I used to study the Fighter Verses and commit them to memory by writing little melodies to go with them, writing about them, and doing other memory tricks. I was fairly consistent when I used to maintain the fighterverse.com site (which I handed over to some fellow BBC members). But, then we hit a stretch where we were learning a long Psalm and I missed the first part of it and then kind of fell off the horse.
I was recently convicted by a few things to get back on that horse.
First, in my private devotions, I was convicted pretty deeply by a couple of verses. The first is 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (ESV).
The second verse was 1 Peter 3:13, “…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…” (ESV). These are verses that I had read before, but they convicted me this time around that I needed to take scripture memorization more seriously so that I could recall it or at least easily locate it in my Bible.
Second, an article I read interviewed John Piper about a variety of things, including how and why he memorizes scripture. He said, “I’m not into mechanical memorizing. I’m into fighting the fight of faith. I want to memorize Scripture so that I can defeat the devil at 3 o’clock in the afternoon – that’s why I memorize! It’s so that I can minister to a saint in the hospital at 10 o’clock at night if I’ve forgotten my Bible. This is for my soul, and for the souls of others around me.”
How many times have I been in a situation and my response is, “Um… er… I think the Bible says something about that. Somewhere towards the back.” Lame, I know. I want it in my head, word for word, so that I do not take or add anything to it.
Last, I recently finished reading Shepherding a Child’s Heart and Don’t Make Me Count to Three, both books urge the reader to use scripture to teach children. I was also listening to a talk by Sally Michael titled Resources For Family Ministry (scroll to title from given link) in which she quotes the book Instructing a Child’s Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp: “We give our children big truths they will grow into, rather than light explanations they will grow out of.” I was both convicted and encouraged to memorize scripture and theological truths so that I could use them to teach my children (and myself, and others as God would have me) big truths they (and we) will grow into.
Just recently Caleb tried to squish a frog and my response was not, “Be nice” but, “God made that frog. We need to care for God’s animals by being gentle.” It’s a bigger truth that I hope will hold more weight in the future.
So, I’m going to jump back on the horse and make sure that I am committed to memorizing scripture for the long haul. I’m hoping to be able to do the weekly Fighter Verse along with my church (and small group), and also to work on a few other verses during the week that relate to my devotional reading. I am praying that God will be gracious to me and help me get started with an open heart to Him and his Word. “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18 ESV).
Here are some of the verses I memorized in the past by writing a melody to go with them. The recordings are just me sitting at my kitchen table singing into my USB microphone. (I know, wouldn’t it be so much better if I actually broke out my guitar or piano and polished them up? …but alas, that would stress me out too much and then I’d never even record them in the first place. Start small, I say. That, and my only real purpose in writing them is to get them to stay in my head!)
- 1 Peter2:9-10 (mp3)
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22 (mp3)
- 1 Timothy 4:12 (mp3)
- Isaiah41:10 (mp3)
- Isaiah 43:1b-3a (mp3)
- James 4:16-17 (mp3)
- John 8:31b-32 (mp3)
- John 10:27-30 (mp3)
- John 11:25-26 (mp3)
- Proverbs 3:9-10 (mp3)
- Proverbs 3:11-12 (mp3)
- Psalm 34:1-5 (mp3)
- Psalm 42:11 (mp3)
- Psalm 55:22 (mp3)
- Psalm 96:1-10 (mp3)
- Psalm 100 (mp3)