Memorization. Just the thought of this word sends chills up my spine. Ironically, I do have a great memory. I can remember almost anybodyís name after just one introduction. However, when it comes to memorizing scripture, I havenít found a technique that works better than meditation. For me, meditation means more than writing the scripture on a 3x5 card. In school, I created and studied hundreds of 3x5 cards on topics ranging from the Spanish language to the Periodic Table of Elements. Now, after marrying into a Mexican family, I can tell you that the Spanish comes back to me quicker than Copper or Boron. Why is this? Because I am actually using them.
This is why I appreciate the inductive study approach to the Bible. Instead of rote memorization, it forces you to read a scripture over and over again without realizing it. This happens because you are focusing on a different word each time you go back to that scripture. For me, inductive study was only the beginning. Once I realized how much I enjoyed digging into the scripture, I started doing word studies. This is probably my favorite way to study the Bible. Whether itís through the Strongís Concordance or the concordance in the back of my Bible, I love discovering the richness of Godís truth as I study the individual words of a scripture.
However, when it comes to actual memorization of the Word, the one technique that continues to outshine both inductive and deductive study is meditation. In Joshua 1:8, the Bible tells us to meditate on Godís Word, day and night. This method of study is more powerful to me than just rote memorization. In his Summarized Bible, Keith Brook says, ďThis word [meditate] has much the same meaning as Ďeatí for it means literally Ďto chew the cud.íĒ
When it comes to eating, I like to enjoy every morsel of my meal. For instance, if I was eating a sandwich with a piece of lettuce hanging out, I couldnít just take a bite of lettuce. I would feel like Iím missing out on the flavor combination that happens when you taste each layer of the sandwich. I want to get the most out of every meal including both taste and nutritional value. While memorizing is a suitable method of study, itís more like drinking a smoothie. You can get the nutritional value, but will you really enjoy the fullness of the flavors that went into making that smoothie?
In the New Living Translation, Psalm 34:8 says:
Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
This verse tells me that there is a process to experiencing this joy. Taste His Word, take refuge in Him and see His goodness come to pass! Personally, meditation means more to me than memorization or even pondering. When I meditate on a scripture, I say it out loud. I add my name to the scripture. I allow God to speak through it to help me walk in victory in the situation Iím facing at the time. This is how I meditate. In my prayer closet, I might proclaim:
Thank you, Lord, that Youíre Word promises that I will taste and see Your goodness. That I will experience joy as I take refuge in You! Thank you for giving me the strength I need to remain joyful in the midst of these circumstances.
By applying that scripture to my personal situation, I would have a more powerful way to memorize it throughout the day. It would become my lifeline to Godís strength and a reference point for my victory when facing future trials. Of course, thereís more than one way to eat the Word, so every now and then I will purchase a new bible or study tool that helps me see scripture from a new perspective.
However you decide to study the Bible, I have found that most important step is to approach the Bible with faith, as the Psalmist said:
Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law. (Ps. 119:18)
*All scripture references are from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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