. Memorizing the Bible stores up truth for later
4. Memorizing the Bible uses time wisely
5. Memorizing the Bible guards our thinking from error
6. Memorizing the Bible equips us for witnessing
7. Memorizing the Bible provides tools to comfort others
8. Memorizing the Bible sharpens our spiritual battle skills
9. Memorizing the Bible opens up heart fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ
10. Memorizing the Bible establishes gospel priorities
So if you’ve never tackled Bible memorization before, now’s the time to start! Children especially have eager, quick minds and a voracious appetite. Sometimes you can even put verses or Scripture truths to music. Perhaps you can use one of the methods mentioned at the opening of this article, or maybe other tools such as the NavPress Topical Memory System or maybe put the Bible Memory app on your iPhone or iPad or find the perfect fit ina host of other software, clubs, tools, etc to help you and your children hide God’s Word in your heart.
I leave you with one thought-provoking quote from John Whitlock, a Puritan preacher from 1662:
“Men scarcely forget where they have laid their treasures or their jewels…Divine meditation fixes truths in the head and fastens them to the heart.”
Enjoy memorizing your Bible and perhaps one day, we’ll see you at the National Bible Bee!