When I was younger, I participated in a Bible Memorization program at church called AWANA. It was like a mix of the Scouts and a Vacation Bible School. The name itself is an acronym for Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed (from 2 Timothy 2:15), and reflected the organization’s drive to build Christian disciplines into the lives of students.
One of the primary activities of AWANA is Bible memorization. Lots and lots of it. It gives feet to scriptural injunction
“Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11
Memorizing God’s word is a fantastic way of fortifying yourself against sin. When you have the words of the Bible in your heart, it’s easier to resist the temptation to sin. This holds true of “young’ens” – as I was back in my AWANA days – as well as “elder folk” as I am now, and assume you generally are as well.
Back in the day, AWANA let me to memorize well over a thousand different verses – word perfect, with references, I might add.
This has served me well over the years that have followed.
But I’ve noticed that my memory is starting to fade. Verses that once popped sprightly to my tongue take a little bit longer now, and the references aren’t quite as confident as they used to be.
I’ve been thinking about this, and am orbiting the idea of setting myself a Bible memorization goal to go with my Bible reading goal. For some time, I’ve been interested in the idea of bulk Bible memorization – that is, memorizing a whole book of the Bible.
All in all, I’m thinking that the book of Ephesians would be a good one. It’s short(ish) and one that I would like to become more familiar with. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, and it’s come to the point where I need to commit or move on.
That’s the rub. It’s easy to say “that’ a good idea”. Those words are cheap and ultimately useless. Unless I’m prompted to some kind of action, I’m just blowing smoke (at myself).
So I want to “step over the line” and take action. Memorize Ephesians by heart – the whole book. I’ll work on this and set a date for when I want to be complete and share that with you once I’ve worked it out.
This may inspire you, it may not.
If it doesn’t, you’re free to move on with your life.
But if it does touch a spot in your heart that has been nagging at you, I’m here to help and encourage. There are not many more things you could do that would be a better investment of your time and energy than memorizing God’s Word.
Yes, I know all about how hard it is for adults to learn things. “Pish!” say I. We memorize facts and figures about history, about our favorite bands and artists, about our favorite sports teams, about cars and motorcycles. We are memory machines.
We just need to direct that memory energy away from our “hobbies” and toward God. With diligence and application, memorizing God’s word is available for everyone.
I don’t advocate a random process for Bible Memorization. A system is much better. And when it comes to memorizing Scripture for adults, there are few organizations better than the Navigators.
I did some research and came upon the following program that they offer:
This is a fantastic way to memorize God’s Word and brings a purpose to the activity.
In order to access all the verses, you’ll need to purchase the system. It’s not expensive. When I looked, it was well under $20. I don’t receive anything if you do – I just think this is a solid system that would benefit you tremendously.
But if you’re not sure, don’t spend any money. The Navigators offer 60 different verses (and their corresponding topics) right there on the Topical Memory System page. If you want a good assortment of verses, this will do you well. Commit to learning these before worrying about spending any money. If you learned one per week, that would engage your mind and heart for well over a year.
You could do a lot worse things that would take up a year of your life.
But if that seems like too big of a commitment, look at the list and pick 6 topics that are relevant to you and the struggles you’re facing in life. Each topic has two verses, so commit to learning a verse per month and memorize both verses for those six topics over the next year.
No one is too old. No one lacks the skill. Ask God to give you the desire to know Him better through His word and He will answer your request.
Here is the link again: https://www.navigators.org/res…
What matters is action. Will you take action?