Imagine your brain is like a closet. Inside you would like to “hang” all of the amazing truths of Scripture in an organized fashion so that you can pull them out at any time. The following is the way I was taught to memorize – commonly known as the “Topical Memory System,” developed by The Navigators in the 1940’s and 50’s. Here’s what it looks like…
The topic on each card is the “hanger.” If ever you need to recall a verse on “fruit” or “prayer” or “peace,” you can reach back in your brain and pull out that hanger. The first thing that’s put on the hanger is the reference, second is the verse and last is the reference again. Memorization is nothing more than a function of mental repetition – wearing a groove into your brain! Each Scripture memory card that I write out has a topic, the Scripture reference or “address,” the verse written out and the Scripture reference one more time for good measure. I purposely only use downtime for doing Scripture memory – dog walking, jogging, bathroom, highway driving alone. These are all times where the body is engaged in some activity but mental time is being wasted. Don’t give up worship time or relationship time with spouse, family, etc. to engage in Scripture memory! I simply glance at the card, say the topic and the reference together 10 times in fast repetition. Next I glance at the card again, say the topic, the reference, and the first phrase of the verse together 10 times. Then I say the topic, reference, 1st phrase, 2nd phrase, etc., until I’ve said the whole verse. Then finally I say the topic, reference, verse and reference 10 times without looking at the verse. I try to revisit the card as often as I can during the day so that by the end of the day, I can (without looking at the card) repeat the topic, reference, verse and reference.
After a few weeks of Scripture memory, you will notice at least three things happen in your life. One, God will start using you in situations because you’ve memorized the answer to the “life question” being asked! Two, your walk with Christ will be closer. He LOVES IT when His kids memorize His love letters to them! By taking what once was dead time and turning it into time where the eternal Word of God is stored in your mind, you are being obedient to the command to “redeem the time” (make “the most of every opportunity” Ephesians 5:16). Lastly, you’ll find that your mind gets sharper and memory improves. As a 10th-11th grader, I was making C’s and D’s in every class except P.E.! During the summer before my 12th grade year, I began memorizing a verse of Scripture a day and did so for the entire summer. I continued on during my 12th grade year and during college. No other study habits changed but my grades sure did!!! I made straight A’s through the rest of the 12th grade and in my first year of college. My brain had gotten sharper because of the discipline being applied to it, as well as having a new layer of truth added daily to what I was hearing in class. I’m not alone with a testimony like this – Bill Gothard, a famous Bible teacher had the same thing happen to him! This stuff is good for your brain! We could all use a little more brain power!
OK – there’s no time like the present! Take the next 10 minutes and store away something eternal in your brain!
Christ the Center – John 15:5 10x (repeat it out loud or at least move your lips or whisper it so that you engage your auditory and kinetic parts of your brain)
Christ the Center – John 15:5 I am the vine 10x
Christ the Center – John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. 10x
Christ the Center – John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me 10x
Christ the Center – John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, 10x
Christ the Center – John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; 10x
Christ the Center – John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 10x
Christ the Center – John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 10x
Come back to this verse during the day and when your head hits the pillow tonight, see if you can repeat it without looking at the card.
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.