Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reading Your Bible Every Day and Scripture Memorization

I went through a phase where I was having a very deep, conversational one or two hour quiet time most days. It was fantastic, and I hope it comes back around soon. With sickness and the Holiday and trying to dig myself out of a hole, it just doesn't seem to be in the cards on a regular basis, right now. I'm nothing if not honest, especially on this blog where my spiritual journey is the topic du jour. Every jour.

I'm serious about reading my Bible. Even if it's only the Proverb of the day, which for me is the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the day of the month. I read the Proverb of the day, and usually one or more other chapters of the Bible. This really doesn't take very long. So, even when I don't have time to take a large junk of time in the late morning or early afternoon to essentially have a date with Jesus, to read and journal and talk to Him, I read my Bible at night, right before I go to bed. I'm a stickler for this,  even if it's Midnight and I'm exhausted, I make time to get in the Word.

I used to feel guilty about only reserving my last moments of the day for the Lord. We know where guilt comes from, right? Not God. I say I used to feel guilty. I don't anymore.

When I would do my quiet times during the day, I would often go days without making the time for various reasons.  When I would get back to it, I would go to read, say - Proverbs 13 and realize I hadn't read 11 or 12.  (I find the Proverb a day system useful in so many ways!)  Well, that was pretty convicting in itself, so I decided to get back to my nightly devotions.  It works for me...

Around this same time, I started memorizing Psalm 139, something I've wanted to do and felt led to do for a long time, thanks to this challenge.  I'm happy to report that I have memorized it and I could not be more excited.  I never thought I would be able to do it.   That's why I never bothered to even try. I would open it up, look at the 24 verses, and say - yeah.... maybe not.

Not this time.  I didn't even follow Angie's timeline...  It easily took me 2 or 3 times as long as she suggested.  I got hung up on a few verses, and I spent more time some nights than I did others.  BUT I DID IT!  Finally.  Quiz me if you see me.  :)

So, every night, I crawl in bed.  I grab my Bible, which I sleep with.  Yes.  In my bed.  I'm weird like that.  Before I open it, I recite the verse or verses that I'm currently memorizing.  When I'm done, I check myself.  Then I read the Proverb of the day.  Then I read a chapter or more of whatever other books I'm currently reading.  For example, I just finished James, and II Samuel.  I usually ask the Lord if there is anything else He would have me read that night.  Sometimes I sense He wants me to, sometimes I don't.  If anything pops into my head when I ask, I read it.  If it was me, who cares.  I don't want to miss out on something if it was Him.

Scripture Memorization
While I was working on Psalm 139, I would just meditate on one verse at a time.  I find it helpful to find a rhythm and sort of make a song of each verse, or section.  Some do not lend themselves to it, and it slows me down.  After doing my other reading, I would come back to Psalm 139, and get that "song" in my head and repeat it over and over and over until I fell asleep.  It has really worked for me!

I'd love to hear your tips for Scripture Memorization.  I'm very motivated now that I have accomplished a goal that I've had for so long.

For other helpful tips, visit Works for me Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer.


Dave said...

Those are great ideas. Thanks for postig them!

~jen~ said...

Do you print up "special" scriptures and then tape them INSIDE your cabinet doors? So each time you are in the kitchen opening the door, you see them? I hear that helps...I've not done it YET...but plan to someday. I'm awful at memorization...so I've been kinda putting it off (head down, kicks ground).
Or like they did at the women's ministry meeting a few months ago ~ printed up some scripture and then laminated it and added a hole with a little shower hook and suction cup...read it everyday in the shower?

Anonymous said...

My pastor recently gave us a great tip for memorizing verses. First of all.. just like when we were in school... write it down on a flash card. Then on the back, write the 1st letter of each word. Then instead of going from all to nothing, you get the help of those first letters. You can then cover up line by line until you have it all without help. I was amazed at how much this trick actually worked.. it's made memorizing verses so much easier!!

Shelley a.k.a. Momma said...

Well good for you! I am passionate about scripture memory, so I am trying to stick with learning a new verse each week this year. I have told many people I know to ask me about it each week...and committed to put my new verse on my blog each Monday. As for reading the Bible, I have been through periods of doing it consistently and then lapses where I just don't make it a priority like I should. This year I have committed to read my one-year Bible and I am so excited because January is almost over and I am still on track!! It is so rewarding...I have already finished Genesis and (almost) Matthew! Glad to see you are passionate about these things and thanks for your tips!!

author@ptgbook.org said...

Generally, I have never seriously tried to memorize verses in the Bible, though there were times when I planned on doing it. But I find that what works best for me is to read the Bible cover to cover by starting in Genesis and moving a bookmark each time I read till I finish Revelation. If I read about 30 minutes a day, I can go through the Bible in less than a year. Then I can start over.

I want to live by every word of God, as Jesus said (Matthew 4:4).

Since I read the Bible, but don't memorize verses, I can usually remember the approximate wording of verses that apply to decisions that come up in my life (John 14:26). But I don't usually remember the book, chapter, or verse number. I might remember that a verse is in a one of the books of Moses, but I can't remember which one, or one of the epistles of Paul for example, or in one of the gospel accounts. But if I want to find it, I use a concordance or a Bible software program, and I can usually locate it that way pretty easily.

I think it is important to approach the Bible with an attitude of being willing to believe what God says more than our own opinions or traditions. As I point out in my blog, we need God's help to understand the Bible correctly, and God gives that help to those who are willing to believe and obey what He says. God may test us on this by helping us understand something in the Bible that is surprising, or different from what we want to believe, or different from our opinion, or different from the traditions we were raised in. He looks to see if we will believe Him or not. If we believe that point of truth and obey it, then God can help us understand another point of truth. As we believe and obey God, He can help us understand the Bible one point at a time. But if at some point we choose our opinion or tradition over God's word and disbelieve what He says, the understanding stops.

Jean Stockdale said...

You have a great blog. Thanks for sharing about the things of the Lord and encouraging other moms to stay at the task of living for the Lord. Thanks for stopping by mine. Check in again when you can. Blessings.