I have been maintaining a site at fighterverse.com for several months now, but have decided to give up my domain to the fighterverses.com guys. Mostly it’s because I’m just not able to be consistent with it, and a lack of consistency will kill a blog. Especially one that needs to be consistent. I normally wouldn’t just give a domain away, but these guys go to my church and have been doing a great job with keeping their site updated with relevant and interesting commentary. (Sidenote: I’d love to see them add some testimonials to memorizing Fighter Verses, just to get out of the “heady” commentary sometimes and into real lives… but that’s not really their focus. Anyway…). So, to encourage them (and to encourage your weekly memorization of scripture), please check out their site and delve into committing God’s Word to memory.
That being said, I’m archiving a few of the things I wrote here on this blog just to keep them around before my old site disappears into the neverworlds.
What is a Fighter Verse?
Fighter Verses are short passages of Scripture that an individual, a small group, or a large body (such as a church) may choose to memorize each week. These verses can then be:
- Meditated on:“This Book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
- Delighted in:“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
- Trusted in: “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” (Titus 1:9)
- Prayed: “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:6-8, see in context)
- Stored Up: “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
- Put on with the full armor of God: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)
- Used in evangelism: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
What Verses Should I Memorize?
Desiring God and Children Desiring God ministries have the Fighter Verses broken down into sets. Choose a set, print it out, and begin! Once you have gone through all of the sets, you will have memorized 232 Bible passages, which is over 500 verses!
Set A, Set B, Set C, Set D, and Set E
Where did Fighter Verses Start?
While I’m not sure exactly where Fighter Verses started, my story begins with being a new mom at home and wanting to deepen my relationship with Christ while doing seemingly mundane day-to-day tasks. My mother-in-law suggested memorizing Fighter Verses, something her church was doing. I googled “fighter verses” and was brought to Bethlehem Baptist Church‘s (BBC) Verse of the Week page; I began memorizing. While I cannot confirm this as fact at this point, I believe that people from BBC started the Fighter Verse program and have shared resources for it on their homepage, as well as through Desiring God and Children Desiring God ministries.
Why should I Memorize?
Besides the scriptural reasons I listed above, I believe that having the Word of God committed to memory allows you to call upon it during the many ups and downs in life. They have comforted me, disciplined me, taught me, and helped me minister to others. In addition to the thoughts I’ve written here, I strongly recommend reading John Piper’s message, “Why Memorize Scripture?”
What Bible Version do you use and why?
I began memorizing using the NIV, because that was the Bible I had used for many years. I have switched, however, to the ESV Bible primarily because it is the version my church uses, but also because of some compelling thoughts from John Piper.
The following is a list of resources I have put together to help you in your quest to memorize scripture.
Resources to Read Regularly
- FighterVerses.com – This is a site run by some fellow Bethlehem Baptist Church guys. They are pastoral apprentices there and have good things to say.
- Desiring God Blog – Although not directly related to the memorization of scripture (they strongly advocate it), this is one of my favorite blog reads to help me understand Scripture. They also have excellent resources in the form of podcasts, videos, etc.
Resources to Download
- Set D Fighter Verses for 2009 (PDF) – This is a list of the verses that will be memorized each week for 2009. This list is provided courtesy of Bethlehem Baptist Church‘s Verse of the Week page.
Resources to Buy
- Bible Memory Resources – I use the ESV Fighter Verse Pack at home and also have the CD, which has recordings of people speaking the verses. I have used the two together to listen to verses in the car, and also read and review verses. They also have a set of Foundation Verses, which I hope to start learning with my children when they are a bit older.
Articles to Read
- Why Memorize Scripture? – An excellent article by John Piper.
- Memorizing the Word is Possible – Sally Michael shares her insights into four ways you can memorize scripture. They include (1) taking advantage of already established routines, (2) keeping verses handy, (3) posting the verses in a prominent location, and (4) retaining verses. Read the full article for detailed explanations of each.
- An Approach to the Extended Memorization of Scripture – This is an excellent article written by Dr. Andrew Davis that suggests ways to memorize verses and even entire books of the Bible. (link via Hope in God)
- Fighter Verses Again? – Another article by Sally Michael sharing how the truth of memorized scripture brought “a harvest of heart change.”
- How to Teach Bible Verses to Toddlers and Preschoolers – Some ideas for helping the little ones to memorize scripture.
- Teaching with Fighter Verses – Here are some suggestions for using Fighter Verses with children in Sunday School class.
How to Memorize Scripture
The bottom line is that you need to find the way that you memorize the best and practice regular self-discipline to memorize your verses. (Note: Memorizing with others will help keep you accountable as well!)
That being said, I usually memorize using the following steps:
Prayer and Studying Verse Context
Memorizing God’s word begins with prayer. I pray for God to:
- Give me strength to mediate on His word day and night (Joshua 1:8)
- Help me to delight in His law (Psalm 1:1-2)
- Hold firm to the trustworthiness of His Word (Titus 1:9)
- Bring the verse to mind when I am praying (Matthew 6:6-8)
- Store up His Word in my heart so that I don’t sin against Him, and also that I will not forget the verses I have memorized (Psalm 119:11)
- Help me to stand firm in battle (Ephesians 6:10-13)
- Use these memorized verses when I evangelize to others (Romans 10:17)
I take a print copy of the week’s verse (I use the fighter verse pack) and recite it as I go about my day – at breakfast, washing dishes, in the car, etc. I listen to my words as I say the verse out loud and also concentrate on the cadence of the language. Once I’ve heard the verse numerous times, it helps me to externalize the verse.
For me, this step makes the verse more permanent in my mind and also boosts my personal reflection. I choose to turn the verse into something that will “burn it into my mind” better. This includes, but is not limited to, using the verse to do one or more of the following:
- Compose a melody to make the verse singable
- Learn sign language
- Create a work of art (painting, drawing, cartoon, collage, craft, etc.)
- Make up a dance or motions to act out the verse
- Use digital media to make an animation, movie, slide show, etc.
- Speak the verse to a rhythm, use clapping or other rhythm instruments
- Learn the verse out loud with others, do a call and response, etc.
Once a verse has been rolling in my mind for awhile, I continually pray that God would make it real in my life. I trust that God, in His own time, will impress the truth of His word upon me. I try to reflect on what I am learning by discussing it with others and journaling (usually through this blog). I thank God for all that he teaches and changes in me as a result of learning His word.
Reviewing Past Verses
I go back regularly and review verses by reciting them (from my fighter verse pack and from what I have posted on this blog). I praise God for verses that stick and further review verses I don’t remember.