(This was originally posted on May 14, 2019).
I grew up attending a church that used the AWANA children’s ministry. I was in the first Cubbie class (3 to 5 yr olds) at my church and continued in the program all the way through the 7thgrade, earning just about every award along the way.
The patches, ribbons, and trophies I earned then have not seen the light of day in many years now, but the verses I learned are still with me. For me, that was the most significant benefit of AWANA – I memorized God’s Word.
While I wish there would have been more teaching on the context of much of the verses I memorized (perhaps there was, but I just didn't listen well), I'm grateful that I can recall several bible verses today that I know I first memorized in AWANA.
Recently, I was convicted that I have become lazy in my Bible memory. I’ve ridden on what I learned many years ago. It was during the Church & Culture Conference that I sensed God reminding me to prioritize memorizing Scripture.
The speaker at the conference, Chris Brauns, has been a good friend for several years now and I have always been impressed with his dedication to scripture memory. I don’t think he shared this at the conference, but he attaches people to the verses he is memorizing so he can pray for them systematically.
It’s not unusual for me to periodically get a text from him with a picture of Philippians 1:9-11 written on note cards telling me he is praying for me (see screenshots). He is a true friend.
If not, you need to. You need to be able to recall God’s word to coach yourself, give sound advice, and lead others well.
And, if you are a pastor, don't make the mistake I have made for several years now. That is depending on sermon prep to be a replacement for intentional Bible memory. Preparing sermons is helpful to retain Scripture, but it is not to the same as the discipline of systematic Bible memory.
There are some outstanding apps out there now for Bible Memorization: Verses and Bible Memory are two that I have used. Desiring God has produced Fighter Verses that is another useful resource to aid in Bible memorization.
Also, the website, Verse Card Maker is perfect if you want to create flashcards for verses to memorize.
Finally, here is a link to Chris Brauns’ blog where he has posted a few articles on his method of Bible Memory.
You can do it. Pick a few verses and memorize them. Since the conference, I’ve worked on Proverbs 2:1-5 and I Corinthians 6:12 so far.
What will be your first verse to work on?