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25. The Fourth Finger: Memorization

Purpose: The purpose of this session is to enable the disciple to keep God’s Word ready for use in everyday life. The disciple will learn reasons for Scripture memory and see how to be successful at memorization.


1. The disciple will be able to overcome obstacles associated with memorization.

2. The disciple will realize the vitality of memory activities.

3. The disciple will begin to look forward to doing memory work.

Scripture Memory

In my heart I store up your words, so I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:11


1. Mutual prayer and sharing.

2. Discuss the questions.

3. Review Scripture memory.

At this point in the ministry, you should be memorizing consistently and enjoying the process, as well as the results. There is nothing more gratifying than having the Word of God written on the tablets of our heart. As Jeremiah 15:16 says, it becomes the "joy and the delight of my heart." It equips us to meditate day and night, as well as to give an answer to everyone that asks us a reason for the hope that is in us. It is the method for making the Word a permanent and inherent part of our lives.

How to Be a Success at Scripture Memory

  • Ask God to better enable you to memorize His Word, and ask Him to in crease your desire for this discipline.
  • Work at it every day. Train your memory. It is good to try to set aside the same time and meet at the same place to work at Scripture memory.
  • Don't overload yourself. Be content to do a little.
  • Take pleasure in what you do… enjoy involvement with the Scripture.
  • Learn with the idea of never forgetting. Don't cram just to be able to quote a verse to someone you are accountable to.
  • Never take up a verse to memorize until you have thoroughly mastered a previous one.

Principles of Memory

I. Fixity of thought or attention.

A. Learn something you are going to use in the future. Be sure that what you memorize has practical value for you.

B. Close your eyes.

C. Practice reading the verse with the idea of concentration.

II. Have a clear concept of what you are memorizing—understand it. It may help to write it out in your own words.

III. Analyze what you want to learn.

IV. Use associations.

V. REVIEW!!!!!!!!! Develop a system in which you review daily, weekly, and monthly. Always return to daily review any verses you fail to quote correctly.

How to Succeed!

I. Recognize that there is no magic way to do it.

II. Realize that the average mind is lazy and must be stirred to action.

III. Determine to make the mind an obedient servant.

IV. Understand that first attempts are the most difficult.

V. Do thorough, rather than slipshod, work.

VI. Retain by review, review, review.

VII. Consider it a joy and pleasure to get the Word of God within you.

“It’s hard for the flesh to think God thoughts. It’s hard to concentrate on spiritual concepts. The brain doesn’t like to think, especially if its on spiritual matters. We like to sit down in a nice, soft chair in a cool breeze and float to heaven on a flowery bed of ease. I’m that way and I know that in life, there are a lot of things that come easy, but getting the Word of God on your heart through memorization isn’t one of them. Its spiritual. Anything spiritual is work, and my flesh and blood doesn’t like work. But it can be done, and we can do it!”

Dawson Trotman

Project: Get your memory verses in systematic order.

Scripture Memory Problems

The Back Review

I. Major Issues

A. You may have memorized too many verses on the same topic. Varied topics and their verses is best.

B. Your interest in Scripture memory wax and wane—it varies.

C. Review is not your priority. You're still trying to "catch it on the run".

D. Feelings of guilt. Not knowing all of your verses adequately, lack of consistency, poor review, you are embarrassed.

II. Building a Solid Back Review.

A. Set adequate objectives.

B. Retain the "right verses."

1. Those that have continued to be significant to you.

2. Those that apply to your ministry.

3. Those that you know will always be helpful in what you most want to do for the Lord.

C. Two parts of your review packet.

1. Those verses you really know perfectly.

2. Those verses you are still working on.

III. Objectives in Memorizing New Verses.

A. Why do you want to memorize this verse, passage or chapter? This understanding will help you in your choice as well as your memory.

B. Verses should have practical meaning for you.

Questions for Review and Discussion

1. First steps:

Have you selected a time each day for memory work? Jot it down and look back in a week or two to see if this is the optimal time for you.

Pace yourself. Overloading will frustrate you. Have you decided upon the number of verses you’ll memorize each week?

Organize yourself. Have you selected a memory system? If not, how are you organizing your efforts?

2. What do you want to memorize?

Why? What are your objectives?

3. What readings have you selected to support your memory objectives?

4. How will you document or keep track of the verses you memorize?

Related Topics: Discipleship

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