I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire. (Luke 24:32)
“I can’t memorize!”
I hear that all the time, and I get it. Memorizing is work.
But memorizing is like anything else. The more you do it, the better you get.
And memorizing Scripture is different than memorizing some random school assignment you despised. Jesus said His Words are Spirit and Life. God’s Word makes wise the simple. It’s a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. It’s food for your soul.
As the comedian said about Pop Tarts, so I say about God’s Word: how do I get that goodness in me?
And if you say you can’t memorize, remember that even tiny children with their teeny little brains can memorize. You can do it!
As one old timer used to say, “Don’t ask me if I CAN. Ask me if I WILL.” It’s not a question of if you can. It’s a question of if you will.
So how do I personally do it? How do I memorize Scripture?
One new verse per weekday.
I memorize verses in a row, whole chapters, whole books, not cherry-picked, not random verses here and there.
I don’t memorize verse numbers. Some people are amazing at that, but for me that would be an impediment. My goal is not to be able to quote chapter and verse to you, but to get God’s Word inside me.
So I add one new verse per weekday, and I also review each weekday.
My friend Dr. Edith Davis wrote a book about The Micro-Spiral Method. You start small, and then keep circling around in bigger and bigger review cycles, always reviewing to help establish the words deep into your memory.
You may think you can’t do it, but just start small and keep reviewing and adding a little more, reviewing and adding a little more, and you will be amazed at how much you can actually accomplish over time.
Back in 2008 I said to myself, “The years are going to go by, one way or another. What will I wish I had done? I will wish I had memorized more of God’s Word.”
I started with the book of Ephesians, adding one verse per weekday. The days and months went by, as they would anyway, and pretty soon I had the whole book of Ephesians memorized. Amazing!
Then I did the book of Colossians the same way.
Then I decided to bite off a bigger chunk of the Bible: the book of John.
On December first, 2009 I started with John chapter one, verse one. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
I kept the same plan, adding one new verse per weekday, taking off weekends and vacations, and maintained a review cycle to keep bringing it back to my brain.
On February 28, 2013 I finished memorizing the book of John. It took me 3 years and 3 months, but guess what? Those 3 years and 3 months would have gone by anyway, but in this case I had done something a normal person thinks they can’t, or won’t…memorized the entire book of John!
And I’m not that smart. No, I can’t sit here and quote the entire book of John to you, but I bet some people can, and maybe you would be one of them, if you would just make the decision to start.
Thy Word I have hid in my heart that I might not sin against You. (Psalm 119:11)
I want to let God’s Word sink deep into my ears. (Luke 9:44)
I want to abide in Jesus’s words. (John 8:31)
I want to hear Jesus’s sayings and do them, like a man building his house on a rock. (Matthew 7:24)
I want to let the Word of Christ dwell in me richly! (Colossians 3:16)
My delight is in the law of the Lord! (Psalm 1:2)
I want to take heed according to His Word! (Psalm 119:9)
And one huge way I do that is by memorizing Scripture – one verse per weekday.
May God bless you today.
I’m Doug Apple.