"Thy Word have I hidden im my heart, that I might not sin against Thee."
ESV - 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
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I would consider initially starting with any of the sections in the historical books of either the Old or the New Testaments that tell a story (such as Genesis, Exodus (through Chapter 20), and Joshua through Esther in the Old Testament, or the first five books of the New Testament (the gospels and Acts)), rather than portions dealing with the Law, prophecy, or Christian doctrine. It seems to me that the narrative flow and sequencing of those books would make them easier to commit to memory than the other types of biblical writings (although those other books could always be added over time or as memorization skill increases).
1. Choose a verse to memorize that speaks to something in your life right now. A Bible verse that’s relevant to what you’re going through is easier to memorize than one that speaks to a topic that’s abstract to you. I.e. I often choose verses relating to my weakness, temptation to immorality. 2. Choose a short verse to start with… and make it even shorter by breaking it down into pieces. Memorize the first five words in the verse first, and when you’ve got them down, add the next five. As you become more confident, you can add more words, sentences, and even entire verses—but don’t add anything new until you’ve got the previous words down pat. Example: John 11:35 "Jesus wept." or 1 Thessalonians 5:16 "Rejoice evermore." Or even, tongue-in-cheek, New Revised Standard Exodus 16:36 "An omer is a tenth of an ephah. " 3. Write the verse you’re memorizing down on paper. But don’t just write it once; write it many times—five or ten times is a good start (and some people write out their memory verses up to 50 times!). Physically writing the words out is an extremely useful tactile memory aid. 4. Just as writing a verse out can help in memorizing it, so speaking the words aloud is an excellent way to burn them into your memory. One person suggested turning the radio off during your commute to work or school each day and reciting your memory verse out loud instead! 5. When you pray, include elements of the verse in your words to God. Pray that God will help you understand and apply the verse to your life. Pray for God’s help in fixing the verse in your heart and mind. 6. Write your memory verse out on multiple index cards or sticky notes and putting them all over the place, so that you’ll see the verse many times throughout your day. Tape the verse to your bathroom mirror or computer monitor. Tuck it into your purse, lunch sack, car glove compartment, school textbook, pockets… anywhere you’ll see it. Make it your desktop background, or go so far as to laminate the verse to hang it in the shower! 7. Do you find it much easier to remember lyrics than spoken words? Try setting the Bible verse to a simple tune (perhaps repurposing a song you already know well) that you can sing to yourself. (many famous hymns and worship songs use Bible verses as their lyrics, and were written specifically as aids for Bible verse memorization.) 8. Turn the act of memorizing into a personal challenge! Write the verse out on cards, leaving keywords blank, and quiz yourself. Get some friends or family members to help quiz you, or even to memorize the verse along with you and encourage and challenge you. 9. This tip isn’t for everyone, but if you’re comfortable in more than one language, try translating your verse into different languages. Translation requires an intense focus on the meaning and language of a verse. This works for me when I change my native tongue, English, into my second language, Spanish. Or I could do it into Greek or Hebrew. 10. Write it down, speak it out loud, sing it out, pray it—but whatever you do, do it over and over until it’s a natural, reflexive action. The goal isn’t to reduce it to a mindless, repeated activity, but to slowly press the verse into your memory through repetition. Repeat your memorization activity over the course of several hours, days, or even weeks to pace yourself—there’s no prize for memorizing a Bible verse fastest; the point is to internalize it over time. And that means you shouldn’t be discouraged if it takes a while for the verse to “stick”—keep at it, and it will take root!
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